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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 downloaded here at
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
13 cards each
3 or 4 Players
7 cards each
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
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
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 456 on the table, you may add 3 or you could add 2 and 3 or even 2 3 and 7. If there was a 66 6 on the table, you could add a 6 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 4 56 and a
Set (group) 777 on the table, and you have a 7 in your hand, you must choose whether to add your 7 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 K4 86 9 and the upcard is 4 and you want to get hold of the 6 in order to complete a
Set of three sixes. You would take 6 9 and 4. The 6 completes your set and you put
it in the meld area on the table. The 9 and 4 are added to your hand. If you then discard 9 to complete your turn, the new discard pile arrangement becomes K 48 and the upcard is now 9.
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.
The cards are assigned fixed point values according to standard Rummy 500 rules.
is worth 15 points
is worth 15 points
A is worth 15 points
A is worth 15 points
J is worth 10 points
K is worth 10 points
2 is worth 2 points
8 is worth
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
2 has the value of 2
points, and the
3 card has the value of
3 points, and so on.
Other House Rules
Above are the most commonly used items included in the
standard Rummy 500 rules. You do not need to read on if you are learning to play Rummy 500 online
here at Rummy.com as we do not employ any of the rules found in this
section. However, if you are playing the game offline, the following individual house rules may be introduced
into the game at the discretion of the those who organise play:
(1) Some house rules say that in order to draw from the discard pile you must meld. You can take a card you need for your meld plus all the cards above it. This rule applies even in the case where you only take the top card from the discard pile (the upcard). If you are not going to meld, you must draw from the stock.
In the standard rules (before this section) you will note
that you can pick the top card of the discard pile whether
or not you are able or willing to meld it.
(2) A player is required to discard a card before going out. A player without a card to discard must become a floater until their turn arrives and they are able to draw and discard a card that cannot be melded ie one unplayable card. If it can be melded, you must remain a floater for another round. Note that you cannot simply draw the upcard and discard it in the same turn since that is an illegal move.
(3) Some house rules say you do not need to specify the suit in a situation where you have formed a group of two jokers melded with another, example: 2 and because it has to represent a specific card, you cannot meld a joker against four kings, as a fifth king does not exist.
(4) According to some house rules, unless you drew more than just the upcard from the discard pile, you cannot discard the
same card (ie the upcard) in the same turn.
(5) Some house rules provide that if the stock pile runs out, the top card from the discard pile is set aside and the remainder of the discard pile is shuffled and turned face down to become the new stock pile. The top card starts the new discard pile.
(6) Some play a version of this game which uses a feature (known as "Rummy In The
Pile") which is not regarded as standard Rummy 500 by most
authoritative card game books. The way it works is that
if, for example, a player discards a card which could
have been melded, or leaves the discard pile in a state
where it contains cards which can be melded without
requiring a card or cards from any player's hand, then
before the next player draws, any playerother than the one
who just discarded, may call "Rummy!" and take the
discard pile, as far down as the relevant card. This player then
completes their turn by melding that card and any others, and
by discarding one card to end their turn. The turn to play
then passes to the player on the left of the one who
called "Rummy!" and moves clockwise from there. Note that it
is not possible to call "Rummy!" in this way when the game
has ended. When a player discards or melds their last card,
the game ends and they need not have any regard to what is
left in the pile. Here are two examples of how "Rummy In The
Pile" works in practice:
(a) For example, if there is a 345
on the board (ie in the meld area) and someone discards a 2
or a 6
then any player, apart from the the discarder may call
"Rummy!", take the card and meld it.
(b) For example, it is your turn and you have 7
in your hand, you draw 6
from stock but there is already a 5
buried in the pile. If you meld your 678
in this turn, then anyone can call "Rummy!", take the 5
from the pile
(and all cards above it) and add it to your meld. You cannot
make this call yourself immediately after placing your meld
down, only the other players may do this but you may once
the next player has taken his turn, in the unlikely event
that no one else has spotted it and called "Rummy!".
We are conscious about the variations in different Rummy games and our features are therefore constantly subject to review. If you know a different version of Rummy 500 rules or can suggest some corrections, please let us know so that we can amend this page accordingly. Please contact us via