Easy to pick up and play!
Best Gin Rummy is a free app that immediately immerses the user into the world of Gin Rummy. The interface is clean and easy to use with large circular buttons for “Menu” and “Score” on the main gameplay page. The action moves along at a nice pace and your cards are intuitively sorted in your hand by the app.
This app is simply a classic form of the two-player game of gin rummy. Each player is dealt a hand of 10 cards, adding and discarding one card per turn. A standard 52 card deck is used and the Ace represents the first card in the set, or number 1. The Ace is worth 1 point, and each subsequent card is worth its own number value, with face cards worth 10 points. The object of the game is to create sets of cards that are either a group, such as 3 or more cards of the same value, or a run, which is a sequence of three or more cards of the same suit in order.
Best Gin Rummy will sort sequences or sets for you and highlights these cards so it is easy to see for the user to see how his or her hand stacks up. The remaining cards in your hand that are not part of a sequence or set are called “Deadwood” and these points will count for your opponent when the hand is over. Once your “Deadwood” is below a value of 10, you or your opponent may “Knock” and each set of “Deadwood” is added up. If your opponent has “Deadwood” totaling 10 and you have “Deadwood” totaling 5, you score the difference which is 5 points.
This app is part of the Game Center universe so you are able to track your scores against other local players or your friends. If you have never played Gin Rummy before opening up the app and beginning to play can be a bit overwhelming as there is no tutorial for new players. This is solved by simply hitting the “Menu” button and choosing “FAQ” if you have simple questions, or by clicking on “Rules” to get a full overview of how to play the game. You may also hit the “Score” button while playing to see a breakdown of the current score, rounds won, bonuses, and the final score. Those familiar with gin rummy will hit the ground running and this app should get a lot of use for those looking for a 10 minute respite from the everyday grind. Those who are unfamiliar with gin rummy will learn the game quickly thanks to the user-friendly interface and menus.
One aspect of the game I felt could be improved was the gameplay settings for the AI computer. In the “Settings” menu the user is able to choose between “Rookie” and “Expert,” but I feel like there should be a level in-between those two difficulties. One feature I appreciated was the “Game Stats” menu which allows users to see their all-time history of stats, something nearly every user wants but is not always supplied with even the most popular apps.