Rummy 500 is played with a deck of 54 cards, including 2 Jokers. According to the rules, this game can be played with 2 to 8 players. For 5 or more players, 2 sets of 54 deck cards should be used. The value for each card is indicated below:
- Joker – 15 points Aces – 15 points
- Numbered Cards - Points depend on the number in the card.
- Face Cards – 10 points
The dealer deals 7 cards to each player. If there are only 2 players, each of them are dealt with 13 cards. The remaining cards are placed face down on the table. This is called the Stock Pile. The first card is placed face up to indicate the start of the discard pile.
The players should sort their cards in the following ways:
- Run or Sequence – Sorting 3 or more cards with the same sign in the sequential order. Example: Jack of Hearts, Queen of Hearts, King of Hearts.
- Set or Group – Sorting 3 or more cards with the same numbers but different signs. Example – 6 of Hearts, 6 of Diamonds, 6 of Clubs.
Cards that do not belong to a Run or Set are called Deadwood cards. A card can be used for only one combination at a time. It cannot belong to a Run or Set at the same time. The Joker can be used to substitute any card. The value of the Joker will depend on the card it represents.
Playing the game
The 4 steps involved in a player's turn are:
- Draw - The player draws a card from the discard pile or from the stock pile. The player can draw a card from anywhere in the discard pile and not just from the top. If the card was at the bottom of the discard pile, the player has to take all the cards above the selected card and include it in hand. This should be done only if the selected card can form a meld right away.
- Meld - The player can discard 3 or more cards to the meld area, if they belong to a Run or Set.
- Lay-off (Optional) - The player can add more cards to the beginning or end of the melds that was previously placed. For example, if there was a run 4 of clubs, 5 of clubs and 6 of clubs in the meld, you can add a 2 of clubs and 3 of clubs to the beginning of this run.
- Discard – During each turn, the player must discard one card face up on the discard pile. This is an exceptional rule if the player has melded all cards in their hand. The round ends when a player has no cards left in hand.
The round can also end if there are no more cards in the stock pile. If the value of the deadwood cards remaining with each player is more than the value of cards melded by that player, their score will be negative.
The player who reaches the target score of 500 points is the winner.