Several years ago, my parents taught me a new version of
You can play this game with 2-4 players comfortably with one deck, past 4 players, I would suggest adding two decks to the game. Leave the Jokers out!
Choose the first dealer however you’d like. If we’re teaching the game we usually deal first just so people understand what is going on.
Starting to the dealers left, the dealer will place one card in front of the player face-up. The rank of this card determines the amount of cards the player will receive. The dealer will then deal the player the number of cards face-down (v1, v7) needed to equal that rank. This process repeats for each player. Face Cards (J/Q/K) have a rank of 10, Aces have a rank of 11.
Example: The dealer places a 5 in front of the player face-up, the dealer then deals 5 more cards face-down
When it is time for the dealer to deal their own hand, their first face-up card will become the wild for that round (v2).
Example: The dealer receives a 7 as their face-up card. 7’s are now wilds for this round.
Once all the cards are dealt, the dealer then places the remaining cards in the middle of the table as the draw pile, and flips the top card of the draw pile. This flipped card marks the beginning of the discard pile.
Players are able to pick up their cards, including the face-up one, as soon as the dealer moves on to the next player, or they can wait for all players to be dealt.
The player to the dealer’s left begins play, and play will continue to the left until the round is over. Each players turn will consist of three steps
1. The Pickup
The player will first either to decide to pick up a card from the draw pile, or they can take one or more cards from the discard pile. A player is able to take more than one card from the discard pile, but must:
- Use the deepest discarded card that they pickup in a meld that turn
- Place the rest of the cards on top of the chosen card in their hand, that weren’t used in melds during this turn.
2. The Meld
After a player has picked up, they can attempt to make as many melds within the turn as they wish.
Types of Melds
In 5000 Rummy there are two types of Melds available. Creating a new meld requires at least three cards before being placed down. Adding to an existing meld can consist of one or more cards.
A set consists of at least three cards of the same kind. If you are using one deck the max cards a set may have would be four, if your using two decks the max cards a set may have is eight.
Example: the Player lays down the 5 of clubs, 5 of hearts, and 5 of spades.
A run consists of three more cards in consecutive rank of the same suit. Card rank goes as follows A-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-J-Q-K-A. The ace can be at the start or end of run, you may not use the ace to wrap a run (K-A-2)
5000 Rummy takes advantage of wild cards. Wilds are determined by the face-up card dealt to the dealer (v6). You can use a wildcard to represent another card at any point when you are melding.
Example: Aces are wild, and you have the A♥, and the 7♣ and 9♣. During your turn, you could meld the 7♣ A♥ 9♣ as a run.
You are also able to steal wildcards. If a card in your hand matches where the wildcard is being played, you are eligible to replace the wildcard with your card and then use the wildcard during a meld for your turn.
Example: The player before you placed a 7♣ A♥ 9♣. You have the 8♣. During your turn, you replace the A♥ with the 8♣, giving the other player the run of 7♣ 8♣ 9♣ now. You then play the A♥ in another run meld consisting of
A♥ 2♠ 3♠.
3. The Discard
Once a player has completed all the melds they would like during their turn, they will then discard one card from their hand on top of the discard pile.
Ending the Round
The game is over once a players last card is placed on the discard pile, and is unplayable on any available melds. This is commonly referred to as “going out”
Running Out of Cards: In the event there are no more cards left in the draw pile the game ends if a player cannot play, or doesn’t wish to take, any card(s) from the discard pile.
If a player uses all their cards during the melding process and doesn’t have a discard available, they are considered floating and play would continue to the next player.
If a card that was discarded can be used on an active meld on the table, any player who has previously played a meld can call “rummy”. The player then adds the discarded card to their meld(v3) and then play continues as normal. (v4)
After a player goes out, all the players will add up the scores of the melds in front of them
- Aces are worth 100 points
- Kings, Queens, Jacks and 10’s are worth 10 points
- Rank cards from 2-9 are worth 5 points
- Wildcards change the value of any card to 100, and Aces to 200.
Lastly, the players also count the points of the cards in their hand and subtract it from their meld score(v5). You are able to go negative in your score
Example: The game ends, and you count your score. You have 125 points from what you melded, and 15 points in your hand. Your score is then 110 points.
Ending the Game
The game is over once a player reaches 5,000 points. In reality, you can set the point goal to whatever you wish, for shorter games you could 500 or 1,000 (v2).
- V1 – Count Variation: In this variation, when dealing, you subtract one from the total cards dealt. If the face-up card is a 5, the dealer would only deal 4 more cards to the player.
- V2 – Ace to King Wilds: In this variation, you automatically start with Aces being wild, and work your way up the ranks, repeat if needed. Once you finish the King round, you see who has the most points and they are the winner.
- V3 – Rummy in the Discard: In this variation, if a card anywhere in the discard pile is able to be used on a meld, you can call “Rummy”. The player whose turn it was would then proceed finishing their turn as normal. To be fair, if it is your turn and you are placing a meld knowing that a Rummy will occur, you should wait until your discard before calling Rummy.
- V4 – Discard on Rummy: In this variation, if a player calls Rummy, they are able to discard after they place the Rummy in it’s meld
- V5 – Going Out Reward: In this variation, the player going out will collect all the cards still in the hands of the other players, and add it to their score. This variation will ensure no one ever goes negative, but can be a big bonus to going out early.
- V6 – Jokers Are In: In this variation, Jokers are added to the deck and are always considered wild.
- V7 – Burying Low Cards: In this variation, if a 2-3-4 rank card is dealt face-up to a player, it is buried and another card is dealt face-up. This is to help reduce the risk of a player having a low card-count on the deal.
There are a lot more variations available at Pagat that I encourage you to check out, these are just some of the few that I enjoy or play regularly!