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Skarney Gin Doubles

This exciting and scientific variations of skarney gin poker players who want their  game to have greater scope plus a reward for skillful preplay card analysis and psychological bluff.  The addition of these two scientific maneuvers leads to a more strategic and greater point scoring game.  This feat is accomplished by simply adding a pass, double, and redouble bidding system to Skarney Gin.  This bidding system corresponds roughly to the passing, doubling and redoubling elements of Contract Bridge .
            Skarney Gin Doubles is played and scored the same as you play Skarney Gin with the following exceptions and additional rules.

  1. A game terminates at the end of any hand in which a total of 300 or more points is scored by either player.
  2. How and When to BidThe bidding begins when each player has been dealt his initial ten-card hand and before either player has drawn a card from the stock.  The non-dealer makes the first bid, his opponent the second, the nondealer the third if necessary.  Following is a description of each of the five possible bids that can be made in Skarney Gin Doubles.
    1. The nondealer calls “Pass,” and the dealer calls “Pass,”The winner of the hand scores the actual penalty point count.
    2. The nondealer calls “Pass,” the dealer “Double,” the nondealer  “Pass.”  The winner of the hand scores double the penalty point count.
    3. The nondealer calls “Pass,” the dealer “Double,” the nondealer “Redouble.”  The winner of the hand scores quadruple the penalty point count.
    4. The nondealer calls “Double,”  the dealer “Pass.”  The winner of the hand scores double the penalty point count.
    5. The nondealer calls “Double,”  the dealer “Redoublke.”  The winner of the hand scores quadruple the penalty point count.

    How to Score a Bid HandIn Skarney gin Doubles the penalty point score of a pass bid hand remains the same as in regular Skarney Gin, the penalty point score of a double-bid hand is multiplied by two, and the penalty point score of a redouble-bid hand is multiplied by four.  Examples: (a) The winner of a pass hand goes Skarney  and catches his opponent with 16 penalty points in his hand.  the winner is credited with 16 points plus the 20-point  Skarney bonus for a final hand score of 36 points, the same scoring as if he were playing regular Skarney Gin.  (b)  The winner of a double hand goes Skarney and catches his opponent with 16 penalty points in his hand.  the winner is credited with 16 twice, or 32 points, plus   the 20-point Skarney bonus for a final hand score of 52 points.  (c)  The winner of a redouble hand goes Skarney and catches his opponent with 16 penalty points in his hand.  The poker winner  is credited with 16 four times, or 64 points, plus the 20-point Skarney bonus for a final hand score of 84 points.

    The above-described method of calculating the penalty point score of the loser also holds the true when a player goes double Skarney.  Should a player win the hand with a lesser number of penalty points, only the winning difference in points is doubled, redoubled, or remains the same.  The pass, double, or redouble bid affects only the specific hand.  It does not have anything at all to do with the scores of other hands.
                Note:   Skarney Gin Doubles may be played in all the multiple game and partnership variants described in the following pages.

    Round –the- Corner Skarney Gin

    This fascinating variation of Skarney  Gin  is recommended to the nonserious players who like variety  and prefer their game to possess more luck and a quicker ending. All the rules governing Skarney gin apply with the following additional rule:
                An ace, in addition to being used in higher and low sequences, or poker straights, such as ace-two-three, or ace-king-queen, can also be used to go round the corner, such as king-ace-two; or two-ace-king.  These round- the –corner sequence and poker straight melds may be extended of course.  Example:   (a)  king-ace-two-three (b) queen-king-ace-two-three (c) two-ace-king-queen-jack (d) three-two-ace-king-queen-jack-ten, and so on.

    Skarney Gin Triples

    This variation is played exactly like Skarney Gin except that the scoring system used in regular Hollywood Gin Rummy is employed.

