Gin Rummy may be played by two or more people, but never more than eight. If you have more than 8 people it is suggested that you open up another table for playing, as it may get too confusing to have so many people in one game.
When two people play the game of Gin it is referred to as single or head-to-head play. When three people play it is referred to as captain’s play. When four or more people play it is called a partnership game.
In partnership games, the playing of the individual hands is the same as in head-to-head. The only difference is in the play itself. When singles play, the hand ends when one of the players knocks, goes gin, or when the play goes to the wall. If you are playing partners you play your individual hand against the opponent and your partner plays a hand against his opponent. If you finish first then you wait for your partner, and the same if he finishes first, he waits for you. If you both win your hand, then the sum total of both your hands are added to your points. If one of you wins and the other one loses, the winning difference is credited to you or your opponents depending on whoever has more points.
For example – If you win your hand and are due to be credited 30 points from your win, but your partner losses with 29 points then you have still won the hand with 1 point. The same can be said if you lose 30 points and your partner wins with 31 or more points, then you have also won your hand. If at any time you lose more than your partner has won or your partner loses more than you have won, then you lose the hand. Whereas in singles you are solely responsible for your hand, in a partnership game your team can win the hand even if you individually lose yours.
If by chance one of your hands goes to the wall, only the other hand is counted. If you call Gin and are due to get a bonus, and your partner wins without a bonus then you are the only one to get credit for it.
A game with 4 people playing partners ends at 300 points, but if you have a 6-handed game then it ends at 350 or more points. Partners sit next to one another and keep the same opponents throughout the game, except that the players on the side that loses a hand may change seats if they feel like they want to. A player may advise his partner of his rights during the game, but they may not discuss specific cards or hands. They can only speak of the hand after the opponent has knocked and then it should only be to discuss:
• The wrong count
• An illegal knock
• The best way to match his cards for melding purposes and count reduction
• The best way to lay off the cards