Five hundred game rules – how to play five hundred

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor


Hey there! I want to share with you the rules for playing the exciting game of Five Hundred. If you’re into card games, you’ll definitely enjoy this one. Now, let’s dive in and learn how to play!

First off, Five Hundred is a trick-taking game that is played with a standard deck of cards. The game can be played with three to six players, but it’s most commonly played by four players in partnerships.

The goal of Five Hundred is to be the first team to reach a specific score, usually 500 points. Each player takes turns being the dealer, and the dealer is determined by a bidding process. Bidding is a way to decide how many tricks a player believes they can win in a round.

Once the bidding is complete, the play begins. The player who wins the bid leads the first trick by playing a card from their hand. The other players must then follow suit, if possible. If not, they can play any card they choose.

The highest card in the led suit wins the trick, and the player who wins the trick leads the next one. However, there are also special cards called “trump cards” that have a higher value than any card in the led suit. If a trump card is played, it wins the trick, regardless of the rank of the other cards.

Now, let’s talk about scoring. In Five Hundred, different cards have different point values. For example, the highest trump card, called the “right bower,” is worth 40 points. The second-highest trump card, called the “left bower,” is worth 20 points. All other cards are worth their face value, except for the 8s and 9s, which are worth 0 points.

Additionally, players can earn points by fulfilling their bid. If a player wins the number of tricks they bid, they earn 10 points per trick. However, if they fail to meet their bid, they lose 10 points per trick.

The game continues until one team reaches the target score, usually 500 points. At that point, the team with the highest score wins the game!

So, there you have it. The rules of Five Hundred. It’s a thrilling card game that requires strategy and skill. Get a group of friends together, shuffle up a deck of cards, and start playing. I guarantee you’ll have a blast!

MY GOAL IN FIVE HUNDRED: Be the first one to score 500 points.



THE RANKING OF THE CARDS: A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4

THE RANKING OF THE SUITS: NT (No Trumps) > Hearts > Diamonds > Clubs > Spades

THE TYPE OF GAME: Trick-Taking



Although Five Hundred may be the official national card game of Australia, it was actually created and copyrighted in the United States back in 1904. The name of the game, Five Hundred, reflects its main aim – to be the first player or team to score 500 points. It is similar to another card game called Euchre, but with a few differences:

  • Each player receives 10 cards instead of 5,

In the game of trump, it’s not about luck but about strategy. Rather than being dealt a certain hand, you have the power to choose the number of tricks you’re aiming for. And just like that, your fate is in your own hands. But before we dive into the rules, let me explain how the game is set up.

Most trump games are played with four players, formed into teams of two. Each team sits across from each other, ready to battle it out. To play, you’ll need a special deck of cards. In this case, a unique 43-card pack will do the trick. This includes all the cards from Ace to 10, along with the royal cards (King, Queen, and Jack) in both the red and black suits. It’s important to note that there is no Joker in this game.

Now that we have our players and our deck, we’re ready to get started. But wait, there’s more! If you’re playing with a large group, you can always add more packs of cards to accommodate everyone. No one gets left behind in the world of trump!

Okay, let’s get back to the basics. The goal is to contract for the highest number of tricks. You want to outsmart and outmaneuver your opponents, securing as many wins as possible. But here’s the catch – the size of the pack is adjusted so that all the cards can be dealt to the players, except for three cards that make up the “kitty.” The person who wins the bid gets to use these three cards to their advantage. It’s like having an extra ace up your sleeve!

And that’s the setup, folks. Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s dive into the rules of the game. But hold on tight, because things are about to get exciting!

Have you ever heard of a card called the Joker? It’s a really interesting card that has a special role in certain card games. In some decks, the Joker is represented by a bird called a Kookaburra. The Joker is actually the highest-ranked card in the trump suit. But what exactly does that mean?

Well, in card games, the trump suit is a special suit that has the power to outrank the other suits. And within the trump suit, the Joker takes the top spot. But it’s not alone up there. Right below the Joker is the jack of the trump suit, also known as the right bower. Then, there’s another jack that is the same color as the trump suit, called the left bower.

So, the ranking looks like this: Joker, right bower, left bower, Ace, King, Queen, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, or 4. So you can see, the Joker really holds a special place in the hierarchy of cards.

Five hundred game rules - how to play five hundred

The term “bower” comes from the German word “Bauer,” which means farmer, peasant, or pawn. In German card games, “Bauer” is often used to describe jacks.

