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Gin Rummy Strategy


May 01, 2016


Choosing which cards to hold or discard in Gin Rummy usually will determine whether or not you end the game with a smile on your face and more money in your pocket. Here is my system for which cards I keep and how I set up my hands. Unless I am dealt 2 Kings or 2 Queens or 2 Jacks then I discard them as soon as possible. I do not try to make a suit with Kings, if I am only dealt one King. I consider chasing 2 high cards to complete runs or suits is a bad habit. Chasing 1 card is fine but 2 will more often than not leave you with a lot of deadwood for when your opponent knocks. I will hold on to a Jack and Queen of the same suit in hopes to get the 10 or the King. I never hold on to the Queen and King of the same suit hoping to get the Jack. In this case you are holding 20 deadwood points hoping for 1 card, the Jack. More often then not you will make your opponent very happy for trying such a move. The optimum situations for trying to complete runs in Gin Rummy are to have both ends open. For example, hold a 5 and 6 of Spades and try to get the 4 or 7 of Spades. My favorite situation to have is the open ended Trio. Here is an example of the open ended Trio, the 5 and 6 of the same suit and another 5 or 6. The open ended Trio gives you a chance to get 4 cards to complete your run or suit. For example, if you have the 5 and 6 of Spades and the 5 of Clubs, then to complete your suit or run you need the 4 or 7 of Spades or one of the other 5s. A Gin Rummy hand consists of 13 cards. So if you have 3 or 4 Trios in your hand the odds are in your favor to complete your runs or suits before your opponent, unless they are sneaky enough to be trying the same system. I do not recommend holding on to a Trio of Kings and Queens for they are not open ended and a lot of deadwood points. A Trio of Aces and 2s are not open ended on both sides but they are low risk because they do not add up to many deadwood points, just 4 or 5 points compared to 30. As you begin to complete your runs and suits you will have to break up some of your trios. I recommend breaking up the highest cards first, to keep your deadwood points as low as possible. Learn these Gin Rummy tips and you will WIN more often than not!

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