Gin Rummy Tips - Taking the Top Discard

 Here is a fun tip of deception that you can try. 

 Tactic: On a new deal, take the top discard, whether you need it or not.

Background

There is a good chance when picking up a discard it is used to complete a meld.  Less often it is used to improve a hand by getting you closer to complete a meld, or to simply dump points. 

By picking up the very first discard you are putting your opponent on the defensive.  They need to be mindful that you might have picked up a group or run to complete a meld – or they need to call your bluff.

Break it Down

Let’s say you have the following hand:

Bluff

If the top discard is a 9H, there’s no immediate improvement to your hand.

Your opponent would likely be cautious to throw away the 9C, 9D, 9S, 8H or TH.

Semi-Bluff

If the top discard is the 4S, you’ve improved your hand since you already have the 5S. 

Your opponent will likely be cautious to throw away another 4, 3S or 5S.  You’ll need to get one of these from the deck.  The 4S also can reduce your deadwood by a few points if you throw out the 8C, JD, QH or KD. 

Improvement

If the top card is the 4D, that completes the meld 4D-5D-6D.  Congrats, you’ve improved your hand!  If your opponent throws you a 3D or 7D, or you pick one up from the deck, even better. 

In the bluff and semi-bluff, you still have plenty of time to adjust your hand.  Its unlikely that your opponent is going to knock on the first few cards.

Summary

This isn’t a tactic you’d employ all the time but it’s a simple way to mix up your game play to throw off your opponent.