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Learn to play better gin rummy - interactively
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Learn to play better gin rummy - interactively
Posted by webmaster (moderator) 23 Aug 2009 1:51pm

At GameColony you can now review your own past gin rummy games with all hands open and be able to see / reproduce the games move-by-move (using the new gin viewer ).

We thought it would be instructive to look at real-life gin games played at GameColony and see 'the good, the bad and the ugly' in players' strategies and tactics.
We deliberately changed the players' real nicknames and avatars for privacy reasons to: Player1 and Player2.

Player1 lost the 150 pt Oklahoma game below to Player2 in a lopsided fashion: 162-0.

Gin Viewer makes it easy to look at the games dispassionately without being affected by the heat-of-the-moment blood rush.
As we look at the game below we'll try to figure out if there were any missed opportunities and/or clear blunders made in the game.
You can either look at the picture and follow the discussion of the 1st hand below or click on the picture, thereby activating the interactive Gin Game Viewer and using the VCR-like buttons to play out the hand(s) move-by-move.

For the 1st hand (that Player1 lost 0-43) you can see Player1 hand on top and Player2 hand at the bottom.
The Upcard for this 1st hand was: A which in Oklahoma means Gin-only game.
The table to the right of the card table shows for each player every 'Take' and 'Discard' they made. Although the players made just 8 picks and discards for this gin-only hand, you'd see that Player1 really helped Player2 to achieve gin relatively early.

When players play real games they absolutely cannot see each others' hands. When using Gin Viewer to review the game, however, we see all of the cards open and thus have the advantage of the hindsight.
The highlighted move - Player1 takes the upcard (A) and discards Q.
The above move indicated that Player1 (who really did not need A to make own melds) had elected picking the Ace and discarding Q with the simplistic deadwood count minimization strategy in mind. (By the way, experienced gin players have a more colorful name for this strategy: bottom-fishing!)
Such strategy, although at times valuable, can ultimately assure losing hands with fewer points as opposed to winning more points.
In gin-only games discarding a King or an Ace at the start is statistically safer and picking an unmatched Ace makes little sense.
Discarding a high-value card other than King (e.g, Queen in this instance) at the very start is statistically a bad idea.

You can see that Player2 happily took the Queen offering (reducing his deadwood by a whopping 20 points!) and discarded 4.

The most crucial blunder for Player1 was the 3rd move when after picking another Queen from the closed stock Q, Player1 chose to discard that very card, completely forgetting that Player2 already picked Q 2 moves ago!?

By reviewing gin games from your own completed mini-tourneys & tournaments you will be able to:

- Learn from your own mistakes
- Analyze your opponents' styles and preference
- Bring your gin rummy playing skill to a new level

We will continue to post snippets of players' games in Gin Forum.

Comments, discussions welcome!

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