ROUND OBJECTIVE OF GINSKI: Be the first player to go out each round

GAME OBJECTIVE:  Be the first player to reach 100 points or more

PLAYERS: 3 players

CARDS: 70 card Rumski deck

RANK OF CARDS: (low) 1 – 13 (high)


AUDIENCE: Kids, Adults


Ginski is a Gin Rummy variant for 3 players which uses a five suited Rumski deck.  Although it takes its inspiration from the classic Gin Rummy, the use of the Rumski deck allows for some exciting alterations to the game.  It also makes it the perfect game for 3 players rather than two.  Although this game could be played with 2 or 4 players, it is best played with 3.

In Ginski, players are working quickly to build melds with the cards in their hand.  If players are lucky enough, they will be able to meld all 10 cards and go Ginski.  If a player is extremely lucky, they will be able to meld all 10 cards plus the card they draw on their final turn for a Big Ginski.


To play Ginski, you will need a 5 suited Rumski deck.  The deck includes cards ranked 1 – 13 in five different colors as well as five wild cards.  

Shuffle and deal 10 cards to each player at the table.  Place the rest of the cards face down in the center of the table as the draw pile.  Flip the top card over to begin the discard pile.  Deal passes left each round.


Beginning with the player to the left of the dealer, that player may pick up the first discard or pass.  If the player picks it up, they must discard a card from their hand.  Play passes to the next player.  If they pass, the next player has the option to pick it up or pass.  If both players pass, the dealer has the option to pick it up or pass.  If all three players pass, normal play begins with the player to the left of the dealer.

A player’s turn begins with a draw.  They may draw the top card from the draw discard pile.  A turn ends with a discard.  Play passes to the left and continues until one player is ready to end the round.

Players are trying to build melds in their hands.  There are two meld types: runs and sets.  A run is composed of three or more same colored cards in sequential order.  For example, a red 4,5,6 is a run.  A set is three or more cards of the same rank.  A red 5, blue 5, green 5 is a set.  Keep all runs and sets in hand, and do not let your opponents know that you have them until the end of the round.

Any card not part of a set is considered deadwood.  A player can end the round once they have 13 points in deadwood or fewer.  A player can try to end the round with zero deadwood points, and they will receive bonus points for doing so.  Be careful when ending the round with deadwood in your hand because if an opponent has less deadwood than you, you will be penalized, and they will win the round.


If a player has 13 deadwood points or fewer in their hand, they may end the round on their turn.  Draw a card as usual and discard the final card face down.  This signals that the round is over.  All players show their hands.

If a player ends the round with every card in their hand melded, this is called Going Ginski. Discard the last card face down and cry out “Ginski!”   Bonus points are awarded for doing so.

If a player has melded all of the cards in their hand including the 11th card they just drew, they have formed a Big Ginski.  In this case, the player does not discard and bonus points are awarded.  Immediately show the hand and cry out “Big Ginski!”  Proceed to celebrate and gloat in a loud and obnoxious manner.


There are five wild cards in a Rumski deck and they may be used to represent any number needed.  A meld may only contain one wild card.  Sets of only wild cards are not permitted.  


Each card is worth its number value.  Wilds are worth 20 points.  Scoring for the round depends on how the round ended.

If a player ends the round with 13 or fewer deadwood points, they earn points equal to the deadwood in their opponents’ hands minus their own.  For example:  Player 1 ends the round with 8 deadwood points.  Player 2 has 15 deadwood points, and Player 3 has 20 deadwood points.  Player 1 is awarded 35 deadwood points and must subtract the 8 from their own hand.  This would leave Player 1 with a score of 27 points for the round. 

If a player goes Ginski, they earn 25 points plus the total value of deadwood from their opponents’ hands.  

If a player gets a Big Ginski, they earn 31 points plus the total value of deadwood from their opponents’ hands.

If a player ends the round with 13 deadwood points or fewer, but an opponent has fewer deadwood points, the player that ended the round is undercut.  The player that did the undercut earns 25 points plus the total value of deadwood in their opponents’ hands.  For example, Player 1 ends the round with 9 deadwood points, and player 2 has 20 deadwood points.  Player 3 smiles smugly and reveals that they only have 5 deadwood points.  Player 3 just undercut Player 1!  Player 3 earns 25 points plus the 29 deadwood point total from their opponents’ hands.  


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

Mark Ball
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