The goal of the game is to be the first to reach or exceed the 500 point target score, or whatever pre-set number applies to the game or tournament. All players will use “runs” and “sets” to meet the goal.
- Runs are arranged from cards in the same suit, and must contain three more cards, in order. An example of a run is the seven, eight, nine, and ten of hearts.
- Sets are built on cards of the same rank. For instance, a player holding the two of hearts, clubs, and diamonds could meld them to the table.
Unlike many other Rummy games, in which players must reach a certain number of points before they may lay down runs or sets, Rummy 500 allows them to be placed at any time.
Values are determined by the cards themselves, and a game of Rummy 500 uses a traditional deck of 52 playing cards, with the Jokers included. All numeric cards are assigned points by the face value. For instance, the two of hearts is worth two points, etc. All face cards have a ten point value, and all Aces can be valued at 1 or 11 points. Jokers will be valued as the card they are representing.
How to Play a Game of Rummy 500
Each player receives 7 cards, and the dealer then places the remaining cards, face down in the center of the table. They turn the top card over and lay this next to the deck facing upwards. The pile of cards facing downward is known as the “stock pile”, and the pile beginning with the first overturned card is the “discard pile”.
A game requires each player to take a turn, and during a turn the player can:
- Take a single card from the stock or discard pile;
- Drawing from the discard pile requires that if the player takes from the middle of the pile they must also take all cards on top of the one they desire, and that the card they wanted is immediately used in the making of a meld or in replacing a joker in an existing meld;
- Create a new meld or add to an existing one - players of Rummy 500 can build upon melds at any time, even if they have yet to make a meld of their own. Once a player has drawn a card for their turn they can then begin laying down cards on any existing melds, and use as many cards as they want during each turn; and
- Discard a card into the discard pile – any card that was taken from the discard pile at the beginning of a turn cannot be returned to the pile in the same turn, and if multiple cards were taken it is all but the original card that cannot go back into the pile.
Winning and Scoring
Rummy 500 is played in a series of “rounds” and each round ends when:
- There are no cards remaining in the deck; or
- A player has run out of cards and has just discarded the last in their hand
Scoring is quite simple – the face values of all cards remaining in a player’s hand are subtracted from the sums of the cards that they melded on the table. Clearly, this is a way of issuing penalty points. Values for the Ace and Joker hold at 15 points each. It is possible for a player to actually get a negative score if they are holding a higher value than the points earned for their melds.
The game continues until the 500 point score (or the other target score) is reached. If several players break the target, it is the one with the highest total who wins. Quick Games rules give the win to the player with the highest score per games of one to three rounds each. In tournaments the winner is the last player at the final table.
When players tie, the prizes are divided equally for rings, in tournaments it requires a final tie breaker ring, and in multiple table tournaments it is the player with the all-around highest score who is declared the winner. When a tie still exists in such situations it is the player holding the lowest valued card in their remaining hand who wins.
Multi Table Tournaments and Chip Division
Chips or prizes are divided up only after all scores are totaled. Winners are those with the highest number of points. Once scores are tallied, winners receive the appropriate number of chips from opponents. A division of chips is calculated on the difference between opponents’ scores and the score of the single winner, multiplied by the PCR (point chip ratio)
For instance, let’s say that Player One wins a round in which a PCR is four. Player One has earned one hundred points, Player Two has earned seventy points, and Player Three has won 60 points. Player Two will have to give Player One 120 chips, and Player Two will need to give 160 chips.
Click here to see examples.