Let’s talk about how the game is played. The deal, bidding, and play all happen in a clockwise direction. To start, the initial dealer is chosen randomly. After shuffling and cutting the cards, each player receives ten cards. Then, three cards are placed face-down in the middle of the table to create the “kitty.” Here’s how the cards are dealt: three cards to each player, one card to the kitty, four cards to each player, one card to the kitty, three cards to each player, and finally, one card to the kitty.

Now, let’s get into the bidding. Bidding starts with the player to the left of the dealer and continues clockwise.

In this game, a “trick” is a round or unit of play on a hand within a trick-taking game. These tricks are evaluated to determine a winner, or what we call a “taker.”

I want to talk to you about bidding in a card game called “whist.” It’s a super fun game that requires strategy and thinking ahead. There are several types of bids you can make to indicate the number of tricks you think you and your partner can win. Let’s go over them together, shall we?

  • The Trick Bid: This bid tells everyone the minimum number of tricks (at least six) you and your partner will try to win, as well as the suit that you want to trump with. It’s a way of showing your confidence in your ability to win a specific number of tricks.
  • The No Trump Bid: If you’re feeling a bit more daring, you can make a bid called “No Trumps.” This bid means that you and your partner are going to try to win a certain number of tricks without relying on a trump suit. In other words, you’re not going to use any special cards to win, just your skills and strategy.
  • The Misere: This bid is a bit different from the others. When you make a misere bid, you’re basically saying that you don’t want to win any tricks at all. Instead, your goal is to lose all the tricks. It’s a risky move that requires you to play alone, as your partner drops out. The word “misere” comes from French and means extreme poverty, which is quite fitting for this bid, don’t you think?
  • The Open Misere: Finally, we have the open misere bid. It’s similar to the regular misere bid, but with a twist. After the first trick, you have to reveal your hand face-up for everyone to see. It adds an extra level of challenge and excitement to the game.

So, there you have it! These are the different types of bids you can make in whist. Each bid adds an element of strategy and surprise to the game. Now go out there, have fun, and make some winning bids!

Blind Misere is basically the same as Misere, but it happens before a player looks at their cards.

Bids can be made Sans Kitty, which means that players will fulfill the contract of their bid without using the kitty.

If you choose not to bid, you can pass. If all players pass, the cards are thrown in and the hand ends.

After a bid is made, each subsequent bid must be higher. A higher bid means either more tricks or the same number of tricks in a higher suit. The suit rankings mentioned earlier still apply. The lowest bid is 6 Spades, and the highest possible bid is 10 No Trumps.

A Misere is higher than a bid of 7 and lower than a bid of 8. You can only bid Misere after someone has already bid 7.

An “Open Misere” is when someone makes a bid that falls between the 10 of diamonds and the 10 of hearts. You can make this bid at any time, even as your first bid.

Once you pass, you can’t bid again. The bidding continues until everyone except one player has passed. The highest bid becomes the contract, and the person who made that bid is the contractor.

In an American variation of the game, there is only one round of bidding. Whoever makes the highest bid becomes the contractor.

Now, let’s talk about gameplay.

When we start a game of contract bridge, we begin by picking up three cards from the kitty. These cards are kept hidden from the other players, while we discard three cards from our hand and replace them with the kitty cards. It’s like a secret exchange of cards!

Now, if I decide to bid Misere or Open Misere, my partner doesn’t join me in playing the game. They just place their cards face-down on the table. It’s a solo mission!

Alright, let’s get the game going. As the contractor, I make the first move. I play a card, and everyone else needs to follow suit if they can. But if they don’t have a card of the same suit, they can play any card they want. It’s all about strategy!

Now, here’s an interesting twist. If there are trumps in play, the highest trump card wins the trick. But if there are no trumps, it’s the highest card of the lead suit that takes the trick. You gotta be smart about your choices!

The winner of each trick gets to lead the next one. It’s like taking charge and showing off your skills!

Once all ten tricks are played, we move on to scoring. That’s when we find out who’s got the most points. It’s an exciting moment!

But wait, if I bid Open Misere, there’s a little surprise. After the first trick, I have to show everyone my hand. Yep, they get to see all my cards. It adds an extra element of suspense!

Now, let’s talk about the Joker. It’s a wild card!

The joker is super important in a card game. It’s the most powerful card when there is a special suit called a trump suit. Now, here’s what happens when the bid is No Trumps, Misere, Open Misere, or Blind Misere:

– If the person who is in charge of the game has the joker, they get to decide which suit it belongs to. They have to make this decision before the game starts. Once they pick a suit, the joker becomes the highest card in that suit.

