How to Keep Score in Rummy | Scoring Rules for Standard, Gin, 500 Rum..

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We cover the different, Rules, Scoring systems, and Points allocations used when playing different forms of Rummy.

To explain the scoring systems we have assumed that the key terms (meld, run, set, etc) and individual methods of play are already understood.
For a general refresh, our guide to playing Rummy shows the standard rules and how to play.

Of these, the main one of concern for scoring in each game variation is how a Winner is decided!

RELATED: Rules of 7 Card Rummy : The simplicity and the ability to play relatively quick games, without any complicated scoring, are why it is so popular.


Scoring in Rummy

For a full guide to How to Play Standard Rummy.

Within the standard format of rummy, there are a number of variations for the house rules that can affect how the game is played.

Standard Rummy – How to Win

The overall winner is the first player that has a cumulative points total in excess of a predetermined amount (eg 100 or 300 points) 
OR 
The highest cumulative total of points after an agreed number of hands.

A common method to determine the points target required to win overall:

(Number of players – 1) X 100 = Points Target

e.g. (2 players -1 ) x 100 = 100 points
(5 players – 1) x 100 = 400 points

Standard Rummy – Scoring Overview

  • Only the winner scores for each hand
  • The cards left in the hand of any players are scored
  • The points value of all the cards that score is awarded to the winner of that hand.
  • The scorekeeper keeps a cumulative total of the points for each player.
  • If a player can ‘get rid‘ of ALL of their cards in a single turn, without any prior Melds or Lay Offs (a Rummy!) then the points value for that hand is DOUBLED.

Standard Rummy – Points Allocation

Card / PlayPoints ValueExplanation
Ace1Ace is Low
Number CardSpot Value 6 is worth 6 points,
3 is worth 3 points
Face Card 10King, Queen, Jack
Rummyx 2if all cards are put down at once;
scores double points
PlayerCards Left in HandCards ScorePoints Total
Player 1K, K, 4, 3 10 + 10 + 4 + 3 = 27
Player 29, 9, 2, 3 9 + 9 + 2 + 3 = 23
Player 3A, 10 1 + 10 = 11
Player 4
(Winner)
None= 027 + 23 + 11 = 61
After that ‘hand’ Player 4 adds 61 points to their cumulative total.

RummyHow to Record the Score

  • One player is the scorekeeper for all the players.
  • In each round, only the winner of that hand gets a score.
  • Each round, the points total for all the cards left in any player’s hand is added to the winner’s cumulative score.

Scoring in Gin Rummy

Gin Rummy – How to Win Overall

A game ends when one player reaches 100 points. However, the overall winner is the player with the most points after then adding all the end of the game bonuses.

This can mean that the first player to 100 points is NOT the overall winner!

Note: In Tournament Gin a game normally ends at 250 points.

Gin Rummy – Scoring Overview

  • Only one player scores any points in each round
  • Each player counts the points value of the ‘deadwood’ left in their hand
  • Any cards in your hand that are not part of a meld are called ‘Deadwood’
  • A player can ‘Knock’ if their deadwood score is less than 10 points, this then ends that round.
  • The scorekeeper maintains the cumulative total of players’ points after each hand.

Scoring a Hand is done in two stages:

Stage One – Counting the Deadwood

Each player counts the Deadwood they have left in their hand.

Card Deadwood
Points Value
Explanation
Ace1
Number CardSpot Value 6 is worth 6 points,
3 is worth 3 points
Face Cards 10King, Queen, Jack
Note: Unless the knocker had GIN / Big GIN, then the opposition (the player that did not knock) can lay off any of their deadwood onto the ‘knockers’ melded cards BEFORE counting their deadwood.

Stage Two – Calculating the score

Each player then announces the deadwood count for their hand and the score for that hand is calculated.

The difference in the deadwood count determines the score for that hand.

  • If the Knocker has the lower deadwood points value, they score the difference between the two deadwood counts.
  • If the Opponent has the lower or equal score, known as an ‘Undercut’, then they score the difference between the two scores PLUS a 15 point bonus!
  • If the Knocker has no deadwood it is called Gin. They score the difference between the two scores PLUS a 25 point bonus.
  • If the Knocker has no deadwood including being able to meld before discarding (ie they can meld 11 cards!) it is called Big GIN. They score the difference between the two scores PLUS a 31 point bonus.

Determining score for the hand.

Bonus PointsScore Explanation
Knocker0The difference in deadwood count
Undercut15Bonus for having a lower or equal deadwood score to Knocker.
(Added to the difference in deadwood count)
GIN25Bonus for having no deadwood
+
opposition cannot lay off
(Added to the difference in deadwood count)
Big GIN31 Bonus for having no deadwood including the draw card!
(no discard)
+
opposition cannot lay off
(Added to the difference in deadwood count)
Calculating the difference is simply taking the larger deadwood count
and subtracting the smaller deadwood count.

