The biological characteristics of cancers depend mostly on genetic alterations in the cancer cells of individuals. Gastric cancers show a high frequency of DNA aneuploidy, a phenotype of chromosomal instability. Compared to diploid tumors, gastric carcinomas with aneuploidy have been shown to have high proliferative activity and high metastatic or invasive potential; these characteristics lead to a poor prognosis. It has been suggested that an abnormal spindle assembly checkpoint is involved in DNA aneuploidy, but the underlying mechanism is still unclear. This review, in order to determine whether gastric carcinomas that display aneuploidy are associated with a poorer prognosis than diploid tumors, and to discuss the biological mechanisms that induce aneuploidy, summarizes the results of studies on DNA ploidy in gastric cancer published in the English literature. Analysis of DNA ploidy in gastric cancer may provide clinically useful information from diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic standpoints. Further investigations may be needed to clarify the relationship between chromosome instability and DNA ploidy.