A standard deck of cards, including the two Jokers
A pen and score pad
2 to 8 players (two decks needed for more than 4 players)
How it differs from
While the basic game play is similar to Rummy, the scoring of Rummy 500 is completely different. Also, Jokers are often used in this game as wild cards that can represent any card in a run or set.
In a two-player game, each player is dealt 13 cards. The dealer then places the remaining cards facedown, creating the stockpile, and turns the top card face up next to it, creating the discard pile. Play goes around the table to the left.
A player has three options for drawing each turn:
- Take one card off the face-up discard pile.
- Take one card from the facedown stock pile.
- Take a previously discarded card from the middle of the stockpile. A player who does this must also take all cards on top of the desired card, and he must play a run or set immediately with the card he selected from the middle of the stockpile.
The player adds this card (or cards) to his hand and discards one. A player may not immediately discard what he has drawn in the same turn.
Each player is trying to meld runs and sets in his hand to score points. A run is a sequence of at least 3 consecutive cards in the same suit (10♣, J♣, Q♣, K♣). A set is a group of at least 3 cards of the same number (5♥, 5♣, 5♦). Once assembled, individual melds are placed face-up on the table. Players may also score points by laying off cards on their opponent’s sets and runs. In the run shown above, a player holding the 9♣ or A♣ could lay it off on that set.
The game continues until a player lays down all the cards in his hand. At this time, no more cards can be melded. Each player’s melded cards are added up as points. Points are determined by the face value of each card held, with Aces worth 1 point, face cards worth 10, and Jokers worth 15. The cards remaining in a player’s hand are tallied and subtracted from his point total. It is possible for a player to score a negative point total. The first player to reach 500 points wins the game.
How much rummy can you handle?
Don’t get caught up with the number 500. Depending upon your skill level and attention span, 500 may seem like too long or short a game for you and your grandkids. Make it Rummy 200 or even Rummy 5,000 to suit your needs.
Card games are timeless fun for the whole family. The Ultimate Book of Card Games, by Scott McNeely, is sure to offer fun to all ages, households and people who have a pack of cards and time to kill. Get this perfect gift for the game lover in your life here.