A two-player card game, using a standard deck of 52 cards.

The cards, in each suit, rank from highest to lowest: K,Q,J,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,A.

Setup: Deal 10 cards face-down on the table, to each player. Place the next card face-up to form the discard pile. The remaining cards are placed face-down to form the draw pile. Each round’s winner deals the next round.


1.    Each player sorts his cards into two types of “melds”, Sets or Runs:

  • Sets = three or four cards of the same rank (7-7-7)
  • Runs = three or more cards of consecutive rank in the same suit (5-6-7)
    *Aces are low and cannot be in a run with a King. A player can have Ace-2-3, but not Queen-King-Ace. 

2.    The non-dealing player can decide whether to pick up the displayed card in the discard pile or to pass. If the player passes, the other player can choose to pick the card that’s facing up. If both players choose to pass, the non-dealer picks a card from the top of the card pile.

3.   The player assesses whether the new card can help form any melds. 
It’s recommended to always keep a lookout for cards with the same numerical value, or if it can help create a run.

4.    Afterwards, the player discards a card less needed from his/her hand and places it face-up in the discard pile. At the end of every turn, each player should still have 10 cards. 

5.    The goal is to reduce the deadwood of the hand by forming melds. When the deadwood of the hand is under the threshold (10 points in classic Gin-Rummy), the active player can knock.

6.    The round ends when a player knocks or when the draw pile is empty. If a player takes the last card in the draw pile and no player has knocked, then the round ends in a draw. No points are awarded to either player.


Deadwood = Cards in a player's hand which are not part of a meld.

  • Aces are worth 1 point.
  • Jacks, Queens, and Kings are worth 10 points.
  • All the rest (2-10) are equal to their face value.
  • Melds are worth 0 deadwood.


Players can end a round by knocking under one of the following circumstances:

  • Gin: A hand where all 10 cards are part of melds (0 deadwood) is “Gin.” Reaching Gin earns players 25 bonus points in addition to all of his/her opponent’s deadwood points.

  • Deadwood = Cards in a player’s hand which are not part of a meld.

  • Knocking with a hand of 10 or less deadwood: A player can knock if the total

    deadwood they have amounts to a total of 10 or less. (Keep in mind that Jacks, Queens, and Kings are 10 points each). 

Following knocking, both players expose their melds by laying down all cards face-up, dividing them into melds & deadwood on the table.

 Lay Off:

Once a player knocks, the round is over and the opponent lays off his/her cards onto the table. 

The opponent may add any of his/her deadwood to any of the knocking player’s melds.

For example, if the knocking player has three 6’s, and the opponent has a 6, then the opponent can add it to the meld placed on the table. On a run of 5-6-7 the opponent can Lay off a 4 and/or an 8 and/or 4-3 and/or 8-9 of the same suit. The knocking player cannot lay off. No cards are laid off if Gin is reached.


  • Melds that have been formed do not contribute any points to the scoring
  • Each player’s deadwood points are added up and subtracted from the other player to find the difference. For example, after laying off, the opponent might have two Jacks left, totaling 20 points. If the knocking player has two 3’s, this player has knocked with 6 points. The difference between the two is 14, giving the player who knocked 14 points.
  • If a player reaches Gin, no subtraction is necessary. The winner wins all opponent’s deadwood points plus a 25-point bonus.
  • Undercut: An undercut occurs when a player knocks and the opponent has the same or fewer deadwood points than the knocking player. In such a case, the opponent is awarded the difference between the deadwood points plus a 25-point undercut bonus

    The game continues until at least one of the players reaches the predefined winning score. The player with the most points is the winner & wins the pot!