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Other Patterns of Play

In addition to the aggressive player and the defensive player, there are other types of players, more often known as the average players. These are the players that over time are extremely easy to beat because they rarely mix up their game. Again, mixing up your game is one of the most important parts of being an expert player.

An average pattern of play consists of following a definite plan of action when playing gin rummy. They continue to follow that pattern, regardless of how their opponents play. The average player is the one who can be counted on to throw their highest unmatched card early in the game. They invariably try to bring their count down to as low as possible, as quickly as possible, by throwing their highest cards first. They then usually follow that by throwing their next highest card, often in sequence to the first.

For example, the average player might start by throwing his King, and then following it up on the next discard with a Queen. However, if the next card they threw was a nine then it would not be out of line to still consider them the average player. It would mean in most cases that they didn’t have any other face cards, which would immediately give you a clue that they had all low cards, or have already melded the higher cards. If an average player, also known as a high-to-low player followed the king with a 3, the discard was probably made for some exceptional reason, and one that you should be aware of. In the early stage of the game, it has probably been thrown as a “salesman” card, in order for you to throw back to him a card that he needs. As you can see, it is extremely easy to pick out an average player very quickly. They are almost computerized in the way that they play, and are easy to win against.

Another pattern of players is called the “stiff pickers”. These are players who speculate frequently by picking up their opponents’ discards whether or not they improve their hand during the play. For example, a stiff picker is holding a J ♦ and a 10 ♣. You discard either the 10 ♦ or the J ♣. Either card will give the stiff picker a combination where any one of four cards would result in a meld. Against this type of player, you should occasionally discard a card that is completely tied up in your hand with the hope that your opponent will pick it for a combination. Then it immediately becomes locked in a combination that he can never fill, but for the stiff picker he will never know this, and hence you have a very distinct advantage in that hand. Having this happen 2 or 3 times in a game will most likely discourage your opponent from being a stiff picker, but up until then you have probably won enough hands to be an odds on favorite to win the game.

Your opponent’s discards and the sequence in which these discards are made will be a considerable indication to you the type of pattern they follow. This in itself is just as important as what cards you get.

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