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Luck and Skill

Like all other card games, Gin Rummy consists of various elements of luck, as well as skill. However, this is a far greater element of skill in Gin than in any other popular card game played today. What used to be thought of as just a game to play on a Friday night with family and friends has turned into a very competitive and skilled game that takes possibly years to master.

Decisions are required on the play of almost every card, and these decisions may be altered by every play as well as the condition of the score at any given time. This means that you have to be on the top of your game with every hand you play. When playing a friendly game of gin, the game is based mostly on luck, but when playing for money, it is essentially a whole new game. It is then played in a very scientific manner so that the element of luck is essentially eliminated and the skill is the determining factor.

Every card player will of course run into a streak of what could be considered exceptionally good or bad luck. Some of these streaks may only last for one game session, while others have been seen to last for months. The difference between an ordinary player and an expert is that in the course of a good run of luck, the expert will get the maximum out of their cards and his losses will be kept to a minimum during an extraordinary run of bad luck. The expert card player will always take full advantage of these streaks as it becomes obvious in a short period of time which runs of luck he is on.

In gin when you are running on an exceptionally good streak you can throw the wildest cards and the ones that are most obviously needed by your opponent and he will never pick them. You may also find that when you have a 6, 8, and 9 and you know your opponent has melded 3 seven’s, you will not surprisingly pick the 4th seven out of the deck. The same can be said if you are on a bad streak, you can throw out the safest possible card and you will see your opponent pick it up to go gin. It does work both ways, but if you are an expert player you will know how to manage both your luck and skill during even the best or worst part of luck.

Luck will overcome skill sometimes during the game but in the long run, the elements of luck are equalized according to the laws of probability, meaning skill will most often win out. Therefore, you should not rely on luck alone. Studying the game of gin rummy, and becoming the best player you can, will surely lead you to a longer profession in this game rather than just being the person who gets lucky.

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