Since the fact has been established that no one can win gin consistently by playing predominately defensive at all times. Granted, there are times when a player can develop a winning hand while playing a hand to the wall, but these opportunities are rare and are usually managed by only the most skillful of players. However, there are occasions in every gin rummy game where proper defensive play is necessary and of major importance. A sound knowledge of how to play defensively is as important as the need to determine when to play defensive.
The best instruction in proper defensive play can be obtained by playing the game called Gin Solitaire. Essentially is it like playing the game of gin by yourself and learning the best way to play defensively when you are not involved in a real game.
Here is an example of how to play gin solitaire:
Lay out a hand such as the following – 6♥, 5♥, 4♥, 3♥, 10♠, 9♠, 8♠, 7♠, 6♠, 10♦
Consider this to be your opponent’s hand. The rest of the deck belongs to you. Shuffle the balance of the deck and deal yourself eleven cards. The object of the game is to gin your own hand without throwing gin to your opponent’s hand. If you throw him gin then you have lost. If you take the hand to the wall, and fail to gin on your own hand by the time there are only two cards remaining in the unused deck, then you have also lost the hand. Start to play by discarding one of your 11 cards, then pick up from the deck and discard. Continue to pick and discard until the hand is ended. In gin solitaire, your opponent never picks from the deck. The only way his hand can be ginned is if you throw him gin, which obviously you will try not to do.
The purpose of this game is to teach you not only how to defend a hand but also how to win your own hand through typing up your opponent’s cards. The idea way to win is to develop three melds, each of which ties up one of your opponent’s card. If, for example, you start to develop a run of three kings or three aces, or even a 2, 3, and 4 of one of the colors that your opponent is not holding, you would break these runs at the first opportunity since they in no way use any of your opponent’s needed cards. Obviously, if you are to develop a nine-melded hand with three runs of this type you could never win the hand once you have picked tow of your opponent’s cards unless you tied them up in melds.
You can play with different hands for the opponent and obviously you will have different cards to pick in the deck, and in time you will learn the best way to defensively as well as offensively be able to gin your hand.