How to Play Hollywood Rummy

By Isaiah David
Directions to Play Gin Rummy

Hollywood Rummy--otherwise known as Hollywood Gin Rummy--is a pretty straightforward twist on Gin Rummy. Unlike in standard Gin Rummy, the scoring in Hollywood allows you to play 3 games simultaneously. This lets you feel like you're playing a whole championship without taking the time to go through 3 complete games.

Basic Rules

Get the right number of players together. Hollywood Gin Rummy requires 2 players.

Understand the point of the game. The goal is to form sets of cards. A set is 3 or 4 of a kind, or 3 or more consecutive cards. For example, 3 or 4 aces would be a set, as would the sequence 7, 8, 9, 10 and Jack of any suits.

Choose a dealer. You can choose the dealer at random, or simply choose one of the players to deal for the first round.

Deal 10 cards to each player.

Place the top card remaining on the deck face up to begin the discard pile.

Place the rest of the deck face down next to that card. This is the draw pile.

Note the value of your cards. Aces are always low, and worth 1 point each. Face cards are all worth 10 points, and number cards are worth their number of points.

Follow the rules for the first turn of the round. On the very first turn, the player who is not the dealer has a chance to pick up the card on top of the discard pile and discard a card of his own. If he doesn't want it, the dealer has the same opportunity.

Follow the rules for subsequent turns. The player whose turn it is may either take the card from the top of the discard pile or from the deck. He then must discard a card from his hand.

Continue playing until one of the players knocks.

Knocking

Knock at the correct point in your turn. You can only knock after drawing and before discarding.

Follow the rules for knocking. You may knock when you can discard a card, form sets in your hand, and have 10 or fewer points left.

Follow the rules governing the other player's actions. When you knock, the other player is allowed to add cards to your sets. For example, he could add a fourth card to a set of 3, or add a 7 to the set 3, 4, 5 and 6.

Calculate the knocker's score if he has fewer points remaining in his hands. Both players add up the values of their remaining cards. If the knocker has fewer, he scores the value of the difference. For example, if A knocks with 8 points, and B has 18 points left after adding cards to his opponent's pile, A scores 8 points.

Calculate the opponent's score if the knocker is undercut. If the knocker has an equal or greater number of points left in his hand to his opponent, he has been undercut. The opponent then scores the difference between their hands plus 10 points. For example, if A knocks with 9 points left in his hand, and B has 7 points, B scores the 2 point difference (9 to 7) plus an extra 10 points, for a grand total of 12 points.

Add a bonus if the knocker goes gin. If a player knocks with 0 points in his hand, this is called going gin. He gets an extra 20 points on top of the difference between scores. For example, if Person A goes gin (0 points) and person B has 8 points in his hand, person A gets 28 points.

Switch dealers and begin the next round.

Scoring

Apply the first round score to the first game. For example, if A scores 25 points in the first round, then he is ahead 25 to 0 in the first game.

Apply the second round score to the first and second games. For example, if A scores 25 points in round 1 and 3 points in round 2, the score of the first game is 28 to 0 and the score of the second is 3 to 0

Apply the score of the third round and all rounds after it to all 3 games.

End a game when a player reaches 100 points.

Keep playing until all 3 games reach 100 points.

Tip

A card cannot be a member of two sets simultaneously. For example, an A 2 can not be part of a 3 of a kind's set 2, 2, 2, and a sequential set 2, 3, 4. It has to be part of one or the other. Arrange your cards in sets as you play. This will make it easier to see what you have and plan your next move.

About the Author

Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has over five years experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.