OBJECTIVE OF FAN RUMMY:  Be the first player to score 100 points or more



RANK OF CARDS: (low) Ace – King (high)




Fan Rummy is a variation of Gin Rummy created by Daniel Friedman.  It follows many of the same rules as Gin Rummy with a few additions.  In this game, players will have two columns and a draw pile to choose from for their draw and discards are face down rather than face up.  


Fan Rummy uses a deck of 52 cards.  Shuffle and deal ten to each player one card at a time.  Next, deal two face up columns of ten cards each.  The cards in the columns should be staggered so that the suit and rank of the card can be seen.  Deal one more card face up to the center between the two columns.  This is called the knock card, and it determines the maximum amount of deadwood a player can have before knocking to end the round. Deal alternates each round.

The knock card will be picked up, so it may be helpful to write the knock value for the round down on the score pad.


In this game, players are trying to be the first to go out and have as little deadwood in their hand as possible.  Players are trying to build melds of sets and runs.  A set is three cards or more that are the same rank.  A run is three cards or more in sequential order that are the same suit.  Deadwood cards are not part of any meld.

The non-dealer has the option of picking up the knock card or passing.  If they pick it up, they must discard one card.  If they pass, the dealer must pick up the card and discard one card from their hand.  The card is discarded face down on the outside of one of the columns.  All following discards will be face down on this pile.  Place the rest of the deck in the center where the knock card was.  This is the draw pile.  

A player’s turn begins with two choices.  They may draw the top card from the draw pile, or they may take one top card from one of the columns.  After doing so, the player chooses a card and discards it.  The player that did not pick up the knock card goes first, and play continues as such until a player is able to end the round.


A player may end the round after meeting the knock card requirement.  For example, if the knock card was a 7, the player may end the round when they have 7 or fewer points in deadwood.  To do this, discard to end your turn like normal and lay your hand down for your opponent to see.

Another way to end the round is to go Gin.  If a player has every card in their hand melded, they have gone Gin.  There is a scoring bonus for doing this.

A final way to end the round is to get a Big Gin.  If the player draws and is able to meld all 11 cards in their hand, they have a Big Gin.  The player does not have to discard.  There is a point bonus for this as well.


After a round ends, it is time to tally up the score.  The player who ended the round earns points.   If the player ended the round with deadwood in their hand, they subtract their opponent’s deadwood from theirs.  The difference is the amount of points the player earns for the round.  If the player that ended the round has more deadwood points than their opponent, they have just been undercut.  Their opponent earns 25 points plus the difference in deadwood.

If a player goes Gin, they earn 25 points plus the value of their opponent’s deadwood.  If they get a Big Gin, they earn 31 points plus the value of their opponent’s deadwood.

If the knock card was a Spade, points for the round are doubled.


The first player to reach 100 points or more wins the game.

Mark Ball
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