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  A Closer Look at Gin Rummy History

Just like its predecessor, Rummy, Gin Rummy also has several sides to its history. Game experts and game historians alike find it difficult to figure out the truth behind the origins of Gin Rummy. And since Gin Rummy was based on the original game of Rummy, the theories regarding the roots of Rummy games also apply to Gin Rummy.

Theories on Gin Rummy History

Basically, there are three theories on how this highly popular game came about. The strongest theory is the Spanish theory, which involves the ancient Spanish game called Conquian. This is believed by a large number of people to be the genuine source of the original Rummy games. Conquian was a Spanish card game that became popular first in Mexico then travelled all the way to the West where it conquered a large market of card players. This game was said to have made its rounds during the 19th century and was eventually turned to Rummy. After Rummy became popular, the rules on knocking were refined, and Gin Rummy was born. There is, however, an oriental side to this story. According to some game experts and inventors, one of which is David Parlett, Rummy is the descendant of Mah-Jong, a popular tile game created by the Chinese of Asia. In spite of the obvious difference that Mah-Jong is played with tiles or cubes instead of with cards, the resemblance between the basic rules of the two games is undeniable. Mah-Jong has been around for centuries and was first conceptualized during the Tang Dynasty. Another Asian country, Japan, also has its own game that is closely related to the game of Rummy. This is a card game called Hanafuda, which is played with flower cards. Despite all these theories, however, when it comes to the Gin Rummy history, a lot of game experts are certain that this highly popular game first stemmed from a game that is at par with it in terms of popularity. This game is no other than Poker. Poker has a specific variant called Whiskey Poker, which is said to have been termed as Rum Poker and was eventually turned to Rum or Rummy. But another variant of Poker is called Gin Poker, and it was this game that is said to be what led to the creation of the Gin Rummy variant. Both games follow the same idea of melding cards and the melding criteria are the same.

Gin Rummy History: The Great Depression

Not long after Rummy picked up popularity-wise, Gin Rummy also came along. The year was 1938, the period where the Great Depression plagued the people. It is said that the game was invented by a New Yorker who was an expert in Bridge, but eventually, this was said to be untrue. Nonetheless, a lot of game experts still believe that the Gin Rummy variant did indeed come from New York. To conjoin the ideas entertained regarding the Gin Rummy history, game experts believe that Gin Poker and Rummy was combined to make way for a more exciting and thrilling card game, which was eventually named Gin Rummy. The game proved to be a helpful pastime for people who got stuck at home during the Great Depression. For lack of anything to do and the chance to wander outdoors, people were forced to look for pastimes they could do at home without spending any money, and playing card games seemed like a good choice. During this time, Gin Rummy became popular, and almost all households adapted the game as their official pastime. After the Great Depression, a variety of other card games came about, and Gin Rummy had a dry spell. Not long afterwards, however, the game made a big comeback, after which it has always been at the top of the ladder.

Why Gin Rummy History Matters

Taking the time to get to know the Gin Rummy history is a worthy task for Rummy and Gin Rummy players. Most players find important insight from the different games that are connected to Gin Rummy thanks to history. Tracing the history of Gin Rummy, however, is not difficult. It is simply confusing, since many different aspects of the game seem to have been taken from many different card games. Its melding concept is similar to Gin Poker rules, while the drawing and discarding pattern of playing can be found in games connected to Gin Rummy such as Mah-Jong and Conquian. After Gin Rummy was officially invented, game inventors added a few tweaks here and there so the game would become all the more exciting, and thus the creation of Gin Rummy variants.



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