History of Gin

It was said that Gin Rummy, also called “gin” for short, was created by Elwood Baker at the beginning of the 20th century. This game evolved from what was called “whiskey poker” in the eighteenth century. Basically, it is a game for two players that was probably faster than the standard rummy (a similar card game), and in which the aces, which are supposed to be the cards with the highest value in other card games, actually have the lowest value in gin, have the following order: A-2-3 … 10-J, Q, K

But the real story of this game is much deeper than it was known that the rules of the game went well beyond the eighteenth century. The oldest known rulebook was first published in the tenth century, in which at that time a game called “Gin Poker,” which was very similar to the well-known game Gin Rummy.


If you research deeper, the origin of Gin Poker, as mentioned above, could have been Whiskey Poker, which is a variant of poker; and poker, as we know it, was an adaptation of the Ancient Persian game “As-n-as.” In the mid-nineteenth century, we find that according to the American rule of Hoyle Whiskey Poker, five cards must be given to each player and an additional hand to the table called the widow. The person with the first hand decides that if he has a strong hand, he can choose to take the widow (place cards) according to the cards he has.


Each player has the opportunity to take cards from the “widow,” but as soon as he receives letters from the widow, he must place his set of discarded cards on the table. This last part is very important for the appearance of rummy games because they all have something in common. The dropped hand is always directed upwards in the center of the table.


As for the origin of the name “Whiskey Poker,” it is said that the name was given at the end of the 19th century because this game was played to receive drinks or refreshments. Especially alcohol Most of these card games were played in salons where you played a lot. For example, according to the many names given to the variations of Rummy, we knew that Whiskey Poker is famous for the “whiskey” drink, the alcoholic beverage “Gin” and we also know Rum Poker, the name of “Rum.” Since certain beverages were the “prize” awarded to the winner, the names of the games changed and were adjusted accordingly. Other interpretations even suggest that the Mexican game “Conquian” could have continued with the family games of Rummy, giving origin and roots to Rummy.


Today we have a multitude of “rummy” games derived directly from them, like ten steps, anarchy, “Bing” -Rummy, Treaty Rummy, Florida Rummy, Shanghai-Rum, among many, many others.