Gin Rummy Rules


The gin rummy is a classic card that isn’t so demanding regarding requirements. All you need is a 52 card deck and at least an opponent.

But if you wish you can play the game with even six players.

Although there are many variations on how to play the game, here is the basic concept of the gin rummy game;

Choosing a dealer

You need a dealer for the card game to begin.
So to choose one, spread the cards on the table and let each of the two players pick a card.

Whoever picks the highest card becomes the dealer.

The dealer after shuffling the cards deals the cards to the players in the following manner;
• In the case of two players then each player receives ten cards
• If 3 or four players, each accepts seven cards
• If the players are 5 or six, then they each receive six cards
The remaining cards form the draw pile and are set at the center of the table face down.

Next, you pick the topmost card from the draw pile and turn it face up. It becomes the discard pile place it next to the draw pile.

The objective of the game

Right from the beginning of the game, a player’s target is to be the first to meld his cards and retain the least possible number of unmatched cards.
That is to be the first to hand the cards that he can combine into sets or sequence, and the remaining unmatched cards bearing a low face value.
• A set means three or four cards belonging to the same rank. For instance diamond 7, heart 7, spade7
• A run (sequence) consists of at least three cards of the same suit. For example club4, club 5, club 6. However, the Ace must be treated as a low card.

The Gameplay

The player who never dealt the cards becomes the first to begin the game.
As a player, you have to pick the topmost card from either the draw pile or the discard pile. The discard pile has the card face up while the draw pile has the uppermost card face down.
When you pick from the draw pile, you must not show it to your opponent.

After picking a card, if you wish you can play a meld of cards or lay off a card in your opponent‘s meld.

After picking a card, you must then return one card to the discard pile.
However, it’s illegal to pick a card from the discard pile and return the same card in the same round.

The only exception for discarding a card is when you had melded all your cards.

Definition of Terms

Laying off

You can either lay off a card or cards.
It’s the process of playing a card from your hand that combines with the meld already on the table. The card combination may form either a set or a sequence

Going out

It means to play the last card you had in your hand. That can be through melding, discarding or laying off

Going rummy

A player is said to have gone rummy if he can play all his cards in one turn, having played no other cards before in that same turn.
In such a case, he gets double points for pulling such a move.

So how do you score points?

The gin rummy game follows the rule the winner takes it all!
When a player goes out in a round, he earns points. However, he gets points proportional to the cards in the opponent’s hand;
• Each face point means 10 points
• Each Ace means a point
• Number cards earn points, equivalent to their face value

What if the draw pile is exhausted?

If the draw pile is depleted before the end of the game, then all the cards from the discard pile are taken to form the new draw pile except the topmost card.
Buy you will have to shuffle them first.
But if you deplete the draw pile twice, then the game ends in a stalemate.

What marks the end of the game?

Before the start of the game, the players must agree on the winning points.
For example in the case of two players, the winning points can be 100. So the first player to reach that target becomes the winner, and the game ends.
Alternatively, you can set the target for the games you would wish to play. When you hit that target, the player with the highest points emerges the winner.

A player can also end a game through knocking. To knock your opponent means to finish a play discarding a card, melding some, and then remaining with unmatched cards with 10 points or less.


The above rules present the basics of gin rummy game. Variations otherwise exist on how to play the game or earn points in case of a knock. Nevertheless, it a thrilling game worth trying!