Five Hundred

The basics

-Number of players: Two to Six, but three is an ideal number.

-Cards: 32 pack of cards (standard pack excluding all cards between 2 and 6, inclusive) plus one joker.


Trumps: the ranking of suits, high to low, is: Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs, Spades. But a No Trump bid out-ranks them all.

Card ranking in the trump suit: Joker, Jack, Jack of the other suit of the same colour, Ace, King, Queen,10,9,8,7

Card ranking in the non-trump suits: Ace, King, Queen, Jack (but see above), 10, 9, 8, 7.

-Deal: draw for first deal: lowest card wins (Ace is low, joker is lowest). Deal to the left, ten cards to each player in packets of 3-4-3. After the first round of 3, three cards are laid face down in the centre. This is the widow.



Having seen their hands, each player may make a single bid, or pass. Each bid states the number of tricks the player will take, from 6 to 10; and his trump suit (or No Trumps), e.g. “eight, diamonds”. Each bid must be for a higher number of tricks than the bid before, or the same number if ten. The highest bid, or first bid to ten, becomes the contract. If no-one makes a bid, the dealt cards are collected, shuffled and re dealt by the next dealer (players to the dealers left).

Bidding then resumes. The other two players combine in alliance to defeat the bidder, but they may not see each other’s hands. The bidder takes up the widow, then discards any three cards from his hand. He can lead with any card. The others must follow suit, if able; if they can’t, any card may be played. The trick is won by the highest trump, or highest card of the suit led. The winner of the trick leads to the next trick. If the bidder has called no trumps, then the only trump is the joker. The trick can only be won by the highest card of the suit led, unless the joker is played, when it wins. If a player leads with the joker, he must declare the suit that the others must follow, if they can.



Each player keeps a running total from round to round. The bidders opponents keep their scores separately. See the table for number of points awarded.

If the bidder makes his contract, he scores the value of his bid. If his bid adds up to less than 250, and he actually takes all ten tricks, he is awarded only 250. If he is set back (fails to make his contract), then the value of his bid is subtracted from his running total. This can produce a minus figure. Each opponent scores 10 points for every trick they win.`


Number of Tricks Bid

6 7 8 9 10
No Trump 120 220 320 420 520
Hearts 100 200 300 400 500
Diamonds 80 180 280 380 480
Clubs 60 160 260 360 460
Spades 40 140 240 340 440

Game is made at 500. If another player goes out (500) in the same deal as the bidder, the bidder wins.


Related External Links provide a guide to Five Hundred.