Deadwood Distribution

For a regular Gin Rummy player it’s an automatic reflex to calculate deadwood points with a new hand. 

If you have a high amount of deadwood points and not many cards that can improve your hand, it’s a common approach to jettison a few.  This reduces your exposure if your opponent does a quick knock.

That seems logical but what’s considered a high amount?  If we know what’s abnormally high vs run of the mill, we can make a more informed decision.

Number Crunching

I used Yimmaw’s AI components to generate 250,000 deals and had it calculate the average deadwood. 

Any given hand can have more than one arrangement of groups and runs which may have different deadwood amounts.  For our purposes we’re going to choose the lowest amount of deadwood.  That may not be the best way to play the hand, but it allows us to make a reasonable estimate of a deadwood amount.

Normal Distribution

The average deadwood is 56.6 and the standard deviation is 13.76. 

This tells us that 68% of the deals (1 standard deviation) give us between 42.84 and 70.36 deadwood points on average.  Over 70 deadwood points becomes more and more rare.  That doesn’t mean you necessarily have a bad hand but if you don’t get the cards you’re looking for you are liable for a truckload of points.

Bottom Line

Most of the time you’re going to be dealt a hand between 43 and 70 deadwood points with an average of 57.  That gives you at least some perspective on what an average and high amount of deadwood points is.


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