    Skarney Gin for Three Players

    Skarney Gin, though primarily for two players, makes an enjoyable game for three players.  Although three players take part, only two are in play against each other simultaneously, as in captain play.
                To determine which two shall start, any player, by consent of the others, shuffles, and the three cut cards.  Low man that man whose exposed card is of lowest rank sits out the first hand.  The other two play a game of Skarney Gin.
                The score of the first hand is credited to the winner, and the loser drops out.  The winner proceeds to play the next hand against the third man.  (Generally the nonplayer keeps the score.)  So  it goes, loser giving way to nonplayer hand by hand, until one of the three scores 200 points or more.
                The winner is paid off in the amount of his credit over each opponent.  The player with the second highest score collects from low man.  A player scoring a shutout can collect his shutout bonus only from the player who scored zero.  For example, a scores 205 points; B, 90; and C, none A gets   credit for a shutout over C but not over B.  Value of credits and bonuses is the same as in two-handed Skarney Gin.  In three-handed Skarney Gin a player may collect from two players, lose to two players, or win from one and lose to one.

    Skarney Gin Captains

    This is a variation of Skarney Gin for three players, borrowed from backgammon where it is called chouette or “in the box.”  A plays the first game as captain against B and C; B playing the first hand and continuing to play as long as he wins.  But when he loses, c takes his place and continues to play until he loses, when B comes back again, and so on until the game ends.  The captain keeps playing to the end of the game, regardless of whether he wins or loses.  A single score is kept and totaled at the end of the game.  The captain wins or loses the net total from or to each of the opponents.  Then B becomes the captain playing against A and C, and so on.

    Skarney Partnership Gin

    This is four-handed Skarney Gin.  Two players are teamed against the other two.  Two games of two-handed Skarney Gin are played simultaneously and the partners enter their score as one.  The players cut for partners, holders of the two highest exposed cards being teamed against the holders of the two lowest.  All the rules Skarney Gin apply to this variation.  The only variation is in the scoring.
                Team scores not players ’ scores, are entered.  Example:   (a) A and B are partners playing against C and D.  A, playing the first hand against his opponent C, wins by 68 points.  D, playing against B, wins by 20 points.  Team A-B wins the box by 48 points.  That is the only score entered on the score sheet. (b) As before, a and B are partners against C and D. At the end of the first hand A switches seats with B and plays against D, while B plays against C. At the end of the second hand, a and B shift back to the original positions. This alternation continues with each hand until the game ends.
    Note: Due to the great number of cards melded, it is suggested that two tables be used, one for each two contestants. Game is 300 points. Game bonus remains at 200, shutout bonus 200, and all other scoring is as in two-handed Skarney Gin.

