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500 Rum

Game Type
Gin
Age
Kids, Adults
Players
3, 4, 5
Deck
Standard

The game of Canasta and several other games developed from this popular form of Rummy. The distinctive feature of 500 Rum is that each player scores the value of the sets he melds, in addition to the usual points for going out and for cards caught in other players' hands. 500 Rum is one of the finest games in the Rummy family, and it deserves to have an even bigger following than it does.

Number of Players

Two to eight persons may play, but the game is best played with three, four, or five people. Four may play as partners (see Persian Rummy, p. 142).

The Pack

A standard 52-card pack is used. Five or more players should use a double pack.

Rank of Cards

Ace (high or low), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A.

Card Values

An ace counts as 15 points, except in the sequence 3, 2, A, when it counts as 1. Face cards count as 10 points each. Other cards count their pip value.

The Shuffle and Cut

The players draw for deal, low dealing first. Ace is the lowest card in the draw. The dealer shuffles, and the player to the right cuts.

The Deal

The dealer completes the cut and deals seven cards to each player (except in the two-hand game, in which each player receives 13 cards).

Object of the Game

To score points by laying down and laying off cards as in regular Rummy, in matched sets of three or four, and in sequences of three or more cards of the same suit.

The Play

The undealt portion of the cards, placed face down, forms the stock; the top card is turned face up and is placed beside the stock as the upcard to start the discard pile. The discard pile should be slightly spread, so that players can readily see all the cards in it. Each player in turn, beginning with the player to the left of the dealer, may draw either the top card of the stock or any card from the discard pile. There are two conditions when drawing a card from the discard pile: 1) the player must take all the cards above the selected card and 2) the card so drawn must immediately be used, either by laying it down in a set or by laying it off on a set already on the table. The remaining cards taken with the discard may be melded in the same turn or simply added to the player's hand.

Each player in turn, after drawing but before discarding, may lay down any matched set or may lay off any card that matches a set already on the table. Cards that are laid off are kept on the table in front of the player. Sequences may not "go round the corner"; thus, A, K, Q or A, 2, 3 may be melded, but not K, A, 2.

Scoring

When any player gets rid of all his cards, the play immediately ends. Each player's score is then figured as follows: The player is credited with the point value of all cards that he has showing on the table. From this figure is subtracted the point value of all cards remaining in his hand. The difference is added or subtracted from his score, as the case may be. For example: If the cards he has shown total 87 points, and the cards left in his hand total 90 points, 3 points are subtracted from his previous net score.

The first player whose score reaches +500 wins the game and collects from each opponent the difference between their final scores. If two or more players reach 500 on the same hand, the one with the highest score is the winner.

When a player lays off a card, he keeps it on the table in front of him for convenience in scoring later, but must state to what showing combination it is being added. Thus, if J, 10, 9 are on the table, along with the set Q, Q, Q, a player putting down the Q must state to which set it belongs: If the player makes the queen part of the diamond sequence, any player may later add K to that sequence.