Rummy is a game with many variants, and in this guide, we’ll be looking at one of the most popular called Rummy 500!
Rummy 500 is a fun card game that can be played with 2 – 8 players. So, let’s get right down to it and see how you play Rummy 500.
What is Rummy 500?
Rummy 500 goes by many names, including Michigan Rummy, Persian Rummy, and 500 Rum, to name just a few. It’s also thought to have inspired several other popular playing card games like Canasta.
The exact origin of Rummy 500 isn’t known. However, some believe the game may have originated as a variant of traditional Rummy in France. Before, spreading to other countries around the world.
The objective of Rummy 500 is to be the first player to score 500 points. Cards need to be played in melds. The setup of the game also changes slightly depending on the number of players. We’ll talk more about the gameplay and rules below. But first, let’s look at what you need to play.
What You’ll Need To Play
To play Rummy 500, all you need is a regular deck of playing cards. Under traditional rules, the Joker cards are removed. So, you’ll be playing with a standard deck of 52 cards. Any type of playing cards can be used.
However, we recommend sticking to traditional designs so every player can quickly tell the suits apart. These cards from Bicycle are an excellent choice. Remember, if you are playing Rummy 500 with 5 – 8 players, you will need two decks.
Rummy 500 Rules and Gameplay
The Aim of The Game
The aim of Rummy 500 is to score 500 points. However, like always, this won’t be quite so simple; cards can only be played in melds. There is a lot of room for strategy in Rummy 500, although, like many games, you’ll also need a little luck.
Rummy 500 can be a little confusing to new players. However, it’s easy once you’ve done it a few times. Remember, if you are playing with 2 – 4 players, you only used one deck of cards.
However, if you are playing with 5 – 8 players, you will use two decks. If you are playing Rummy 500 as a two player card game, each player will be dealt 13 cards at the start of the game.
But if you are playing with more than two players, then each player will only be dealt seven cards. Before starting play, you’ll need to select a dealer. This is done by every player choosing a card. The player with the lowest card will become the dealer.
During this selection, process Aces count as low, making them the lowest possible card. Once the dealer has been chosen and the cards are dealt with, the game can begin.
You will want to make melds get rid of cards during your turn, just like in regular Rummy. Melds come in two forms. The first type of meld is 3 or 4 cards of the same rank. For example, if you play three Jacks. If you can play all four of the same card, this is known as a set.
The second type of meld is to play a sequence of cards, for example, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. However, all the cards will need to be in the same suit, and you will need a sequence of at least three cards to play it.
When being played in a sequence, an Ace can be either high or low. This means it can be played after the King or before the 2. For example, a player could play a sequence meld of Jack, Queen, King, Ace, and 2. Now you know how melds work in Rummy 500; let’s look at how each round works.
Rummy 500 Gameplay
The player to the left of the dealer will go first. In the center of the play space, they’ll be a draw pile and a discard pile. However, the player who goes first will have to take from the draw pile. When it’s your turn, you must take a card from one of the piles and add it to your hand.
Once you have taken a card, you can play any melds you have. When ending your turn, you must also discard a card from your hand into the discard pile. Cards are discarded face up so players can see them. Make sure all cards can be seen in the discard pile at any time.
Players can choose to take any card they want from the discard pile. However, they’ll need to take all the cards on top of the card they want so, if a card you wish to is discarded, act fast to recover it.
If you can play a meld, then it must be placed next to you face up so other players can see it. You can add to other player’s melds as well. To do this, you must place the cards in front of you, so other players can see what they are being added to.
If you can’t play a meld at any stage, you must still draw and discard a card. This gameplay loop continues till one player plays all their cards. Once this happens the round ends for everyone and the scores are tallied.
Scoring is another part that can easily confuse people new to Rummy 500. Points are awarded for any melds made but also deducted for any cards not played. Thankfully the card values are the same whether they are melded or not.
The Jack, Queen, and King cards award 10 points. The numbered cards have their face value. The Ace cards award 15 points each if played in a set, but only 1 point if played in a sequence. So, first, add up each player’s melds and then add up the value of any cards left in their hands.
Then simply deduct the scores to see your total points for the round. It is possible to have a minus score in Rummy 500. After the scores have been tallied, the deck is reshuffled, and another game begins.
The first player to reach 500 points wins. If you want a shorter game, then you could reduce the target score. Playing to 250 points is a common alternative for this very reason. For longer games, you could even extend it past 500.
Dealer’s Gambit/ Joker Rule
If you want to add a twist to the Rummy 500 formula, you could play with the Dealer’s Gambit or Joker rule. With this rule, the Joker cards are added to the deck. If you are playing with 5 – 8 players, make sure both decks Jokers are added.
The dealer will take one Joker and place it next to their hand faceup. This is the titular Dealer’s Joker and can be used at any time. The other Joker cards are added to the deck as normal. Once all the cards are dealt with, the dealer will state the Joker’s effect on the other players.
The Joker can act as a Wild card, just like in Uno. Meaning it can act as any card in a set or sequence. The Joker can also double the meld’s value although no other cards can be added once the Joker is.
If another player takes a Joker from the draw pile, they can block the Dealer’s Joker. To do this, they simply place their Joker over the dealers. Jokers have no value if left in any player’s hand at the end of the game.
Rummy 500 – A Fun Twist on Traditional Rummy!
So, that’s everything you need to know about Rummy 500! It’s a fun and surprisingly strategic card game sure to entertain anyone. If you enjoy traditional Rummy, this fun variant is well worth playing.