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Gin Rummy

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Gin Rummy is by far the most popular and widely-played Rummy variation. It’s said to have originated in early 20th century New York City, though it has since spread around the world. In addition to creating melds as in traditional Rummy, Gin Rummy adds the secondary objective of eliminating (or minimizing) so-called “Deadwood,” which are leftover cards not part of any meld at the end of the game.

Those who would like to try out a game of online Gin Rummy can do so at RummyRoyal. Players there will find practice tables to get the hang of the game as well as real-money tables, where they can put their skill to the test and win cash.



The original rules of Gin Rummy called for just two players, though modern online games allow up to four players at a single table. Each player receives ten cards “face down,” meaning they are not exposed to any of the other players. Two piles of cards are then formed in the center of the table, one face up and the other face down. The face up pile is referred to as the discard pile; the face down pile is the stock pile.

The game begins when the first player draws a card from either the discard or stock pile and adds it to their hand. They then signal the end of their turn by choosing one card (possibly the same card they drew at the start of the hand, though not necessarily) to discard by placing it face up on the discard pile.

During their turn, a player may also form a meld and place it on the table. Melds are formed as in other Rummy variations by creating runs or sets. Runs are three or more cards in a sequence of the same suit; sets are three or four cards of the same rank or face value, regardless of suit.

Determining the Winner

A game of Gin Rummy is won by the player who finishes with the least amount of deadwood. The game is ended by one of three actions:

  • Gin – A player forms melds with all of his or her cards and places a final card in the “Knock” area. The other player’s deadwood cards are then counted to calculate the number of penalty points awarded to them.
  • Knock – One player creates melds with nearly all of their cards and signals the end of the game by placing a card in the “Knock” area. In order to do this, the player may not have an overall deadwood count of more than ten points.
  • RummyRoyal

    In the event that a player ended the game with remaining deadwood, the other players are given the opportunity to add their leftover cards to the “knocker’s” melds. If one of these players is able to get rid of enough of their cards so that their deadwood count is lower than that of the “knocker’s,” that player is declared the winner by “undercut.” The “knocker” receives a penalty of 25 points plus their deadwood value.


For most cards, deadwood values are determined by the card’s face value. Aces are counted low, at just one point. Face cards count as ten points each.


Players at real-money online Gin Rummy tables like at RummyRoyal pay a buy-in set for that table in order to take a seat. Payout structures vary but typically the winner is awarded 75% of the total prize pool for their table.


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