How to Play: Gin Rummy

Filed under: Kids' Games, Activities: Big Kids, Activities: Tweens, Activities: Teens

Create melds in Gin Rummy. Credit: lilit, Flickr

What you need: Two players and a standard pack of playing cards.

How to play:
A dealer is chosen, and she deals 10 cards to the other player and herself. The 21st card is placed face up as the discard pile. The rest of the cards are placed in a pile faced down as the stock pile. On each turn, players must draw from either the discard or stock pile and discard one card from his or her hand into the discard pile. Game play continues until players are ready to "knock," or only two cards remain in the stock pile.

The rules: The basic strategy of the game is to improve your hand by forming melds (three or four cards sharing the same rank and runs of three or more cards in sequence of the same suit) and getting rid of "deadwood" cards (cards not in any meld). Players may "knock" if they have 10 or fewer points of "deadwood." Players must "knock" if they have no "deadwood" left in their hand; this is known as "going gin."

How to win:
Whoever has the most number of points after someone "knocks" wins. Aces are scored at one point, face cards at 10, and all other cards are scored at their numerical values.

What else you need to know: There are many variations and bonus scoring in Gin Rummy. For more information on these, check Pagat's Gin Rummy Rules.

Related: More Kids' Games

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.