Rummy 500, also known as 500 Rum, follows the basic principles of other Rummy variations: players form sets and runs of three to four cards and lay them down on the table, the objective being to form as many such card combinations as possible. In Rummy 500, however, the overall winner is usually determined after a number of rounds when the first player reaches a total score of 500 or more points.
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Live versions of Rummy 500 typical allow up to eight players to participate in a single game. Online Rummy 500 tables have room for between two and four players.
Each player is dealt seven cards, which are not revealed to other players until they are used to form melds. Games played at RummyRoyal make use of one standard deck including two jokers. As in Kalooki, jokers take the role of a wildcard – that is, they can be used as if they were any other card in the deck, according to the player holding one.
Unlike in many other Rummy variations, Aces may be counted low or high in Rummy 500.
The game begins with each player drawing a single card to determine the order of each player’s first turn. The player who draws the card with the highest value begins first. The rest of the players then follow based on the value of the cards they drew.
Once each player has been dealt their cards, the rest of the deck is used to form the stock pile, with one card laid face up next to it to begin the discard pile.
To begin each of their turns, players must draw one card from either the stock or discard pile. A player signals the end of their turn by adding one card to the discard pile.
In contrast to other Rummy games, players may not only draw the last card added to the discard pile, but any one of the cards in it. However, when drawing a card that is not the last card in the pile, they must also draw all the cards in the pile above it. If this is the case, the player must also use this card immediately in a meld.
Melds may be formed at any time during a player’s turn. Melds are either sets or runs; a set made up of three or four cards of the same value and a run is three or four cards of sequential values in the same suit. Players may also add cards to existing melds already present on the table.
A round is completed when one player manages to lay down or discard all of their cards. When this occurs, each player’s score is calculated based on the total point value of the cards they laid down in melds minus the point value of the cards left in their hand. Fifteen penalty points are assigned to players who have not melded all their cards for each Ace or Joker in their hand. The player with the most points is declared the winner of the round, and the first player to reach more than 500 points is the overall winner of the game.
Each player pays a buy-in to participate in an online Rummy 500 game. Buy-ins vary according to the table, with everything from microstakes to very large sums being offered. At the end of a game, the total prize pool is distributed proportionally among the players based on their performance, with the winner, of course, receiving the largest share.