Blindfold Rummy

User Guide

Overview

Blindfold Rummy is a fully accessible Rummy card game for both sighted and visually impaired people, designed for rapid audio play.

You control this game using iPhone gestures.

First, in the main menu, select one of the Rummy games, and tap it.

The simplest form of Rummy is Gin Rummy.

The object of  Gin Rummy is to collect a hand where most or all of the cards can be combined into sets and runs and the point value of the remaining unmatched cards is low.

A run or sequence consists of three or more cards of the same suit in consecutive order, such as club 4, club 5, club 6 or heart 7, heart 8, heart 9, heart 10, heart Jack.

A set or group is three or four cards of the same rank, such as diamond 7, heart 7, spade 7.

A card can belong to only one combination at a time – you cannot use the same card as part of both a set of equal cards and a sequence of consecutive cards at the same time.

For example if you have diamond 7, spade 7, heart 7, heart 8, heart 9 you can use the heart 7 either to make a set of three sevens or a heart sequence, but not both at once.

To form a set and a sequence you would need a sixth card – either a club 7 or a heart 10.

Note that in Gin Rummy the Ace is always low.

Ace two three is a valid sequence but ace king queen is not.

Play

A normal turn consists of two parts:

Part one – the Draw part, where you take one card from either the top of the deck or the top card on the discard pile, and adding it to your hand.

The discard pile is face up, so you know the top card.

The deck is face down, so if you choose to draw from the stock you do not see the card until after you have committed yourself to take it.

If you draw from the deck, you add the card to your hand without showing it to the other players.

Part two – the Discard part, where you must discard one card, and place it on the discard pile, face up.

If you took the top card from the discard pile, you must discard a different card – taking the top discard and putting the same card back in the same turn is not permitted.

It is however legal to discard a card that you took from the discard pile in an earlier turn.

Knocking

You can end the play at your turn if, after drawing a card, you can form your cards into valid combinations of sets and runs.

This is called knocking.  To knock, press 2 fingers for about a second.

Any remaining cards from your hand which are not part of a valid combination are called unmatched cards or deadwood.

To knock, the total value of your deadwood must be 10 points or less.

If you attempt to knock and you have deadwood worth more than 10 points, your knock is rejected.

Knocking with no unmatched cards at all is called going gin, and earns a special bonus.

A player who can meet the requirement of not more than 10 deadwood points can knock on any turn, including the first.

A player is never forced to knock if able to, but may choose instead to carry on playing, to try to get a better score.

Both players then show their cards, arranged into sets and runs.

In this game, after the round is over, your cards and your opponent’s cards are automatically arranged into sets and runs, and announced to you.

If the deck is reduced to two cards, the round is canceled, and no one gets any points.

Scoring for 2 players

Each player counts the total value of their unmatched cards. If the knocker’s count is lower, the knocker scores the difference between the two counts.

If the knocker did not go gin, and the counts are equal, or the knocker’s count is greater than that of the opponent, the knocker has been undercut.

In this case the knocker’s opponent scores the difference between the counts plus a 25 point bonus.

A player who goes gin scores a bonus 25 points, plus the opponent’s count in unmatched cards, if any.

A player who goes gin can never be undercut.

Even if the other player has no unmatched cards at all, the person going gin gets the 25 point bonus the other player scores nothing.

The game continues with further deals until one player’s cumulative score reaches 100 points or more.

To post your winning score to twitter, facebook or game center, tap twice with 2 fingers after the game is over.

Use the settings screen to specify which social network to use.

Scoring for 3 or 4 players

Each player counts the total value of their unmatched cards, and the winner is the one with the lowest score.

The winner of each hand scores the difference between his count and the combined counts of the other two players.

The game continues with further deals until one player’s cumulative score reaches 100 points or more.

Gestures

To hear your cards, swipe down with 2 fingers.

To move left or right in your cards, swipe left and right.

To jump to the front of your hand, swipe left with 2 fingers.

To jump to the end of your hand, swipe right with 2 fingers.

To hear the top discard pile again, tap the screen with 2 fingers.

In the draw part, you can draw from either the discard pile or the deck.

To draw from the deck, tap 3 times with one finger.

To draw from the discard pile, tap 4 times with one finger.

The card is placed at the end of your hand.

In the discard part, select the card in your hand that you want to discard, and then tap twice.

To end the game by knocking, after you find the card that you want to discard, press and hold two fingers instead of tapping twice.

You can re-arrange your hand at any time.

To pick multiple cards to group together, select the first card then swipe down with 1 finger.

After you have selected the first card for the group, while you are selecting more cards for the group, you will hear a kettle drum.

Continue selecting more cards for the group by swiping down with one finger.

As you flip through the cards, if the card is already in the group being formed, you will hear a beep.

When the group is complete, pinch in with 2 fingers and that group of cards will be automatically sorted, and placed at the front of your hand.

To cancel grouping, pinch out.

