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Five Hundred

Five Hundred was originally developed and promoted by the United States Playing Card Co. (1904) as an extension of Euchre. It is a classic trick-taking game which is played widely in Australia. Five Hundred works best with four players in two fixed-partnerships.

The Cards

Take a standard deck of playing cards and strip out the 2s, 3s and black 4s. Add the Joker, and this will give you a deck of 43 cards.

Rank of Cards - In trumps the cards rank Jkr, J, J*, A, K, Q, 10, 9 , 8, 7, 6, … In all the other suits the ranking remains as usual, A, K, Q, J, 10 … keeping in mind that the red suits are longer than the black suits.

‘Jkr’, is the Joker, and assumes the Trump suit at the beginning of each hand. He is the Supreme Bower, the High Trump.

J* is the Left Bower. That is, the Jack that is of the same colour as the trump suit. Each time a suit is made trumps, the two Jacks the same colour are enlisted as Bowers. If that’s spades, then the two black Jacks become bowers, and act accordingly to defeat Aces, Kings, and Queens. If it’s hearts, or diamonds, then it’s the two red Jacks that act as Bowers.

The Deal

Each player is dealt 10 cards face down, in batches of 3 and 4, and one for the middle. In this way, each player ends up with 10 cards and there are 3, face down, in the middle – the Widow.

Starting with the player to the dealer's left, each player takes it in turn to bid by declaring the number of tricks they think they can win, and in the suit they think they can do it in, by saying something such as "Six Spades". Each bid must be higher than the previous, and a player who does not want to bid may pass, but, by so doing, may not re-enter the bidding process. The value of bids and point values are in the table below. The bidding continues till all but one player has passed.

No. of Tricks » 6 7 8 9 10
Spades 40 140 240 340 440
Clubs 60 160 260 360 460
Diamonds 80 180 280 380 480
Hearts 100 200 300 400 500
No Trumps 120 220 320 420 520
Misére 250
Open Misére 350

Whoever bids the highest, and wins the auction becomes the Declarer and plays that contract. The other team are the Defenders. If everyone passes, the hand is thrown in and the deal proceeds left to the next player.

The Play

The declarer takes up the Widow, adds to his/her hand, and without showing anything to anyone, quietly discards 3 cards face down. Play begins as the Declarer leads to the first trick, and thereafter, the winner of the trick leads to the next.

If the contract is Misére then left of the dealer leads first, and thereafter the winner of the trick.

Standard trick taking rules apply:

  • You must follow suit to the card led
  • If you can't follow suit, you can play any card
  • The trick is won by the highest trump played to it. If no trumps are played, the trick is won by the highest card of the suit led.

Play continues until all 10 tricks have been played.


If the Declarers take at least as many tricks as was bid, they receive the score for that bid as set out in the table above. They do not score more, only what they bid. If they fail to take the number of tricks bid, their score is reduced by the value of the bid. The defending team then receives 10 points for each trick they took in that hand.


The team that finishes a hand at 500 points or over wins the game. If a team finishes a hand at -500 points or below, they lose the game.

Three Player

The game can be played by three players by reducing the deck to 33 cards. That is, strip out the of 6s and down, which leaves 32 cards, plus the Joker for 33.


500: Australia's National Card Game - Australian Card Games
How to Play Five Hundred - Cats at Cards
Rules for Five Hundred - Card Games Website

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