Tonk and Knock Rummy

Tonk and Knock Rummy

Tonk is a short version of rummy that is very similar to Gin Rummy. It a probably the most popular card game played in prisons, jails and institution in the USA. The game has a following that is less than righteous in the US. In the 1930s and 1940s the game was a favorite of may jazz bands like Duke Ellington’s Band. In fact there is a song by Ellington called Tonk. It was written in 1940,by that great musician the played with Ellington by the name of Billy Strayhorn.

The game is played with each player being dealt 5 cards and the game begins. Cards can be melded and then the lowest non-playable card hand is the winner when the deck is gone through or a player is able to lay down their entire hand.

Knock rummy is just a version of Gin Rummy where players can knock at any time and they hope to catch the opponent with a large point count of unplayable cards. Not all knocks are done for this reason as some are done for scoring reasons to make sure that player has scored in all three games and has eliminated the possibility of losing a game with no score and the penalty that would bring to the player.

Both games are fast paced and winners are quickly determined which helps to keep the players focused on the game. Slow moving games like chess are boring to some players. However the speed chess play has eliminated this idea somewhat. Fast play and quick solutions are a means to keeping players interested in the game and willing to play again.

Knock Rummy is actually another name for Gin Rummy as knocking has been a part of Gin Rummy for a long time and is part of the good players skilled strategy. A player knocking early in a hand can sometimes catch the opponent with a basket of unplayable cards. This can be a very strong offensive play, rather than waiting for a Gin Rummy. Skilled players use this play as a way to make the game move faster and improve their chances of scoring in all games and maybe getting a Snyder in one or more of a three game set. This is not a defensive play and most players would consider it a very strong offensive play and one that should be a winner when done early in a hand.

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