– But, if the person running the game doesn’t have the joker or they have it but don’t pick a suit for it, then the joker doesn’t actually belong to any suit. Instead, it becomes the ultimate card in the entire deck. It can beat any other card in a trick. However, you can only play the joker when certain conditions are met:

– If someone else starts the trick, you can only play the joker if you don’t have any cards in the same suit as the one they played.

How to Play Misere – The Tricky Game

I want to share some tips with you on how to play Misere, a fascinating card game that requires both cunning and strategy. It may seem complicated, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be hooked!


Here are the essential rules you need to know:

  • If I have no cards of the leading suit and the contract is any Misere, I must play the joker. However, in No Trump, this rule doesn’t apply – I can discard any card of any suit and play the joker later.
  • If nobody has led with a particular suit in a trick, I can lead with the joker and nominate the suit.
  • Once all four suits have been led, I can only play the joker in the last trick.

If I’m the contractor in Misere, I have the power to nominate the Joker as belonging to any suit. This allows me to play the Joker in a trick led by a suit not in my hand. It’s crucial to remember to nominate the suit, as forgetting to do so will cause the Misere to automatically fail, since the Joker wins the trick when played.


In Misere, teams keep cumulative scores that change with each hand. Here are the scores for the different bids:

Welcome to the world of card games!

Here, I’ll tell you all about the fascinating game of Spades and how to calculate scores based on tricks and bids.

First, let me explain the value each card suit holds:

  • Tricks: In Spades, tricks refer to the number of card sets you and your partner are aiming to win. The higher the tricks, the more points you can earn.
  • Spades: Each Spades trick is worth 40 points. So, winning a trick with the Spades suit will earn you that many points.
  • Clubs: If you win a trick with the Clubs suit, you’ll earn 60 points for each trick.
  • Diamonds: Tricks with the Diamonds suit are valued at 80 points each.
  • Hearts: Winning a trick with the Hearts suit will get you 100 points per trick.
  • No Trumps: Tricks with a No Trumps bid are worth 120 points each.
  • Misere: If you choose to play a Misere bid, you can earn 500 points if successful.

Let’s talk about the scoring for different numbers of tricks:

  • Six tricks: If you bid and win six tricks, you’ll score the corresponding amount of points for each suit.
  • Seven tricks: Winning seven tricks will get you the points for each suit, plus an additional 140 points.
  • Eight tricks: For eight tricks, you earn points for each suit, as well as an additional 240 points.
  • Nine tricks: Winning nine tricks will give you the points for each suit, plus a bonus of 340 points.
  • Ten tricks: A bid and win of ten tricks will reward you with points for each suit, along with an extra 440 points.
  • Open/Blind Misere: If you choose to play an Open or Blind Misere bid and win, you can earn a flat 500 points.

Now, let’s explore the strategy behind scoring:

If your bid was for a suit or a no trump contract, your team will win if you manage to win at least the number of tricks you bid for. In this case, you’ll score the corresponding number of points for each suit you won tricks in.

However, there’s a twist. Even if you win more tricks than you bid, you won’t earn additional points unless you win every single trick, which is called a “slam.”

Now, if you successfully achieve a slam by winning every trick, you’ll earn an extra 250 points. However, if your bid was worth more than 250 points, you won’t receive any special points for the slam, but you’ll still win your bid as usual.

So, that’s the essence of scoring in Spades. Remember these values and strategies, and you’ll become a master of the game in no time!

When it comes to bidding in a game of cards, if I, as a contractor, don’t win enough tricks to match my bid, I end up losing points equal to the value of my bid. On the other hand, the other players get a bonus of 10 points for each trick they win.

Now, let’s say the contract is a special kind called a Misere. If I, as the contractor, manage to lose every single trick, I get points equal to the value of the bid. However, if I happen to win even a single trick, I have to deduct the value of the bid from my total points. The other players don’t get any additional points in this case.

The End Game

The game comes to an end when one of the teams reaches a score of 500 or more points, or when they win a contract. Alternatively, a team can win if they manage to reach a negative score of 500 points before the opponents. This unique scenario is called “going out backward.”

Now, reaching the milestone of 500 points alone doesn’t guarantee a victory if the opponents are still playing their own contract. In such a situation, the game continues with more hands played until a team wins based on the rules mentioned earlier.


    Misere bids are strictly forbidden in this game, so don’t even think about it! As for the Joker, you can only play it in the very last trick. And here’s a rule that might disappoint you: once everyone else has passed, you can’t increase your bid. Lastly, if you’re already at a score of 490 (or 480), sorry, but winning a trick against a contractor won’t earn you any points. Now that we’re clear on these rules, let’s have some fun playing!

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