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Glossary of Gin Rummy Terms

This is short glossary of terms in everyone’s favourite card game, Gin Rummy. Note to our Latvian readers: after Rummy, most popular card game is Blackjack. Detailed instructions of Blackjack and other casino table games are on

Add-on – A card knowingly and deliberately discarded to an opponent who needs it to add to an existing meld. The term Add-on is also used in poker which means to buy more chips before you have busted.

Boxes –
 Extra awards of 25 points each, given for a knock, gin, gin-off, or roodles

Bonus Box –
 The added score for winning a hand (box), usually worth 25 points.

Captain – One player playing against two who alternate in their play against him, or two players playing against three, or three playing against four.

Combination – Two cards of the same rank or consecutive in the same suit.

Count – The point value in any given hand after deducting the total melded cards.

Cut – After the shuffle, to separate the deck into packets and change their order.

Deal – To distribute cards to the players.

Discard – After picking, to reduce the hand to ten cards by placing one card face up on the top of the discard pile.

Discard Pile –The pile in the playing box next to the stock into which each player in turn places his discards

Face Card – Any King, Queen, or Jack. Same as the picture card.

Foreign Card – A card not belonging to the deck in use.

Game – The succession of hands ending when one of the players or sides has scored the required number of points in any or all of the three columns.

Gin – 10 melded cards.

Gin-Off – When a knocker’s opponent lays off all of his unmelded cards on the knocker’s hand.

Going To The Wall To play a hand to a tie. Same as stand-off or no game.

Hand The cards dealt to a player; the cards he holds at any stage; a dealing ending with a knock or gin.

Illegal Hand Any hand which, after discarding, contains more or less than 10 cards.

Knock To announce that play of the hand is terminated immediately before going down.

Knocking count – The maximum unmelded count with which a player may knock. Same as knocking point or knocking card.

Lay-Off – After a knock, to match cards from the non-knocker’s hand against any of the knocker’s sets. There is no laying off when a player has gone gin.

Meld – Three or more cards either of the same rank or in a sequence of the same suit. Same as lay, matched set, and run.

No Brainer – A hand that can be knocked or gin on the deal or after one or two plays.

Partnership Safe Count – The point value that can be retained in a hand to guarantee a winning score for the partnership.

Redeal – Another deal by the same player after one which was nullified; to prefer the task of redealing.

Reducer – Any low card picked to reduce the count value in a hand.

Safe Card – A card which, because of your holding and the cards used in previous plays, is on that your opponent is most unlikely to use when discarded.

Safe Count – The point value that can be retained in a hand to prevent any possibility of an opponent winning a game.

Salesman – A card discarded tactfully to lure a wanted card from an opponent.

Schneid – To win a game in which the loser scores no points, resulting in a double score value.

Sequence – Three or more cards of the same suit in consecutive order.

Shuffle – To randomize the cards before cutting and dealing.

Speculate – To pick an opponent’s discard which produces a combination rather than a meld. Same as a stiff.

Stock – The unused portion of the deck remaining in the playing box.

Underknock – Trying or having a lower total than the count of the opponent who has knocked.

Unrelated Card – Any card not a specific part of a meld. Same as unmatched.

Wild Card – A card which is not protected from an opponent’s use by any other cards in one’s hand or by any previously played cards. Wild Cards are used in various card games; in Five-Card Draw Poker the Wild Card is traditionally a joker but there are no Wild Cards used in Texas Hold em Poker.

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