To hear the status of the game, such as the number of cards you and your opponents have, shake the phone.

To go back to the main menu, swipe up with 3 fingers.

Knocking and Grouping

When you knock, if the game determines that you have more than 10 deadwood points when you knocked, you can show the game that the cards can be arranged differently so that you have less than 10 points.

When you encounter this, you can combine the cards together that reflects your lower deadwood score by swiping down with one finger.

Combine each card in one group or run until that group or run is complete, and knock again.

If that group or run is invalid, you will be told, the cards are returned back to your hand, and the next player goes.

If, after removing that group or run, your deadwood score is 10 or less, the knock proceeds.

If the game computes your deadwood score to still be over 10, you can combine another group or run, and knock again.

Each time you combine cards, the properly combined cards are removed from your hand for the rest of the game.

To cancel grouping, pinch out.  When you cancel, your knock is rejected, and the next player goes.

How to use coins

To play one round of Rummy, you will use one coin.

This game comes with 10 coins, so you can play 10 rounds of Rummy.

You can purchase coins in the GET UPGRADES screen.

If you bought the STARTER PACK for this game when it was first created in early 2015, you don’t need coins.

Prices shown in the GET UPGRADES screen are in U.S.A. dollars; the App Store will convert the price into your local currency when you are asked to buy the upgrade.

Playing against the computer

When playing against the computer, you can change the name and skill of the other players.

Normally one computer player is good, one is average, and one is very good.

To find out more about each of the computer players, in the SETTINGS screen, tap CUSTOMIZE COMPETITOR.

To change a competitor’s name, or their skill level, tap on the INFO button.

Customizing your competitors requires an in-app upgrade.

Customizing the voice

You can customize the speaker, speed and pitch of the voice used for your actions, or your opponent’s or the dealer’s action.

To change the speaker, select the CUSTOMIZE VOICE option in the SETTINGS SCREEN.

If you want to use a different speaker other than the defaults, you can pick one of the other speaker listed on that screen, and tap the INFO button.

To change the speed or pitch of the voice for your actions or your opponents actions, tap the INFO button on the corresponding menu item.

Settings

The SETTINGS screen has several sections.

In the first section of SETTINGS, you can change how the game performs.

You can turn off the background music.

You can turn off some sound effects.

You can change the target score.  The winner of the game is the one who hits the target score first.

You can have the app replay a message if it was not played the first time.

On some iphones, the iphone tells our app that a message was not spoken, even though the message was spoken.

If you encounter this problem, change this setting from ON to OFF.

In the second section of SETTINGS, you can visit the Kid Friendly Software dot com website and blog, send an email to us, or visit the AppleVis page for our apps.

Problems

If you have a problem with this game, please contact us at support @ kid friendly software dot com.  To track down a problem, we may need you to turn on remote logging.  To turn on remote logging, open up the SETTINGS app, and find Blindfold Rummy.  There are three items in the settings on that screen: version, device id and remote logging.  After you contact us, we may ask you to turn remote logging on, and ask for your device ID, so we can see what went wrong.

If you notice a game is no longer responding, and it used to work fine, it could be that accessibility rotor has disabled direct touch.  All games must allow direct touch.

How to Play

Object of the Game

To be the player with the lowest score at the end of the game. When one player hits the target score or higher, the game ends. The player with the lowest score wins the game.
The game is normally played with 4 players.

The Pack

The standard 52-card pack is used.

Rank of Cards

A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

Card Values and Scoring

At the end of each hand, players count the number of Rummy they have taken as well as the queen of spades, if applicable.
Rummy count as one point each and the queen of spades counts 13 points.
The game is usually played to 100 points or more.
When a player takes all 13 Rummy and the queen of spades in one hand, instead of losing 26 points, that player scores zero and each of his opponents score an additional 26 points.
That is called “Shooting the Moon”.”

The Deal

The entire deck is dealt one at a time, face down, beginning with any player. Your hand of cards is usually sorted by suit. Each player gets 13 cards.

The Play

The player holding the 2 of clubs plays that card to begin the game.

Each player must follow suit if possible. If a player is void of the suit led, a card of any other suit may be discarded. However, if a player has no clubs when the first trick is led, a heart or the queen of spades cannot be played. The highest card of the suit led wins a trick and the winner of that trick leads next. There is no trump suit.

The winner of the trick collects it and places it face down. Rummy may not be led until a heart has been played. The queen of spades does not have to be discarded at the first opportunity.

Strategy

Overview

While having a game plan in Gin Rummy may not be essential, the strategy element ranks high. One can incorporate statistics, percentage play, discarding, forcing a draw, baiting, taking cards on spec and other smart ways to out manoeuvre your opponent. Here are just a few tips and tactics that might just help you win the game.

The mathematics of Gin Rummy shows that there are 15,820,024,220 (that’s almost 16 billion variations) possible combination of hands that can be formed from the ten cards in a single hand. Once the draw and discard starts, this number can rise into the trillions!

