Sign up

The Rules of Rummy 500 and How To Play Rummy 500

Rummy 500 (also known as Persian Rummy, Pinochle Rummy, 500 Rum, 500 Rummy) is a popular Rummy game which is similar to straight Rummy but distinct in the sense that players may draw more than just the upcard from the discard pile. This significantly increases the level of complexity and strategy involved in the course of play.

According to the most commonly played Rummy 500 rules, points are scored for cards that are melded, and points are lost for cards that are not melded (ie deadwood) and remain in a player’s hand when someone goes out. These rules were written to describe the standard, most authoritative rules to be used in a real life card playing situation. Similar rules are also applicable to the online version of this game which can be played on the internet.

The Deck - Rummy 500 is played with what is called a standard deck of cards, which is 54 cards (52 playing cards and two jokers). You can play this game with 2 to 8 players. If there are 5 or more people playing, you should use two decks of cards (108 cards total).

The Deal - The cards are dealt by the dealer, who deals the cards one at a time going clockwise, starting with the person to the dealer’s left. This continues until each of the players has received 7 cards or 13 cards if there are just two players.

Number of players Deck of Cards Number of cards dealt to each player
2 Players 1 Deck 13 cards each
3 or 4 Players 1 Deck 7 cards each
5+ Players 2 Decks 7 cards each

 

The rest of the cards are placed on the table to form the stock pile, which is a face down pile that each player can reach. The first card should be lifted over and set face up beside the stock. This will become the discard pile. The players may now examine and sort their cards.

How to play turn by turn

Draw (Compulsory) - When it is your turn, you must either draw the top card from the stock and put it into your hand without showing anyone, or you can take one card from the discard pile. The discard pile is fanned out and you may draw from the entire pile, not just the upcard, but if you take one from lower down in the discard pile you must also take all the cards above it. A card drawn in this way must be placed in a meld right away, either in a new combination which is placed in the meld area on the table or by adding it to an existing meld which is already there. The other cards taken in addition to this card, may be added to your hand or melded in the same turn. For the avoidance of doubt, see the following section "Drawing From The Discard Pile" which explains how this works in practice.

As with regular Rummy, scoring occurs when one player has disposed of all their cards and you can reduce your hand in one of three ways after the initial draw:

(1) Melding (Optional) - Cards may be discarded by placing combinations of three or more cards from your hand face up on the table before you, in the designated meld area. Alternatively, you may keep melds in your hand. There are two kinds of combinations: Runs and Sets.

A Run (aka sequence) is three or more cards of the same suit in sequence:

Example of a Valid Run Example of an Invalid Run
     
       

 

A Set (aka group) is three or four cards of the same rank and different suits:

Example of a Valid Set Example of an Invalid Set
     
      

 

(2) Laying Off (Optional) - This involves adding cards from your hand to melds previously placed in the meld area on the table by yourself or other players. Cards added must form a legitimate meld. Thus, if there is a Run of    on the table, you may add or you could add and or even   and . If there was a    on the table, you could add a but not anything else. Even if you are playing with two packs, the cards of a Set must all be of different suits, so there is no fifth 6 that can be included in a meld of that kind.

You are not permitted to move cards from one meld to another to form new melds. You are not obligated to lay off cards just because you can but there is no limit to the number of cards you can lay off during a single turn.

When laying off a card, there is often more than one meld it could potentially be attached to. The player laying off must choose which meld to extend. For example, if there is a Run (sequence) of    and a Set (group)    on the table, and you have a in your hand, you must choose whether to add your to the Run or the Set, but once it is played, it cannot be moved.

Jokers () are wild cards that can stand for any card in a meld and even a duplicate of a card already in another meld. The player who melds a joker must declare what card the joker represents as this cannot be later changed by any player.

(3) Discarding (Compulsory) - Unless you melded all the cards in your hand, you must place a card from your hand face up on top of the discard pile to complete your turn. Once the player has discarded, his turn is over and he may not play any cards until it is his turn again.

Drawing from the Discard Pile

For the purpose of clarification, here is an example of how "Drawing From The Discard Pile" works in practice according to standard Rummy 500 rules. Let us say that the discard pile consists of      and the upcard is and you want to get hold of the in order to complete a Set of three sixes. You would take   and . The completes your set and you put it in the meld area on the table. The and are added to your hand. If you then discard to complete your turn, the new discard pile arrangement becomes    and the upcard is now .

Ending the Hand

The game continues until a player has no cards left in hand. It will also stop when a player, whose turn it is, wants to draw from stock and there are no cards left. When either of these two things happen, the hand is over. At this time, the scores for this hand will be added up for each of the people playing.

When play ends no more cards can be melded. Any cards remaining in the hands of players are scored against them even if they could have been added to a meld. If your deadwood count is more than the total of the cards you have melded, your score for that hand is negative. Further hands are usually played until someone reaches the target score of 500 points and that player is the winner of the game. In the event of a tie, deciding hands are played until there is a firm winner.

Scoring

The cards are assigned fixed point values according to standard Rummy 500 rules.

Cards Value Example 1 Example 2
Jokers 15 points  is worth 15 points  is worth 15 points
Aces 15 points  is worth 15 points  is worth 15 points
Faces 10 points  is worth 10 points  is worth 10 points
Others Pip value  is worth 2 points  is worth 8 points

 

For the Jack, Queen and King, their points values are 10 points each. For the Ace and Joker, you get 15 points each. The only exception to this rule is that when you meld an Ace with a 2 or a 3 of the same suit as part of a sequence, you get 1 point instead of 15 points. The rest of the cards have their own pip value. This means that the has the value of 2 points, and the card has the value of 3 points, and so on.