Gin Strategy

Gin is a two-player card game that is won by creating sets and runs from your hand to reach the high score before your opponent. Another way to win is to knock, or challenge, your opponent by displaying your sets, runs and remaining cards (if you have any), the latter of which total 10 points or less. As long as your opponent does not add to the points of your remaining cards, by using their remaining cards to create sets or runs with your remaining cards, you will win. While the game of Gin is fairly simple, there are a number of strategies that can advance your skill in the game and thus make the game more challenging for yourself and those playing against you.


Many Gin strategy tips involve the discarding element of the game. After you are dealt 10 cards you and your opponent take turns drawing a card from the draw pile, made of the remaining cards, to see if it can be useful to make sets or runs with your existing cards. If the drawn card is kept, another card must be discarded. If the drawn card is of no use, it can be discarded. One strategy regarding discarding is to get rid of cards with high value that cannot be melded (put into sets or runs) first. Another strategy is to avoid picking up your opponent's discarded card unless it can be used to create a set or run with the cards in your hand. A similar tip is to avoid taking cards, whether drawn or discarded by your opponent, based on the possibility that the card will be used in a set or run. That is to say, don't take a card because you think you'll be able to make a set from it in a future draw. Rather, only take cards that are related to cards in your hand.

Sets and Runs

Another helpful tip regarding discarded cards is to remember which cards have been discarded so that you can keep this in mind when considering the cards in your hand and your potential to make sets or runs. For example, if the seven of Clubs and seven of Diamonds has already been discarded, you know that keeping the seven of Spades and seven of Hearts will be of no use to you. As well, if you are paying enough attention to the game, you may be able to keep track of your opponent's cards. This will allow you to be mindful of the cards you discard, making sure that you don't discard anything that would be useful to your opponent.

High Cards

If you decide to keep high cards rather than discarding them early, watch for high cards that your opponent will likely discard toward the end of the game and which may then be used to create sets or runs with the high cards you have held throughout the game. Finally, be mindful that your opponent will be watching you and your habits as much as you are watching him. Don't be too predictable in your discarding, for example always discarding high cards or always discarding low cards. By following these simple tips you can considerably improve your Gin game.