The standard rules of Gin Rummy are rather strict when it comes to tournament or competitive play. Included below are the very basic rules and what is required to play the game of Gin Rummy. Before starting a game you should have everything ready so you can get right into the game.
Gin is strictly a two handed game when played by the standard rules. Three players may play in the same game, but usually one sits out while the other two play, and they play the winner. If you have four or more players in an even number then you play what is called a partnership game. The most players you should have would be 8, but at that point, it might make more sense to have two games going at the same time.
You use a standard pack of 52 playing cards. The cards rank downward from King to Ace. Ace is never high, only low. For example, if you have a run it can start at 10 and end at the King, it should not go 10, J, Q, K, A. The ace only works for an A, 2, 3 etc. There is no difference in the rank of the four suits, and no suit is scored higher or lower than another. A second standard pack of 52 playing cards are used for what is known as the knock deck. These cards should be a different color or design then the pack of cards you actually play with so that there is no confusion. The second pack of cards is not used during the actual play of a hand.
The other requirements are very basic. You need a pencil or pen as well as a pad of paper to keep score. Many people choose to use a two-sectional box of either wood or plastic to hold the part of the deck that remains unused, as well as the cards you discard. Most people when playing for fun merely put the stack that you pick from in the middle, and place the cards you are discarding on the side of the stack. It is up to your individual preference as which to use.
After you deal the cards, you turn the first card over and place it in the discard pile or rack so that everyone can see it. All subsequent cards, whether picked from the remainder of the deck or from the opponent’s discards are taken from this rack. It should be placed in a way that when the discard card is placed face up in the box it should be the only card that is showing. In other words, no one should have any opportunity to see even a sliver of the cards underneath it.