Rules for 500 Rummy | How To Play, Objective, Scoring & More

Rules for 500 Rummy | How To Play, Objective, Scoring & More

Rules for 500 Rummy

Rummy, a well-liked card game, is enjoyed not just in India but all over the world. Different types of rummy are played in different parts of the globe. One famous version is called 500 Rummy. The version of rummy known as canasta is believed to have come from 500 rummy. 500 rummy is known by various names like pinochle rummy, Persian rummy, Michigan rummy, 500 rum and Rummy 500. This game can be played by 2 to 8 players, but it’s usually best with 3 to 5 players. The rules for 500 rummy is the topic that we’ll be delving into today.

What sets this version apart is that the player who reaches 500 points first is the winner. You earn points for the cards you meld, and you lose points for cards that are still in your hand when someone finishes the game. This kind of rummy gives you points for the cards you meld and takes away points for the ones you don’t meld. The game is won by the first player to get a total score of 500 or more over several rounds. And in this game, you’re not limited to only picking the top card from the pile of discarded cards—you can pick multiple cards if needed to find a lower card that fits in with your meld.

The Objective of 500 Rummy

In Rummy 500, the main goal is to put together sets of three cards or more. These sets can be made up of matching cards, like Kings, 6s, or As, or they can be sequences of cards in the same suit, such as the 3, 4, and 5 of diamonds. We call these groups of cards “melds.”

As the game goes on, players lay down their cards to create these melds. The round comes to an end when a player uses up all their cards or when there are no more cards left in the stockpile. At this point, everyone adds up their points based on the cards they still have in their hands.

A neat thing is that players can also add 1-2 cards to melds that are already on the table. For example, if someone has a meld of 3 Kings, another player can add the fourth King to the meld.

And here’s a fun twist: Jokers act as wildcards. This means they can be any card a player needs them to be. It definitely adds a strategic edge to the game. The objective in the game Rummy 500 is to reach a total of 500 points, and you do this across multiple rounds of play.

Scoring in 500 Rummy

Let’s now go over how card values work. Each card has a value assigned to it. The cards with numbers on them hold a value that matches the number itself. The special face cards, like Jacks, Queens, and Kings, are all worth 10 points each. Now, when it comes to Aces, they carry a higher value of 15 points. And if Jokers are in the game, they also count for 15 points each.

Sometimes you might hear that certain people consider number cards to be worth five points each, but this isn’t very common and is usually done to make scoring easier. When you place cards in specific combinations known as melds, you earn points. 

When a player uses up all their cards, that round comes to an end, and we add up the points. For players who still have cards in their hands, they just need to figure out how much those cards are worth and then subtract that from their score for that round. Or, if the stack of cards to draw from runs out, the round ends, but players don’t need to worry about reducing their score based on the cards they have left.

Imagine a player’s hand is worth 60 points, and the cards they’ve already placed down are worth 100 points. So, they’ll actually get 40 points for that round.

According to the rules for 500 rummy, If a player ends up losing more points from their hand than they managed to earn during the round, we’ll just take away that negative value from their total score.

Rules for 500 Rummy

The Rules for 500 Rummy says that you’ll need a standard French deck of cards, which can include 52 cards or more, depending on whether you’re using jokers or playing with more players. If you have 5 or more players, it’s recommended to use two decks, totaling 104 to 108 cards.

To start the game, players draw for the deal, with the lowest card dealt first. The dealer shuffles the deck and the player to the right cuts the cards. Once the cut is complete, the dealer distributes the cards one by one to each player in a clockwise manner, starting from the dealer’s left.

The number of cards that you deal depends on the number of participating players:

  • For 2 players, 13 cards are dealt to each.
  • For 3 or more players, 7 cards are dealt to each.

The remaining cards are placed face down in a pile between the players, creating the stock. The top card of the stock is turned face up and put next to the stock to initiate the discard pile. As the game progresses, any additional cards added to the discard pile are placed face up on top of the existing cards. The discard pile should be slightly spread out, allowing players to easily see all the cards within it. While players can move the cards in the discard pile to view them, they’re not allowed to change the order of the cards.

According to the rules for 500 rummy, at the end of a round, the player to the left of the current dealer becomes the new dealer for the next round. In a variation of the game, the discard pile can be started by dealing an extra card face down to the player on the left of the dealer. This player then selects any card from their hand to place face up beside the stock, initiating the discard pile. The winner of the round becomes the dealer for the subsequent round.

