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Partnership Play – The Value of Bonus Boxes

If there is anything that is extremely imperative in the game of gin rummy, it is to realize the value of bonus boxes, which can often exceed the point value of a score. This is especially true in partnership play with its roodles. A roodle is when all partner’s win in one hand of the game.

For instance, the roodles of a six-handed game, with an average of 75% of the hands being played for double, are very valuable and must be protected or broken up as the occasion demands. That is, when all three players have won their hands in a double value game, the roodles alone are six boxes. With each box valued at 25 points, this is a bonus of 150 points for the team. Should two of the partners gin their hands and the third wins on a knock, the winning team will score 14 extra boxes. Together with the boxes that will be counted for the actual score, plus the score itself, which for example in this hand would be 140 points, the actual score won is 515 points. That is 375 points for the 15 boxes plus the 140 points. If this score were to be received in all three columns, it would equal 2060 points since the last column is double. Of course, if a triple schneid were involved, this score would soar to 4120 points.

In this same example, if one of the three partners hand lost his hand after his first two partners had ginned, they would still receive eight extra boxes for the two gins. Together with the box for the score, which would total nine boxes or 225 points plus for example 90 points, their winning score would be a total of 315 points. If this is carried out to all three columns, the value would be 1260 plus the difference for the schneids, etc. Therefore, the dramatic difference in the points scored by the loss of only one of the three hands on a knock is quite noticeable.

Therefore, the protection of the roodles and the score involved by the winning of all three hands is essential when partner number one has won his hand. The breaking up of the roodles is equally essential when the first partner has lost his hand. In view of this, the basic fact has been established that whether or not the first partner has won or lost his hand, the second partner must knock his hand as quickly as possible for the protection or breaking up of the roodles plus the additional fact involved in protecting the count. The third player, except for very rare exceptions, must disregard the gin potential of his hand if his hand can be knocked and won and guarantee the roodles for his side or the breaking up of the roodles for the other side.

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