Gin Rummy Hands

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  • Play Gin Rummy Better -- What are Good and Bad Gin Rummy Hands

    Discussion below proceeds with the assumption that a player selected a purely offensive gin-rummy playing strategy concentrating on maximizing own hand chances instead of minimizing opponent's chances to win this hand.
    In other words, a gin rummy player who elected offensive play tries to build own hand so as to knock or gin as soon as possible during the minimal number of pick-up/discard steps keeping all melded combinations and discarding unmelded cards.

    Purely offensive Gin Rummy play presumes that there's no analysis of opponent's hand or opponent's pick-ups or discards.
    From the standpoint of offensive strategy, there are poor card combinations and good card combinations. A table below shows typical gin rummy card combinations arranged from poor to good as far as maximizing their melding opportunities.

    K Q King and Queen combination of any suit is a poor combination because you'll have only 1 card (Jack) to meld it. To make it worse, this combination gives a whopping 20 points in deadwood.
    10 Q Another poor one-suit combination with the 'hole' in the middle. Also you'll have only 1 card (Jack) to meld it and unmelded it still brings 20 points in deadwood.
    6 8 These 2 central cards give a slightly better combination and carry less deadwood (15 points)
    A 3 Although there's a similar hole in this 2-card combination, it's better because there's very little deadwood that it carries (4 points)
    Q Q
    7 8
    Better 2-card combinations as there are not just one but two cards in the deck these combinations can get melded with.
    3 5 7 Although this 3-card combination has 2 holes in it, there are two possibilities of melding it
    6 8 8 this 3-card combination allows three possibilities for melding
    10 J J this no-holes 'triangular' 3-card combination allows 4 possibilities for melding
    5 6
    5 6
    this 4-card 'rectangular' combination allows 8 (!) possibilities for melding

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