Gin Rummy - Game Strategy and Math

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GameColony offers 3 ways to play gin rummy online:
  • Gin Rummy GC app for iPhone, iPad, Android
  • Browser-based Gin Rummy for HTML5 & Java Gin Rummy
  • Gin Rummy for Windows

  • Play Gin Rummy Using Strategy and Mathematics

    At you can play gin rummy online. We also offer Gin Rummy GC - a mobile app for iPhone/iPad and Android phones and tablets.

    Skill is a more powerful factor in Gin Rummy than in any other rummy games involving more than two players due to the following:
    If you review the strategy tips presented below, you will win many more Gin games.

    Gin Rummy Statistics that Always Hold True:

    • In the game of Gin Rummy there are 52 three-card melds of three of a kind -- three kings, three deuces, etc.
    • There are 44 melds of three cards of the same suit in sequence 5-6-7 of diamonds, 10-jack-queen of hearts, etc.
    • Once you have a three-card meld, the chances of extending three of a kind are twice less likely than extending a sequence.
    • Majority of squence melds can be extended at either end, whereas three of a kind can only be added-on in one way. A sequence meld of four cards can grow into five or six, but four cards of equal rank have no further possibilities.

    From the early stages of the game it is better to discard a card ranking one or two away and in a different suit to the one previously discarded by your opponent. For example, if your opponent's first discard is the 7 of diamonds, then 6 or 8 of clubs, spades or hearts is probably your safest bet.

    If your hand does not contain any of the former cards, discard a card of rank equal to the one that your opponent has previously discarded (i.e. the 7 of spades). Statistically there are only four possible chances that an equal-rank card can be used against you.

    An essential skill for a good gin rummy player is good memory -- you must be able to memorize all the possible melds in a hand. You also must be able to calculate the chances for your two-of-a-kind sequences. Always think about your own resources and strategy first, then about your opponent's. By looking at opponent's discards, etc. try to figure what is in your opponent's hand. This way you won't give any good cards away and you also won't be holding cards for an impossible or unlikely meld.

    The sevens are the most valuable card in the deck when it is time for forming melds. The seven can be used to extend melds more than any other card.

    Remember, you are more likely to win a gin rummy game if you:
    • Try to score and knock as quickly as possible
    • Anticipate your opponent's "baits" - especially with the first couple of discards
    • Try not to jeopardize a good hand by speculating
    • Towards the end of the game, either play the score or try to keep under and prevent your opponent from winning the game with that hand

    More Notes on Strategy

    In on line gin rummy you observe what cards your opponent is discarding and which of your discarded cards he is drawing. All discarded cards have to be also memorized. Based on the above and own hand cards, an inference is made as to the structure of opponent’s hand on the assumption that opponent is trying to make melds as best as he can.

    It is unadvisable to go all out for gin hand online. The bonus of 25 is not sufficient to compensate for the times when you should have knocked.

    Typical game ends at half-deck to 2/3rds of deck, so knockers should not hesitate to knock earlier than half-deck point.

    It is generally better to draw a deck card than an upcard because less of your hand will be known to your online opponent. Also, if you take upcard -–you are taking cards of no use to your online opponent, but drawing from deck you may be preventing him from going for a gin hand.

    The best game exception to the above rule is when you need the upcard to convert 2 matching cards into a meld of 3 or more thus eliminating 3 pieces of deadwood including the upcard. It is especially good if it enables you to knock immediately.

    When you suspect an imminent knocking from your online opponent (far into the deck > 2/3) it may be worth taking a low upcard and throw any high-value deadwood.

    It is good to retain high-ranking pairs and 2-card sequences acquired early in the online game in the hope that opponent will discard a matching 3-d. Thus, 3 high-ranking pieces can be potentially eliminated. Conversely, it is a good idea to delay discarding high-ranking non-paired unmatched deadwood until later in the online game to prevent the opponent from creating high-ranking melds.

    In arranging your melds after knocking, try to attach a card to a set of 4 rather than a sequence if it could equally well go with either. This way, you prevent your online opponent from laying off his deadwood to your sequence.

    Before reaching half-deck, you can retain the high-value potential unmelded combinations (such as Ten plus Queen of Hearts waiting/hoping for in-the-middle Jack of Hearts). However, after reaching half-deck with unfulfilled hopes, it is advisable to discard these cards. Still you have to be careful discarding high value cards after half-deck point. You do not want to give your online opponent higher chances to form melds and knock in the game.

    • If there are unmatched high-value cards in the beginning (with low probability to create melds), it’s not good to discard them before reaching half-deck because they may be of value to your online opponent. For example, discarding a Queen (10 points) if opponent takes it will potentially organize your online opponent’s meld of 3 Queens – 30 points with 20 points difference. So such high unmatched cards should be retained before half-deck as ‘stoppers’ – to stop opponent. If, however, opponent starts discarding cards that would have potentially created melds with your unmatched high-value cards, it may be safe to discard such high unmatched cards before half-deck – not in the very beginning. Continuing the example with one unmatched Queen of Hearts at the beginning of the game…if we see that the opponent discards one of his Queens, it may be safe to discard ours in the beginning. There may be a danger in such discarding, however, for example if opponent discarded the Queen of Spades, and we assume that we can safely discard our lonely Queen of Hearts because he cannot get 3 or more Queens, he may be able to take our Queen of Hearts to use in a meld with King of Hearts & Jack of Hearts – same 30 points gain.

    • Early in the game it is advisable to discard a card ranking one or two away (better one away) and in a different suit to the one previously discarded by opponent. Example: opponent discards 9 of Clubs. It is best to discard one of {10 of Diamonds, 8 or 10 of Hearts, 8 or 10 of Spades, etc.}. If no such card is held, next best bet is to discard a card of rank equal to one discarded by opponent

    • Seven is usually the most valuable card in the deck as far as its ability to form melds – it can extend melds better than any other card. Therefore, one should be careful discarding it too early in the online game since it can help the opponent

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