• Angela Cumming

How to Play Gin

Gin is one of those games that I've known for as long as I can remember. My family was a big believer of card games and this is another one of the games I grew up with (no wonder I play so many games now!). It's a great 2 player game but it can also be played with more people making it a great game to have in your back pocket.

Number of Players:

2 or more


-one deck of playing cards, Jokers removed

Objective of the Game:

The aim of the game is to be the first player to lay down all your cards by matching them up in groups of 3 or more. Groups can be runs of the same suit or cards of the same number.


Deal 10 cards, face down, to each player. The remaining cards are placed in the center of the table as the draw pile. Flip the top card up beside the pile. This is the discard pile. Players pick up their hands and sort them as they wish. Sorting from low to high is my go-to strategy.

Aces can be played as a high card OR a low card, but not both. This is dependent on each person and each grouping of cards.


The player to the left of the dealer goes first. They can take the top card from the discard pile or pull from the draw pile and add the card to their hand. One card must be discarded at the end of their turn so 10 cards remain in their hand. Discard whichever card you'd like - ideally one that doesn't go along with any others!

Play continues in a clockwise fashion as players continue to draw and discard. The aim is to choose cards that belong in groups together. Remember that you can collect a mix of runs or multiples, but each group must contain at least 3 cards.

Aces can be low or high, but not both. For example, you can have a run of Ace-2-3 or of Queen-King-Ace, but you can't link high and low so 2-Ace-King is NOT allowed.

Keep your hand secret from the other players until all your cards match up in groups.

Winning:The winner is the first player to lay down all their cards in groupings. They can only do this on their turn. Remember, you must still discard so you can only lay down 10 cards and they all have to belong somewhere!


-Pay attention to what the other players are picking up and laying down so you don't discard the perfect cards for them and you're not waiting on cards that have already passed.

-Keep the cards in your hand flexible. That 9 of clubs could be good for a run or 3-of-a-kind!

Did you try Gin? Did you like it? Let me know in the comments!


© 2020 by Cambio & Co. Created by Angela Cumming. 

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