Example 1

The difference in the Deadwood count is simply taking one count from the other.
e.g. If Player 1 has deadwood of 8 and knocks to end the hand.
Player 2 then counts their deadwood at 15.
The difference is 15 – 8 = 7 points

Player 1 scores 7 points and it is added to their cumulative score.

Example 2

If Player 1 (the ‘knocker’) has deadwood of 9 and knocks to end the hand.
Player 2 (the ‘opponent’)then counts their deadwood at 7.
Player 2 has UNDERCUT the ‘knocker’ by having a lower deadwood count!

The difference is 9 – 7 = 2 points

Due to the Undercut, player 2 gets the 2 points difference but also a Bonus of 15 points.

Player 2 scores 2 + 15 = 17 points that are recorded by the scorekeeper
and it is added to their cumulative score.

Gin RummyScoring at the End of the Game

After the end of the game, there is a further series of bonus points awarded before determining the overall winner.

Bonus PointsExplanation
(points added to cumulative score)
Game Bonus100Bonus for the Winner / First player with 100 or
more cumulative points
Line or Box Bonus20Bonus for each hand won during the game
Shutout BonusDouble points for each handIf the winner won every hand the points for each hand are doubled

After the bonuses have been added to each player’s cumulative score from the game, the player with the highest total is the overall winner.

Gin RummyHow to Record the Score

  • One player is the scorekeeper for all the players.
  • They record the score for each hand, including any Bonus, for the winner of that hand.
    • For the winning player, they write the score
  • They then immediately calculate the cumulative total for that player.
    • They add the score to any previous cumulative score and write the new cumulative total and draw a box/line under it.
  • When the agreed points total (100 or 250 points) has been achieved they then use the score sheet to calculate any further end of the game bonus.
Sample Score Sheet for 1 game of Gin Rummy 13 hands.

Gin Rummy – Scoring for Gambling

When gambling the difference between the players’ scores is calculated and paid to the winner.
The ratio of points to cash should be decided before the game starts! e.g. 1 point = $0.01

Gin RummyScoring Variations

Undercut Bonus – Some score 10, 20, or 25 rather than 15 Points.

GIN Bonus – Some score Gin at 20 rather than 25 Points.

Big GIN Bonus – Some score Big Gin at 50 rather than 31 Points

Shutout Bonus – If the loser scored no points then the Winner gets an additional 100 points not double points


Scoring in 500

Rummy 500 is great as each player scores on every round where in many other variations it is only the winner of each round that scores.

500 – How to Win Overall

To be the first player to have a cumulative score of 500 points.

500 – Scoring Overview

  • All the players score each round.
  • A round ends immediately when any player gets rid of all of their cards or the stock pile is finished
    • No further cards can be melded or layed off; (unlike Gin Rummy)
  • Players score the difference between what they have melded (including layed off) and what is left in their hand.

Note: As all melded cards score for the player who melded them, when laying off a card on another player’s meld, you actually place the card in front of yourself, rather than alongside the other players existing meld.

Determining score for the round.

Each player is credited with the point value of all cards that they have showing on the table. From this figure is subtracted the point value of all cards remaining in their hand. The difference is then added or subtracted from their cumulative score.

Note:

  • If the cards left in your hand total more than the cards you have melded then you will have a negative score for that hand.
  • It is possible to have a negative cumulative score.
Card Points Value Explanation
Number CardSpot Value
or
5 points
6 is worth 6 points,
or
Some play that all number cards count 5 points
Face Cards 10King, Queen, Jack
Ace 15N.B: (some play that if the Ace is part of a low sequence
(e.g. A, 2, 3) then it only counts as 1 point
Joker 15 Not all people play with Jokers.

The first player whose cumulative score exceeds 500 points wins the game. If two or more players reach 500 on the same hand, the one with the highest score is the winner.

PlayerCards Melded on TableCards ScoreCards Left in HandCards ScorePoints Total
Player 1 Q,Q,Q 30K, K, 4, 3 273
Player 2 5,5,5 159, 9, 2, 3 23-8
Player 3 7,7,7,7, 4 32A, 10 1121
Player 4
(Winner)
8,8,8,8, A,2,3 52None052
After that ‘hand’ Player 4 adds 61 points to their cumulative total.

500 Rummy – How to Record the Score

  • One player is the scorekeeper for all the players.
  • They record the score for each hand, for each player.
  • They then immediately calculate the cumulative total for that player.
Scoresheet for Rum 500.

500 – Scoring for Gambling

For the purposes of gambling, having exceeded 500 points the winner would then collect, from each opponent, the difference between their final scores.

E.g The winner scores 527points – Player two scores 489points = 38 point difference.


Have I missed any key elements in the scoring process?
Is there another game I can help show you how to score? Let me know in the comments.

If you like Rummy then have you
tried any of these card games?

Speed or Spit the Card Games?
Both games are great for two players and can be fast but still strategic!
or try one of these:

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