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Official 500 Rum Rules

500 Rum, also known as Pinochle Rummy, Michigan Rummy, or Rummy 500, is a fun and strategic card game that combines elements of Rummy and Pinochle. Here's a breakdown of the rules to get you started:

Objective

Be the first player (or team in partnership play) to reach a score of 500 points by melding cards and going out (using all your cards in melds).

Setup

1. Shuffle the Deck:  Thoroughly shuffle the deck of cards.


2. Deal the Cards:  Depending on the number of players, deal a specific number of cards face down to each player (usually 7 cards for 2-4 players, 6 cards for 5-8 players).


3. Stock Pile & Discard Pile:  Place the remaining deck face down in the center of the table as the stock pile. Draw the top card from the deck and place it face up next to the stock pile to start the discard pile.


Card Values:

  • Aces: 15 points

  • Face cards (King, Queen, Jack): 10 points

  • Number cards (2-10): Face value

Number of Players: 2-8 players (best with 3-5 players)

Gameplay

The game is played in rounds, with players taking turns in clockwise order. Here's what happens on a player's turn:

1. Draw a Card: You can choose to draw either the top card from the stock pile or the face-up card from the discard pile.

2. Melding (Optional):  Before discarding, you can meld cards if you have valid combinations (see Melding section below).

3. Discard a Card: After drawing and potentially melding, you must discard one card face up to the discard pile. This card cannot be the same one you just drew from the discard pile.

Melding:

There are two types of melds you can create to reduce the point value of the cards in your hand:

  • Sets:  Three or four cards of the same rank (e.g., 3 Queens, 4 Sevens). Jokers can be used as wild cards to substitute for any rank in a set.

  • Runs:  Three or more consecutive cards of the same suit (e.g., 5, 6, 7 of Hearts). Aces can be used as both high (after a King) or low (before a Two) to create a run. You cannot wrap around (A, K, Q is not a valid run).

Going Out:

A player can "go out" by discarding a card and having no cards remaining in their hand after melding all their cards into valid sets and runs.

Scoring:

  • Points After Going Out:  The player who goes out scores points equal to the sum of the remaining cards in all other players' hands.

  • Non-Going-Out Players:  If a player doesn't go out, they score negative points equal to the sum of the cards remaining in their hand.

Partnership Play (Optional):

  • With 4 players, you can form teams of two players sitting opposite each other.

  • The rules remain mostly the same, but teammates can help each other by melding cards from their hands to existing melds on the table.

  • The game ends when one team reaches a cumulative score of 500 points (individual player scores are added within the team).

Winning the Game

The first player (or team in partnership play) to reach a score of 500 points wins the game!

Notes/Variations

  • Cribbage Hand (Optional):  Some variations award bonus points to the player who goes out if their remaining discard pile follows a specific sequence (e.g., starting or ending with a high point value card).

  • Calling Pinochle (Optional):  In some variations, if a player discards the last remaining card of a suit needed to complete a set of four of that suit for another player, they can call "Pinochle" and score bonus points.

  • Variations:  There are numerous variations of 500 Rum with slight rule differences. The core mechanics remain the same, but some variations might include

Players collect card sets to earn points, featuring an element of strategy. This game involves a mix of luck and skill, making each round exciting and unpredictable.

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