Rummy 500 (Rules and Gameplay Instructions)

Rummy 500 is a game where players meld their cards in sets or runs and earn points for their successes. This Rummy 500 rules guide explains the game in detail.

If you compare Rummy 500 to some other Rummy-type games (check Conquian rules or Canasta rules to see what I mean), you will notice that it is a pretty straightforward game. 

If you’re looking to play a rummy game with a complete beginner or you’re unsure about your own rummy skills, Rummy 500 is a smart choice.

This Rummy 500 rules guide will cover the following:

  • What is Rummy 500?
  • What you’ll need to play Rummy 500
  • Rummy 500 Rules
  • How to play Rummy 500 (video tutorials)
  • FAQs
  • Other similar games to Rummy 500 (our guides)

Continue reading and learn how to play Rummy 500 turn after turn.

What is Rummy 500?

Rummy 500 Card Game Info image

Rummy 500 is a classic card game for two to eight players that centers on combining cards in runs or sets and thus getting rid of them as fast as possible. 

In the end, all the cards mean score points – either positive or negative, depending on how well the players succeed in melding them throughout the round.

Number of Players: 2 – 8 players

Ages: 10+

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Length of Play:  20 – 50 minutes

Category: Rummy-type card game

Similar to: Shanghai Rummy, Gin Rummy, Conquian

Main Objective: Be the first player to earn 500 points by melding cards.

Why We Love It: Unlike many luck-dependent card games, Rummy 500 lets you fully take advantage of your strategic skills.

What You’ll Need to Play Rummy 500

To play Rummy 500, you need only a classic 52-card deck. However, if you’re planning to play with more than four players, I suggest using two identical card decks instead.

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Rummy 500 Rules and Instructions

If you know how to play classic Rummy or some other games from this extended family, it will be super easy for you to master Rummy 500 as well.

The game requires focus and tactical thinking, but it is very easy, logical, and clear at its core. Start by setting up the cards.

Starting the Game

First, use a random method to pick the dealer for the first round of the game. They shuffle the deck thoroughly. The number of cards they deal depends on the number of players:

  • If you’re playing Rummy 500 with more than two players, each one will get seven cards dealt face-down, one at a time. 
  • If you play only with two players, each of you gets thirteen cards

The players may check their cards immediately, but they must always keep them hidden from their opponents. 

Place the remaining cards in the middle (this is your draw pile) and flip the top one over. Place it next to the pile as a foundation of your discard pile.

How to Play Rummy 500

The player sitting to the left of the dealer takes their turn first:

  • The player starts their turn by drawing the top card either from the draw pile or the discard pile and adding the card to their hand.
  • Now is the moment when the player can lay down any card melds by placing them face-up in front of them (I will explain the valid melds shortly).
  • As the game proceeds, players can also expand the melds of other players, but they keep their melds in front of them physically (not adding them to the intended meld). 
  • The player’s turn ends by discarding one card to the discard pile. Take care not to cover the card below completely (the entire discard pile should always be visible). 
  • A player can draw any card from the discard pile, but they must take all the cards on top of it, too (i.e., if they want the fourth card from the top, they get all four cards).
  • A card drawn from the discard pile must be immediately used in a meld.

The players take turns in a clockwise direction, following the same process until one of them has no more cards left in hand. At this moment, the round is over

Alternatively, the round ends when the draw deck is exhausted, and the player on the turn does not want to draw a card from the discard pile.

Card Melds

If you’re already familiar with some other rummy-type game, you probably know the card melds well. Still, here’s a reminder or explanation for beginners:

  • Melds are combinations of three or more cards in the same rank (sets) or of the same suit and in consecutive order (runs).

Some examples of valid Rummy 500 melds: Q-Q-Q, 2-3-4-5 of hearts, and 10-J-Q-K of clubs.

If playing with two card decks, note that a set cannot contain two identical cards. 

Once you place your melds on the table, you can’t remove or replace any cards.

You can, for various reasons, keep a valid meld in your hand for as long as you want to, but if you still hold it when the round ends, it will be counted towards your negative score.


If a player notices a card in the discard pile that can be melded after a player has discarded it, he can call out ‘Rummy!’, draw the card and use it in a meld. 

Then the melding player discards one of his cards to end the turn properly, and the game moves right to the next player. 

Rummy 500 Scoring 

In Rummy 500, players score points for their melded cards and lose points for the cards left in their hands when the round is over. 

Here’s a score chart you will use for the scoring:

  • Jack-Queen-King: 10 points 
  • 2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10: Face value of the respective card
  • Ace: 15 points if melded in a set/left in hand OR 1 point if melded in a run 

Write down the scores after each round. The first player to score 500 points wins the entire game. 

How to Play Rummy 500 – Video Tutorials 

Rummy 500 Frequently Asked Questions

Is Rummy 500 luck or skill?

Although most gambling-type games depend more on luck than the actual skills of players, Rummy 500 lets you show off your strategic and logical thinking to a great extent. 

Can you have a negative score in Rummy 500?

Yes. You start the game with zero points, so if you score fewer points for your melds in the first round than you lose for the cards in your hands, your score will be negative (e.g., -34).

Is Ace the lowest or the highest card in Rummy 500?

If you use the Ace card in a run, it is always low. The Q-K-A run will, therefore, be invalid.

Other Similar Games to Rummy 500 (Our Guides) 

Would you like to try some other rummy-type card games? Check out our guides to some of the most popular Rummy 500 alternatives below:

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