Oklahoma Gin

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Gin Rummy (and its variation Oklahoma Gin) is probably the most famous member of the family of rummy games. The history of the game dates back to the 19th century New-York, some claim that its name derives from its inventor’s favorite drink. Oklahoma Gin shares some basic characteristics with other rummy games, but also has unique rules that set it apart from other “building” card games.

The cards and their values:

1 points2 points3 points4 points5 points6 points
7 points8 points9 points10 points10 points10 points
10 points     

The Oklahoma Table

Oklahoma is designed for up to four players, where the main objective is to be the first to lay down valid melds with all the cards in his or her hand. Unlike Traditional online Rummy, Oklahoma also has a secondary objective, which is to try and lower the amount of deadwood to a minimum, to a point where the game’s result can be turned around in the end. “Deadwood” is a term used to indicate cards that can not be melded in to any set or run in hand or on the table, or simply put – cards that are left in the player’s hand at the end of the game.

The game is played with a full deck of cards without the jokers. A turn consists of two actions – drawing the top card from the deck or discard pile, and throwing a card with little use to the player. A card’s “value” is set according to a number of characteristics, including the card’s suitability to the runs and sets that the player wishes to create, or by the cards value in penalty points.

A valid meld has one of the two forms:

A Run – at least three consecutive cards from the same suit.

A Set – At least three cards with the same rank but different suits.

The result of a game of Oklahoma is always determined in the very last moment of the game, since only then can players see the total deadwood count of their opponenets. A game ends in one of three ways:

  1. Gin – one player creates valid melds from all the cards in his or her hand and throws the last card to the Knock area. In this case, the opponents’ deadwood count will determine the number of penalty points they receive.
  2. Knock – one player creates valid melds from the majority of the cards in his or her hand. The player can not have an overall deadwood count of over 10. The turn must end with throwing a card to the knock area
  3. Undercut – when a player “knocks”, his or her opponents get a chance to add cards to the “knocker’s” melds. Cards must be added directly to the “knocker’s” original melds. If an opponent manages to end the game with a lower deadwood count than the “knocker’s”, that opponent wins by “undercut”. Undercut turns the outcome of the game around, and the original “knocker” suffers a penalty of 25 points in addition to his or her deadwood count.

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