    Skarney Gin Strategy

    Skarney Gin becomes a considerably more scientific game than regular Gin Rummy, owing to the lack of a discard pile. However, like regular Gin, it is a game of deduction and counter deduction: (1) You must try, to figure out what cards your opponent is holding so that you won’t offer him vital cards; (2) you must try to build up your hand for a possible contract meld.
    In Skarney Gin, as in most card games of skill and chance, there is a mathematical basis for many correct plays. There are, of course, some probability factors in Skarney Gin which are apparent even to the beginner. It should be obvious that you have a better chance of making a three-card poker straight than a three-card group when you hold a five and six (any suits) than if you hold a pair of sixes. In fact, the odds are.4 to 1 in favor of the poker straight . The reason is there are eight cards (four fours and four sevens) to draw from to make a poker straight and only two sixes to draw from to make a group meld.
    At the very beginning of the hand, what is and what is not a safe potential discard is not too important. On the first few rounds any discard with the possible exception of an ace (stop card) is usually accepted. You should not worry at this point because more often than not, your opponent will take it. Therefore, what you should do at the beginning of the hand is to offer potential discards that you wish to get rid of and at the same time concentrate on building up your hand.
    While concentrating on building your own hand you should try to keep your opponent in the dark regarding the strength of your hand. An initial meld of three three-card melds is fairly easy to obtain toward the middle of the hand. Even possession of three three-card melds at the beginning of the hand occurs quite frequently in Skarney Gin. But, what to do with such a hand requires some analytical reasoning. Sure, you can go down with your contract meld and put the pressure on your opponent. Great, but what about the one or more cards that will remain in your hand are they unmatched cards? How about the next potential discard of yours? Is it a part of a matched set or a possible layoff card? Or, is it a useless card to your hand? Do you believe your opponent will take it? All the above factors are vital in playing a good game of Skamey Gin. And such deductions must be studied carefully.
    I’ve seen many a player put down his initial meld after his first pick off the stock and see his hand grow from two cards to eight or more cards, and his opponent goes Skarney and catches him with a hundred or more points. This upward movement of the number of cards held by a player is caused by his opponent’s refusal to accept said player’s potential discard, something the player has no control over.
    Study your contract meld before putting it down study it from one angle then switch your melds around and study it from another angle. You’ll be surprised what you’ll see that passed unobserved a moment ago. As mentioned earlier, there are more opportunities to layoff on poker straights than group melds. However, don’t rule out group melds they playa vital part in preventing your opponent from getting such cards. The principle of mobility is a general principle in Skarney Gin. To keep your hand fluid at all times and be prepared for most contingencies is of the utmost importance. There can be no definite instruction at this point without ifs, ands, and buts.
    In preparing to fulfill your initial meld or in playing for skarney singles , try to form as many two-way melds incorporating the same cards in groups and poker straights. For instance, you hold three sixes, three sevens, and three eights. These same three-card groups can and should be switched to three three-card poker straights.  It becomes quite a problem to some players when holding 15 or more cards to segregate the medls toi their best advantage.  The best advice that can be given to achieve this aim is to take your time when sorting out melds in your hand because a simple rearrangement of melds may spell an eventual Skarney for you.  In fact, more games are lost by an early improper arrangement of cards in the hand than by all other erroneous plays.
    As a rule, it is best to wait several rounds before putting down your contract meld.  That is, providing your opponent has not as yet put down his contract meld.  If your opponent has fulfilled his contract meld and you have not, by all means get down on the board (if possible) with any kinds of melds you can muster together.
    Once your opponent has put down his contract meld, each of your potential discard plays must be thoroughly analyzed.  You must be ultra-safe in offering  a potential discard.  Think twice before offering an ace (stop card ) in the later phase of the hand.  Study your opponent’s and your own melds (if any) very carefully and think twice before playing.
    When your opponent’s point total is close to game, you must be extra careful about the point total (of melds or unmatched cards or both ) in your hand.  You must try to “keep under.”  That means that you must reduce your point total so that, if possible, even if your opponent goes Skarney, you will still be necessity of keeping under will improve your chances of winning the game by 25 to 33 1/3 percent.  Except for expert play, my observation is that every third or fourth final hand of a game is lost because of the avoidable failure to keep under.
    It is, I take it, the author’s privilege to point out and the player’s privilege to point out-and the player’s privilege to ignore the fact that there are 15,820,024,220 possible ten-card hands in Skarney Gin.  In every game there occurs a certain incidence of useless statistics.  I don’t expect you to remember how often in how many billion hands your present holding will occur.  I shouldn’t be surprised if you fail to remember that the odds of the dealer’s being dealt one or more-three-card melds in his first ten cards is about 15 to 1 in your four although remembering that will improve your game.  To attempt to tell the player whether to hold possible layoffs in his hand or lay them off seems to me unsound without knowledge of (a) the cards he holds, (b) the melds he sees (if any), (c) the cards still alive, and (d) the potential discards taken by one’s opponent.  As to this play poker , you must use your own judgment as, in fact, you must learn to do in any hand at Skarney Gin.



Pinochle many Variations

Pinochle many Variations
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CAD found
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Skarney® and How It Is Played

Skarney® and How It Is Played
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Cheating at Card Games

Cheating at Card Games
Professional Card Cheats
Nullifying the Cut
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How to Shuffle Cards

Dice and their Many Games

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The Casino Game: Bank Craps
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Glossary of Game Terms


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