500 Card Game Rules: The Ultimate How-To Play Guide

4 Min Read

Welcome to your definitive guide on mastering the 500 card game, a popular trick-taking game that promises hours of fun and strategic gameplay. Whether you’re a seasoned player looking to refine your skills or a newcomer eager to learn the ropes, this guide will walk you through the fundamental 500 card game rules, tips, and strategies to elevate your game.

Understanding the Basics of 500

The 500 card game is typically played by four players in partnerships, with the goal of reaching 500 points first. The game utilizes a unique deck consisting of 43 cards: a Joker is included alongside the traditional deck, with some cards removed to fit the game’s structure. Strategic bidding, effective partnership, and skilled play are key to success in this engaging card game.

Deck Composition

  • Hearts: 9, 10, J, Q, K, A
  • Diamonds: 9, 10, J, Q, K, A
  • Clubs: 9, 10, J, Q, K, A
  • Spades: 9, 10, J, Q, K, A
  • Joker: 1

How to Play

Playing 500 involves several phases, starting from dealing cards to players, making bids, and playing hands. Understanding these steps is crucial for anyone looking to master the game.

Dealing Cards

Initially, each player receives 10 cards, with an additional kitty of three cards set aside. This kitty plays a role in the bidding phase, as the winning bidder can use these cards to strategize their gameplay.

Bidding Phase

Bidding is a critical step in 500, as it sets the tone for the gameplay. Players take turns bidding how many tricks they think they can win, with the minimum bid being six tricks. The highest bidder wins the right to determine the trump suit, either from the suits of the cards or the joker as a no-trump bid.


Starting with the player to the dealer’s left, cards are played in tricks. The lead player can play any card, but following players must follow suit if possible. If unable to follow suit, they may play any card. The highest card of the leading suit wins unless a trump is played, which automatically wins the trick.

Scoring System

Contract Points
6 tricks 40
7 tricks 140
8 tricks 240
9 tricks 340
10 tricks 440

Strategies to Win

Success in the 500 card game is not just about luck; strategic thinking, understanding partner signals, and mastering the art of deception can significantly improve your chances. Here are some strategies:

  • Pay attention to the cards being played and try to memorize which cards have been already used.
  • Work closely with your partner through subtle cues and strategic plays.
  • Control the trump suit efficiently, knowing when to lead it and when to hold back.
  • Avoid getting caught with high-value cards that could be won by the opposition’s trump cards.

Mastering the 500 card game takes practice, patience, and a bit of strategic cunning. By understanding the basic rules outlined in this guide and incorporating the strategies mentioned, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a formidable player. Happy playing!

Share This Article