The Gameplay Rules For 500 Rummy

Let’s begin with the person on the dealer’s left. The order to play goes around in a clockwise direction. Playing a turn involves three main parts:

  1. Drawing Cards You’ve got two choices: You can take the top card from the deck and put it in your hand without showing it to others, or you can pick one or more cards from the pile of discarded cards. You’re always allowed to draw the top card from either the deck or the discard pile (there are some exceptions, but we’ll talk about those later). You can decide to take a card from further down in the discard pile only if:
    • You right away meld the card, either by making a new combination or by adding it to an existing meld.
    • You also grab all the cards above the card you melded (those cards that were discarded after that card).
  2. Melding You have the option to meld any valid combinations of cards from your hand by placing them face up right in front of you. You can also lay down cards onto melds that you or other players have already made. Because all the cards that are melded earn points for the player who melded them, when you lay a card down onto another player’s meld, you place the card in front of yourself, not beside the existing meld.
  3. Discarding Unless you’ve managed to meld all the cards in your hand (in this case, the play is done, and we’ll get to that in a bit), you need to discard one card from your hand by putting it face up on the discard pile. If you drew only the top card from the discard pile, you must get rid of a different card. However, if you pick up multiple cards from the discard pile, you can get rid of any card after melding, even the card that was on top of the pile before. The cards on the discard pile are layered so that you can tell which cards were discarded earlier.

The game keeps going until one of these things happens:

  • A player is left with no cards in their hand. This can happen if a player melds all their cards or if they meld all but one card and then discard the last one.
  • There are no more cards left in the deck, and the player whose turn it is decides not to draw from the discard pile.

Once either of these things happens, the game ends, and we tally up the scores.

How To Play Rummy 500

Know that we’ve understood how the rules for 500 rummy work, let’s dive into how Rummy 500 is played step by step:

  • Start with Drawing a Card: To kick off each round, the player on the left of the dealer begins. Everyone takes turns clockwise. To start your turn, simply draw the top card from the stockpile and add it to your hand.
  • Pick a Card from the Discard Pile: You also have the option to choose a card from the discard pile. Make sure the cards in the discard pile are spread out so you can see them all. Instead of taking a face-down card from the stockpile, you can choose a card from the discard pile that you can use. Keep these rules in mind when drawing a card from the discard pile:
    • Take all the cards on top of the card you want.
    • You must be able to create at least one group of melded cards with what you picked up and your existing cards.
    • The rest of the cards can be melded during your turn or added to your hand.
  • Create Melds: After you’ve drawn a card (or cards), you can lay down melds from your hand. Melds can include sets of 3 to 4 matching cards, like 3 Aces, 4 Jacks, or 3 twos. You can also have sequences of 3 or more cards of the same suit, such as 10, Jack, and Queen of hearts. You can even add to melds that are already on the table. For example, if there are already 3 melded 10s on the table, you can add your 4th 10 during your turn.
  • Discard a Card: Your turn ends by placing one card on the discard pile. It doesn’t matter if this card could’ve completed a meld of three cards or if it’s your last card—you must discard one card. However, make sure all your melds are finished before you discard. Once you’ve discarded, the next player takes their turn. Remember, you can’t take back a discard.
  • Learn Extra Moves: If you have cards that can be melded with another player’s melds, you can place these cards in your own area for scoring. Sometimes, players might explain why they’re making certain moves, but these additional melds can only be made during your turn.
  • Understand the Round’s End: The round concludes when either the stockpile runs out of cards or when a player places all their melds and discarded cards into the discard pile.
  • Scoring the Game: When a player uses up all their cards, the round ends, and points are calculated. Players with cards left in their hands count the value of those cards and subtract it from their round score. Alternatively, if the stockpile is empty, the round concludes, but players don’t subtract points for their hands. For example, if your hand is worth 70 points, and your melded cards are worth 100 points, you gain 30 points for that round. If you lose more points from your hand than you earned in the round, the negative value is deducted from your overall score.
  • Continue Playing to 500 Points: Keep playing rounds and tallying scores until one player reaches 500 points. If more than one player crosses 500 during the same round, the player with the highest score wins.

Variations of 500 Rummy

Partnership 500 rum

This is played in a partnership. 4 players have to form 2 teams & the partners sit facing each other across the table. The partners try to play off on each other’s matched sets and run to go out as soon as possible.

Persian rummy

Here, a 56-card deck (52+4 jokers) is used. Jokers cannot be used as wildcards but must be melded into sets of three or four jokers (like any other card). Jokers cannot be used in a sequence. 1 joker has 20 points.

Dealer’s gambit

There are 2-4 jokers used in this game. Also, no penalties are applied for holding a joker in hand once a round gets over.

Also See: 13 Cards Rummy Rules — How To Play Rummy Card Game

1500/2500/5000 Rummy

There are different versions of Rummy games like 1500 Rummy, 2500 Rummy, and 5000 Rummy. In these games, the goal score is higher, a changing number of cards are given to players, and aces as well as wild cards are worth a lot of points.

7-Card Straight

When a player lays down a sequence of seven cards in a row and then discards their final card, they earn a reward of 500 points. This special move is famously known as the “Rummy Master’s Hand”.