Gin Rummy was created by Elwood Baker, a bridge instructor in New York City, back in the early 1900’s. The Gin Rummy game evolved from a game called “Whiskey Poker” in the 18th century. Sometimes it is simply referred to as “Gin.” It was given this name primarily because this particular game was typically played with the goal of obtaining refreshments, mainly alcoholic beverages.
The game caught on very quickly. During the 1930’s and 40’s, Hollywood celebs made Gin Rummy a favorite by playing the game frequently on the shooting set.
Here is a description of how Gin is played: Although up to four individuals can participate in different game versions, this game is generally played with two. The Aces in the deck carry the lowest value. So the card order, as an example, is Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, and so forth. Unlike some card games, Gin Rummy does not have any wild cards. The deal of the cards can alternate among players in between games.
The one who is in charge of dealing the cards deals each participant ten cards. After each person is dealt their cards, the next card is turned facing up and placed on the table in order to indicate the discard pile. The remaining cards are placed in a stack adjacent to the discard pile. This then serves as a draw or stock pile.
The game goal is to use the cards in the hand to create sets and/or runs; the goal is to use as many of the cards as possible. A set is formed by grouping together three or four cards of different suits but in the same class, as in 3-Jacks or 4-8’s. A run, however, is not the same; it consists of cards in sequential order but in the same suit (the 5, 6, 7, and 8 of Spades for instance).
Two important elements of the game of Gin Rummy are discarding and drawing. stock or discard pile to add to their hand of ten. After selecting which card to take, the player must study their hand in order to see which card is least beneficial to their hand. When a decision is made, the player will place the card in the discard pile. The least needed card in the player’s hand will go in the throw away pile, facing up.
The game comes to an end once one player has grouped the remaining cards in to piles (sets or runs) and places them all down on the table for the opponent to see followed by the player getting rid of their remaining cards, a signal of a win. Unmatched cards in the hand are referred to as “deadwood.” A player can “knock” only when they have fewer than 10 points of deadwood in their hand..