Tip #1: When to knock or not knock?
Basic rule of thumb is if you need more than 1 card to make gin and your deadwood is less than the limit. KNOCK!! KNOCK!! KNOCK!!
I might add from personal experience that when I go on a losing streak its normally due to the fact that I've forgotten this rule and have become all seeing and all knowing and can go for Gin on each hand. LMAO
Another more advanced tactic that I probably shouldn't give out is that if you pull a nice gin hand right off (needing 1 card) and have a low run or 2... you might throw a low card similar to the gin card you need. The neat thing about this trick is your opponent is faced with a interesting decision.
1) Does he pick up little card and throw a big one?
2) Does he leave it and throw one similar small card in hopes that it's safe?
If he chooses #2 and he then starts holding big cards, which is what you want.
Eventually he'll throw the little card you need to gin with him holding lots of big cards.
If you have to throw a big one at some point, its time to knock! I've seen this tactic win over 100 pts in a single hand on more than 1 occasion. Shhhh this is a favorite and secret tactic... use it well!!!
The rules I'm gonna be posting are not from any books that I know of other than the one I've been putting together for several years.
Tip #2: When losing a hand, keeping points given to a minimum!
How to do this?
Easy answer - don't get caught holding big cards, lol
I've found the best way to do this is to start discarding my high cards fairly fast but to do it in a safe and orderly fashion so that if I do give my opponent something they need, I have players (cards that will play on their run if they knock)
Say I pick up a hand with the king of spades, king of clubs and the queen of clubs (nice setup right?). If you say yes, I say I wanna play you, lol, it's a good setup for losing 20 or more pts quickly, sometimes a lot more. A gin with you holding just those 3 cards is 55.
The safe and best way to reduce your hand is to get rid of these. In the same king of spades, king of clubs and the queen of clubs setup, my first discard is the king of clubs. If the other player picks it up then you know they have kings, so hold the other king as a player. If not... discard the other king. Finish with the queen. I also use this method near the end of game with small cards in the 5-8 range.
One last thing... ALWAYS take the time to juggle your runs when someone knocks (never assume the Play Site is helping you!).... Even a point or 2 saved can be the difference between winning and losing in a close game!
Tip #2: Live by the Boot, Die by the Boot.
Booting (baiting) - the art of throwing a card hoping opponent will throw a similar one. i.e. 8 of hearts wanting the 8 of diamonds.
We all do this, not really a tip there, but while this is a great strategy it can cost you as many games as it can win you. From personal experience I've found it best to get your boots (bait) out early. After the drawing of a few cards boots become very dangerous in that they could get your opponent down and you not have any players at best. At worst you gin them.
Only at beginning of game will I boot with a small card (under a 5). Later in the game your opponent has surely picked up small ones like yourself and a boot is normally a card you don't have cover for. Better to break up pairs or knock. (Especially if you need more than 1 card to gin. tip #1)
Also there are things called vertical boots. Meaning to throw a queen of hearts to get a jack or king of hearts.
For those that have played a lot, they know certain things happen when certain cards are thrown. QUEENS BRING KINGS.... DUECES BRING ACES and vice versa.
Good Ginning Gang
May all your boots return what you need!!