One of the things that makes gin rummy the most interesting card game of all is the fact that there is no such thing as normal play of any given hand. Every gin player is an individual. Every one of us has his or her own pattern, his own way of living, and this is generally followed in his play of a given gin hand. There is never going to be two gin players who play identical hands in an identical manner.
At a time of decision, if you had the opportunity to stop and ask a half dozen players what particular play they would make at this point, you would undoubtedly get a half dozen different answers. This is really what separates the beginner, the average good player, and the expert from one another. Each one will come to a different decision, and each one will have probably good sound reasons for his or her play. Basically though, only one of these reasons is correct. The player who has the ability to take all the various determining factors into consideration and make the one proper decision at each moment of decision in a game is the expert player.
The next few articles are specific examples of gin hands under actual game conditions as played by two expert players. The card-by-card play runs from the deal to the completion of the hand. In all the hands the reasoning behind each play is given. Do not think that you have to spend too much time analyzing in full each play that you will make in every hand. Most of the points covered in these analyses will come to you automatically as your game develops, and you become more experienced.
Within a reasonable period of time, each of these basic factors will be so thoroughly imbedded in your mind that you will require on a second or two to decide your play. At crucial points however, do not hesitate to take as much time as you need to fully analyze the pertinent facts and reach the right decision. There are no premiums for impulsiveness. Consider that the complete analyses given here are in a reality a slow motion picture of how the expert’s mind works during play. The more factors you cover in coming to your decision, the more correct your decision is likely to be. Since there is an element of luck in gin, the correct decision in every case is not always the winning decision. However, by coming to the correct decision and making the correct play in every case, you will find yourself winning the vast majority of your hands, which is all the expert player hopes for.