How To: Play straight gin

Play straight gin

Learn how to play straight gin. Grab a friend, pull out a deck of cards, and get comfortable. Straight Gin is easy to learn.

You Will Need

* A deck of cards
* Two players
* A table and chairs
* And pens and paper

Step 1. Draw for dealer

Remove the jokers and shuffle the deck. Each player draws a card, and then shuffles it back into the deck. Whoever draws the highest card deals the first hand. Deal 10 cards each, alternating between players.

In Gin, aces always have a 1-point value. Face cards are worth 10 points, and number cards have the value of their number.

Step 2. Make piles

Place the remaining cards facedown in a stack, creating the "stock." Pick up the top card and place it faceup next to the stock. This is the discard pile.

Step 3. Understand the goal

The object of the game is to score the highest number of points by laying all of your cards on the table before your opponent does. To do this, collect in your hand "melds" of three or more suited, sequential cards, like the 8, 9, and 10 of hearts, or three or more cards of the same rank, like three 7s or three jacks.

Step 4. Take a card

The player who didn't deal goes first by taking either the top card from the discard pile or the top card from the stock, so they momentarily have 11 cards in their hand. Then, they discard an unwanted card, placing it faceup on the discard pile.

Step 5. Alternate turns

Continue the game with the players taking turns, each drawing and discarding.

Step 6. Gin!

The first player to have enough melds puts them all faceup on the table, discards the final card in the discard pile, and calls out "Gin!" Their score is the total of the cards still in their opponent's hand, plus a 20-point bonus.

Step 7. Game continues

Continue the game, alternating dealing, until one player reaches 100 points, or any score both players agree to.

FACT: Chinese immigrants may have introduced Gin to the U.S. in the 19th cent

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