Inquiring Minds


Gin Trivia is a question-answer game structured around the mechanics of classic card game, Rummy.

The idea behind Gin Trivia is to take the traditional trivia game and flip the concept on its head. Rather than each player attempting to answer questions as individuals, players need to create their own questions on the fly, and are rewarded when they can demonstrate some piece of trivia that nobody else in the room knows.

This piece of trivia would ideally not be too easy, nor would it be too obscure. For example, if a player used the American history card, an example of a good trivia question would be, “He took office after Lincoln was assassinated in 1865”. An example of a poor trivia question would be, “Name each of the islands in order discovered on the four voyages of Christopher Columbus.”1.

Since it is difficult to quantify what represents a “good trivia question”, one has to rely on the entire group’s best judgment. In an ideal playthrough, every player would have learned something new by the end of the game.


Deal 6 cards out to each player. Place the rest of the cards face-down. Players proceed in a clockwise fashion from the dealer. On a player’s turn, they may either draw a card from the deck or discard pile, and then discard a single card face-up onto the discard pile. (In this respect, the game is not dissimilar to Rummy).

At this point, the player, hereafter known as the questioner, places one of their cards face-up on the table and asks a question related to the card’s category to the other players. The other players must work together to come to a unified consensus before attempting to answer the question. Only one answer can be given, so the players are expected to work together.

If answered correctly, the questioner must return the card to their hand, and the game proceeds to the next player. If answered incorrectly, the questioner turns the card face-down in front of them. This card is effectively removed from play.

If a player has a card with the text “HINT” written on it, they may ask the questioner for a single hint. Examples of hints can include the first letter of the answer, or possibly asking for additional details. The hint card is then placed face-up in the discard pile, where it can potentially be picked up by the subsequent player.

When a player runs out of cards, they are declared the winner, and the game ends.

Getting Started

Besides a copy of the rules, which is also available as a word doc, the players will need to print out the grid of trivia categories. These can be cut up into 52 squares and attached to the fronts of standard playing cards using glue or tape. Alternatively if you would like to get a professional copy of the game, please visit our store.

 [1] Unless your name is Stempel