Strategy at a Glance

It’s one thing to master the rules; it’s another to practice strategy to your advantage. Winning is your priority so mastering the strategies takes precedence over just knowing the rules.

Memory

Do not get caught sleeping on the job. As soon as the cards are dealt, try to have two antennas working simultaneously. One for your own game and the other on what your opponent is doing. Make a mental tally of what he’s putting on the discard pile. If you are employing this strategy for the first time, you may have a bit of difficulty initially, but practice makes it perfect.

Is your opponent throwing more spades and hearts? Then it’s safe to conclude that he’s waiting for diamonds or clubs. Did he throw low numbered diamonds awhile back? Then chances are he’s holding matching cards in the high numbers, possibly waiting for a 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10.

Knocking

If the risk of undercut appears to be low, knock and do it quickly. As soon as your deadwood is low enough, knock. If you’re faced with the decision of knocking but you’re afraid of being undercut, knock anyway. If you discard a card and think it will lead your opponent to going gin, again knock anyway. Your opponent will most likely go gin rather than get exposed to an undercut.

Knocking early without trying for gin may not get you the extra Gin bonus, but it will get you a whole lot of deadwood count. Plus it also helps in getting you the Box bonus.

A typical game terminates when the deck is down to half or about two thirds of the deck and some use this as a signal that knocking should happen soon. If the stock pile is diminished to about one third, it’s a good idea to discard high value deadwoods and acquire or retain low value deadwoods.

Figuring Out Your Opponent’s Cards

As soon as the game begins, keep an eye out for what your opponent is putting on the discard pile. If in the next two or three rounds he throws out cards of a particular shape, let us assume hearts and spades, that could mean that he is batting for diamonds and clubs. Is he throwing high or low numbers? If he’s in the habit of throwing high numbers, do not throw out any low numbers.

Some Gin Rummy experts advise picking up cards from the stock rather than from the discard pile. If you take a lot of cards from the discard pile, your opponent will have an idea of what cards you’re holding. You’re also picking up cards that are totally useless to your opponent. If you draw from the deck (the stock pile) you keep him in the dark and you could prevent him from going gin.

Taking a card from the discard pile is recommended if you need the card to turn two cards that match into a run or group of three or more. This way you are removing about 3 deadwood cards, and it might also enable you to knock early.

Get Those Runs or Groups Early and Quickly

Form those runs or groups (called a meld) as quickly and as early in the game as you can. If your opponent throws out cards that you need to help complete a meld, pick them up right away.
The closer you come to knocking or going to gin, the better. Having a run or a group puts you at an advantage. And, if early in the game, you only need one card for a meld, you increase your chances of knocking early too. When it comes to high value cards, be wary that these are equally high value deadwood. Meld face cards or discard them quickly.

Middle cards are important

This is because they are considered the most valuable cards by players. A middle card like seven has the potential to extend melds right at mid-point and in either direction. A player can extend a meld at the lower end of the number series, or from the high end number series. Its extension capabilities are superior compared to other numbers. If you hold a middle card, try not to discard it too early in the game. Due to the same concept, the King is the least valuable not only as it’s extension capabilities are inferior but also since it’s deadwood value is high. Ace is another low value card in Gin rummy.

Value of combinations

Unmelded cards can be classified as good or bad depending on chances of combining them with other cards to form melds.

King Queen – The worst kind – Only one card: Jack can meld it. Cost is 20 deadwood points.

9 Jack – Still one of the worst -Hole in the middle of the intended meld. Again only one card: 10 can meld it. Cost is High (19) deadwood points.

5 7 – Only slightly better – Same as above, however, the deadwood count is lower (12).

4 5 – Not bad – Two cards can form runs with this combination.

6 6 – Not bad – Two cards can form sets with this combination.

6 8 10 – Good – Two cards can form runs with this combination.

2 4 4 – Good – Despite the hole, three cards can complete a meld with these three cards.

3 4 4 – Good – Four cards can complete a meld with these three cards.

3 5 3 5 – Very good – Six cards can complete a meld with these four cards.

7 8 7 8 – Excellent – Eight cards can complete a meld with these cards.

Statistics

If you’re aiming for a sequence meld, you know that they can be extended at the low and high ends. This means that if you’re holding 5 6 7, you can extend your possibilities by considering a 2 3 and 4 (low end) or 8 9 10 (high end). This point to increased probabilities of extended existing melds as well as making a much longer sequence with all or part of another unfinished sequence. However, If you’re aiming for the same suit, your three of a kind can only be extended one more way. So bear in mind that a sequence has more chance of extension.

Keep these statistics in mind as you devise your strategy:

(1) How many ten-card hands are possible in Gin Rummy? Answer: 15,820,024,220 (almost 16 million)

(2) Each player cannot play the same game on a consistent and regular basis

(3) Each player will have different uses for those cards that they pick up from the stock and discard piles. There is no universal use for any one card.

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