Temperament in gin rummy is a very important aspect of the game. Many players do not have the temperament to handle the competition of a “big” game. They may become nervous and never take full advantage of the possibilities available to them. They may tighten up their play and can’t seem to play to their full capabilities. The expert player is one that is considered to have ice water in his veins, meaning he never gets put off his game by nervousness or fear.
In money games it is very important to not get into a game that you cannot afford. This alone causes you to tighten up and play in fear of losing, rather than playing your game. A social player is one that usually plays for 1 cent a point. These are the people that don’t concentrate too heavily on the score, and plays free and easy, and usually wins. When that same person decides to take on a 20 cent per point game, he may turn into a completely different player. Since they are no longer relaxed because of the cost of the game, they play almost rigidly and simply focusing on the game at hand becomes harder for them because they are too afraid to lose.
As a basic rule, an average player tends to become more defensive in his play when the stakes increase. If they are playing in stakes that are “normal” to them, they may be aggressive and offensive, but when it is considered to be a big money game the style in which they usually play in reverses, and becomes a defensive play that is much easier to read. The average player tends not to think as clearly and therefore ruins his game, almost before it starts.
An expert player is one that has exactly the right kind of temperament. They have both patience and courage. Courage and “guts” are extremely important, especially in a higher stakes game. Whereas they may see someone who is in over their head and therefore becomes more defensive, they can in turn take the opportunity to look at the percentages in winning rather than just getting under count. They may also stay over count purposely in order to take advantage of the odds. They can withhold cards deliberately so it can hurt an opponent just in time for them to pick a card to go gin.
When playing this game in a competitive environment it is most beneficial to have a completely free mind and good physical stamina. You must be able to overlook the money that you are playing for, or even the level in which your competitors are playing. If they are expert players and you are what is considered to be an average player, you can’t let it affect your game. You can’t get tired and therefore unclear about your play, or the play of your opponent. Primary focus on the game is of the utmost importance, and a player with a great temperament for playing gin will understand this and harness it.