Rummy 500 is a card game that’s widely played across Canada and will never run out of fashion. As one of the Melding Family of card games, players compete to play or meld cards in their hand for points, getting negative points for unmelded cards.
There are a lot of names for the same game and you might have heard of it by the names of 500 Rum or Joker Rummy. The name Rummy 500 is the one a lot of players prefer and we’ll use in our guide on this entertaining card game. Ladies and gents, Rummy 500 it is!
Rules of Rummy 500
Rummy 500 is a card game played by 2 to 8 players. When played by up to 4 players, the game is played with a 54-card deck (including the jokers). For 5 or more players, two decks (e.g.108 cards) are required. The goal of 500 Rummy is to get rid of all the cards by melding them onto the table. Melds are placed face up and there are both Sets and Runs:
- Sets: 3 or more cards of the same value.
- For example: 3 spades, 3 diamonds, 3 cubs.
- Runs: a sequence of at least 3 same-suit cards.
- For example: 3 hearts, 4 hearts, 5 hearts.
- Jokers: basic wild cards capable of replacing other cards.
- For example: 3 hearts, 4 hearts, Joker becomes: 3 hearts, 4 hearts, 5 hearts.
How to play Rummy 500
Canadians love indoor table games and Rummy 500 is what we believe is one of the best examples of how much fun a card game can get. In order to get you going for your first round of Rummy 500 you will need to prepare yourself by:
- Gathering the required materials: in order to play the Rummy 500 card game, you will need some materials in addition to at least 2 players (including yourself) and with a maximum of 8 players. Make sure you:
- Gather friends, family, colleagues or whoever you feel like playing against.
- Let someone take care of a standard deck of cards with two Jokers.
- Have enough pens or pencils and paper to write on.
- Knowing how to shuffle the cards: although not very difficult, some people are a lot more skillful in playing cards than others. If you don’t want to slow things down at the table, make sure you know either how to shuffle or pick someone that does.
- Letting someone deal the cards: also pick one player to be the dealer for at least the first round as subsequent dealers will depend on this pick. The first round of Rummy 500 begins with the person seated to the left of the dealer. In the next round, the player who began will need to deal. Now, the player on the left begins.
- Creating a stockpile: the remaining playing cards will be placed in a separate pile in the middle of the table. This is why it’s called a stockpile as this is where players will draw cards at the beginning of each next turn.
Also make sure to:
- Learn the objective: the idea of Rummy 500 is to lay down sets of at least 3 playing cards.
- Understand the card values: when cards are laid down according to these patterns, they will accumulate points.
- Score: as soon as a player uses all of their cards, the round comes to an end. The points are then tallied up to determine the score.
Rummy 5000 players look at their own cards and arrange their hands as preferred. The player seated on the left side of the dealer is the first to make a move. Each play consists of 3 steps; Draw, Meld, Discard.
- Draw: the player draws one card from the stockpile, or takes (at least) one card from the discard pile. If the player decides to draw the top card from the discard pile, the card remains in the player’s hand. If the player decides to draw more than one card, the lowest card needs to be either melded or laid off. Other cards can be either held or played.
- Meld: good combinations of cards can be melded. If a player decides to meld, he or she may also lay off cards on other players’ melds. Please note that this is optional.
- Discard: when finished, the player must discard one card from his or her hand onto the discard pile, after which it’s the next player’s turn.
The above continues until:
- Player Runs Out of Cards: either in case the player doesn’t have any cards or discards the final card, the hand is over.
- No Stockpile Left: in case of an empty stockpile, the next player to act doesn’t choose to draw from the discard pile, or the discard pile is empty, the game is over.
The point values for each Rummy 5000 card rank are as follows:
- Aces: 15 points.
- Joker: 15 points.
- Face Cards (J-Q-K): 10 points.
- Number Cards (2-9): their respective value.
When a Rummy 500 hand is over, each player will add up the points for all cards in his or her own melds. The player will then add any potential remaining points and subtract that amount from the melded total. This is what becomes the player’s score for that particular hand.
If a Rummy 500 player discards a card that could’ve been laid off on a meld, or if a playing card exists further down in the discard pile that could be laid off, any other player is allowed to say (or shout) “Rummy”. This player will then draw all cards from the discard pile giving you the meld-able card. Now it’s this player’s turn, even if other players are skipped along the way. They will then lay off that card and any other melds or lay offs they want, and discard. Play will then continue off to the player left of the one who made the call.
How to win Rummy 500
Once the total score is calculated and saved, a new hand is dealt. A game of Rummy 500 continues until a player gets to a cumulative score of 500 or more. The first player to get to 500, or the highest score if two or more players reach a 500 score at the same time, wins. In the event of a tie, an additional hand is played until one player gets the highest score.
More Canadian card games
If you’re interested in Canadian card games, please go ahead and check out our guide on Canadian Sergent Major, Farkle, and Canadian Euchre as well. These guides will make sure you will always feel ready for the next time you try your luck.