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Rhythm of Play

The average gin player has a very specific rhythm when playing his hand, although they may not notice that they have one. If it is not obvious to them, then it is best for you to take advantage of it, and quickly. The rhythm consists of two major factors:

1. The time involved in picking his cards from the deck and in making discards – A player will generally allow a certain amount of time to elapse between his first seven or eight picks, as well as the discards. During the next seven or eight plays the time span is a bit longer. This decision time usually becomes longer as a player gets closer to the bottom of the deck or the end of the game. These time changes are a clue to an expert opponent. He can then determine whether or not a certain pick has been extremely beneficial to the player, or whether it has created potential problems for the player. This is the type of information a gin player should avoid giving, but loves to get. The expert player can then deduct by using card memory how it has helped or hindered an opponent, and therefore the opponent can often guess what cards the player has, just from how long he takes to discard.

2. The sequence in which an average player makes a discard – Some players will automatically throw their highest unrelated cards first, then follow with the second highest, and proceed on down the line. Some players will throw their lowest unrelated cards first, and then throw progressively higher cards. Some players will throw only matched cards, such as pairs, etc. Patterns like these give very specific information to the player’s opponent. A player who discards from the top down such as K, Q, and then a 10 shows his opponent that he is either accumulating jacks, or has no jack at all. As the game develops an astute player can easily figure this out by watching what cards they eventually pick up. It is more the point that the player then has very specific information on the player, and will know how to handle the situation.

Any pattern or rhythm that has developed in a game can be recognized by an expert player, and it can become a significant detriment to his play, as it only serves to provide more information. The difference between an expert and an average player is the fact that an expert recognizes that by playing a very particular pattern will eventually cause him to lose consistently. That is why an expert always mixes up his patterns and never plays the same during any given game, or against any particular player. It will only take the first 3 or 4 hands to figure out a pattern which will give the other play a very large advantage.

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