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Protection Against Cheating on the Score

The most obvious protection against incorrect score keeping is for each team to have their own scorekeeper, or failing this, to have the opposing team double check all of the scoring, not only at the completion of the game, but at the end of each hand. In gin rummy, it must be remembered that the scorekeeper, even though a member of a playing team, has no obligation whatsoever as to the accuracy of the information that he gives regarding counts. For instance, if his opponent were to ask during the play of a hand what his safe count is and the scorekeeper replies 14 and the player later brings his down to 13 points and after losing his hand by that count finds that the scorekeeper gave him the wrong count, it is no ones responsibility but his own. The scorekeeper is not responsible for this misinformation. A dishonest scorekeeper could deliberately misinform his opponent for the purpose of keeping him over the count. The only protection against this is to ask for the scores yourself and verify your own count.

This is true even in a six-handed partnership game. If, when after two of the players complete their hands and the third partner asks for his count to protect the score already won by his partners he is misinformed by the scorekeeper, the responsibility is his own. Along these same lines, another trick a dishonest scorekeeper may use is to furnish unwarranted advice to his own partner by misinformation as to a count. For example, the scorekeeper’s partner has nine melded and must choose between two discards, such as a 10 or a 5. The scorekeeper is aware that his partner has a safe count of seven, but he has a particular reason for wanting his partner to discard only the 5. To accomplish his purpose, he may deliberately tell him that he has a safe count of eleven in order to induce him to hold the 10 in his hand rather than discard it.

Obviously examples such as the ones described are used only at the most opportune times, primarily when schneids are involved. If any of these stunts were done on more than one or two occasions during a gin session, the dishonesty of the scorekeeper would be quite evident. However, a single occurrence of any score keeping “error” could still prove very costly.

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