The total score and count of each hand is extremely important obviously, but the score and count is equally as important in an incomplete game as well. This means that you are looking at the status or potential score or count.
Gin Rummy, like any other game that you use for gambling, is based on the mathematical laws that govern the probability and odds in each game. Simply put, there are going to be hands in which the odds are in favor of you, as well as hands in which the odds are against you. Only you can figure out which one it is however, and that comes with both experience and learning the intricate details of Gin Rummy. Each hand can be affected the odds as well as the condition of the score.
The simplest example of this is when you have already scored on two games and your opponent hasn’t scored on any games. Thus, when the third hand is being played, you will have scored in all three columns. Obviously the odds are in your favor, because your opponent will only be able to score in only one column. If the situation was reversed then of course the odds would be heavily against you which would mean you would change your style of play. This is where expert play comes into play.
You play your hand according to the odds. If the game progresses and either of the two players are fairly close to winning the game, the condition of the score becomes even more important. The score in itself at any given point is the primary determining factor in deciding whether or not to play a hand in either an offensive or defensive manor. Once you learn how to do this, the odds are more in your favor that even when behind you can come back to win the hand and even the game.
For example, if you are in a situation where you know that a hand must be played for gin and your opponent is sitting with a five-way gin hand and you only have two ways, the odds would appear to be stacked against you. As a 2 ½ to 1 favorite against you, it would look to be that you have no hope. However, there are certain situations in which you could have an 8 to 1 advantage over your opponent in which you could obtain by going gin if you have your opponent on a schneid. This is an extreme example since it doesn’t happen in the game of Gin Rummy but every once in a while, but it can happen. It simply means that all factors must be considered in determining the true percentages that are required to make the proper decision at any given moment.