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Last Updated: March 29, 2018

Gin and Win

Introduction

Gin and Win is a table game based on the card game gin. Marketed by AGS, it made its Nevada casino debut in a field trial at the Golden Nugget in Laughlin in March, 2018. The bottom line is a house edge on the base game of 2.51% and an element of risk of 1.49%.

Rules

Following are the rules as given to me by AGS, the game distributor. I have an unconfirmed report that at the Golden Nugget they are following slightly modified rules, specifically on the dealer qualifying point and the Gin Bonus side bet.

For those unfamiliar with the game of gin, the object is to create an ten-card hand composed entirely of cards in sets. Qualifying sets in gin are at least three of the same rank and a suited run of cards, or straight flush, of at least three cards in length. Aces are low only. Cards that do not belong in a set are called "dead wood." When a player wins, he will get points in accordance to how much dead wood his opponent has.

The object of trying to put as many cards as you can in sets, with the goal of minimizing dead wood, is also the goal of Gin and Win. It should be emphasized that pairs and flushes of at least three cards count as sets in Gin and Win. The full rules are as follows:

  1. Cards are ranked as in poker, except aces are low only.
  2. To begin, each player must post an Ante bet. He may also wager on the optional Gin Bonus side bet.
  3. The player and dealer are each dealt seven cards, face down.
  4. The player looks at his hand and removes any combinations of pairs, trips, and quads (rank melds), or any flushes of three cards or more cards (suit melds). One card cannot be part of more than one set.
  5. The remaining cards are known as "Dead Wood" and are set apart from the cards that belong to a set.
  6. The player must next either match his Ante with a Play wager equal to his Ante, or else fold his hand. Folded hands immediately lose, and Antes are collected by the Dealer.
  7. Once all action is complete, the dealer reveals his hand. The dealer forms the optimal rank and suit melds to minimize his remaining Dead Wood cards. Given multiple ways to achieve the same minimum number of remaining Dead Wood cards, the dealer will chose the way that minimizes the highest card.
  8. The dealer qualifies with three or less Dead Wood cards, or with four Dead Wood cards, all ranked ten or lower.
  9. If the dealer doesn’t qualify, then the player automatically wins even-money on his Ante, and the play bet pushes.
  10. If the dealer qualifies, then the player and dealer hand will be compared, and hand with fewer Dead Wood cards wins. If the Player and Dealer have the same number of Dead Wood cards, then the hand with the lower highest card wins. If that does not break the tie, then the second highest cards will be compared, and so forth until the tie is broken, unless the number and ranks of the Dead Wood cards are exactly the same.
  11. If the player wins the comparison with zero cards, then the Ante bet pays 3 to 1. Otherwise, if the player beats the dealer with one or more cards, then the Ante bet pays 1 to 1.
  12. If the two hands are equal, both bets push.
  13. If the dealer wins the comparison, both the Ante and Play bets lose.
  14. The optional Gin Bonus side bet is resolved based only the player's cards, according to the pay table below.

Following is the Gin Bonus pay table. All wins are on a "to one" basis.

Gin Bonus Pay Table

Event Pays
4-of-a-Kind & 3-of-a-Kind 500
5-Card Flush & Pair 20
4-of-a-Kind & 3-Card Flush 8
Other “Gin” Hand (No Deadwood) 4
One Deadwood Card 2
Two Deadwood Cards (both seven or lower) 1


Strategy

The player should make the Play bet with a hand of 10-9-5-4 or better. In other words, three or fewer Dead Wood cards, or four ranked 10-9-5-4 or better. Note that is almost the same as the dealer qualifying strategy.

Ante and Play Analysis

According to the math report by GLI, the house edge, as defined as the ratio of the expected loss to the Ante wager, is 4.31%. The player will raise 68.36% of the time, for an average final wager of 1.6836 units. The element of risk, defined as the ratio of the expected player loss to the average total amount bet, is 2.56%.

Sorry, I don't have any more details than that.

Gin Bonus Analysis

The following table shows the analysis of the Gin Bonus bet. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 7.19%.

Gin Bonus Analysis

Event Pays Probability Return
4-of-a-Kind & 3-of-a-Kind 500 0.000005 0.002295
5-Card Flush & Pair 20 0.002424 0.048476
4-of-a-Kind & 3-Card Flush 8 0.018344 0.146756
Other “Gin” Hand (No Deadwood) 4 0.019960 0.079840
One Deadwood Card 2 0.151767 0.303533
Two Deadwood Cards (both seven or lower) 1 0.077350 0.077350
All other -1 0.730150 -0.730150
Total 1.000000 -0.071900


Acknowledgements

I would like to thank AGS, the game distributor, for sharing the math report by GLI with me.

  • AGS — Official web site from the game distributor, AGS.
  • Wizard of Vegas — Discussion about Gin and Win.

Written by: Michael Shackleford

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