One of the most relaxing card games of them all is gin rummy. It’s also one of the most fun, the most kid-friendly, the easiest to get into and is a great game for the whole family. It’s also a game that can be played for money but unlike famous games like poker or blackjack, it’s more by winning a tournament and is not considered gambling in places where gambling is illegal; most famously in India.
So, what is it about rummy, in general, and gin rummy in particular that makes it so popular?
First a bit of background. Rummy was originally created in either China or Mexico and is played between two to eight players, whereby the objectives of each is to make melds. Melds are sets of cards made either out of a sequence of at least three cards of the same suite, such as 9, 10, Jack and Queen of Spades, or of matching numbers of different suites, such as three 10s of Spades, Diamonds, and Hearts. Rummy is available in different variants and there is even a board game version called Rummikub.
Gin rummy is arguably the most famous and most widely played rummy variant – excluding, perhaps, Rummikub – and the main thing that separates it from other versions of rummy, especially classic rummy, is that players keep their melds in their hands until they’re ready to finish the round by playing all their melds in a single blitz.
As for what makes gin rummy such a hit, here are five things about it that really stand out:
- It’s super easy to learn. All it takes to understand the game mechanics of gin rummy is to watch a single round of play. The rules are that obvious.
- It’s very snappy. Rummy is not a game that takes tons of time or moves at a glacial pace. Rounds are generally pretty short and the gameplay is quick.
- It’s really cheap. All you need is a conventional card deck and you’re all set to go.
- It’s easy to set up. You can play rummy with a whole bunch of other people, but it works just as well playing against a single other person.
- It’s super satisfying to hit other players with all your melds in one shot to win the game, even if gin rummy doesn’t give the players a chance to play with the melds of others as other forms of rummy do.
So pick up a pack of cards, a family member or friend and kick back with a game of gin rummy.