500 shares many characteristics with Euchre and Bridge. It originated in the early 1900s in the United States, and has since become popular worldwide.
Players 4, in fixed, cross-wise partnership.
Cards Aces are high. 4–5–6–7–8–9–10–J–Q–K–A in ♥ and ♦, 5–6–7–8–9–10–J–Q–K–A in ♠ and ♣, and one joker, 43 cards total.
Joker The joker is always the highest ranking trump card. If there is no trump, the joker is still treated as the only card in the trump suit, and all of the normal rules apply. When it’s led to a trick, the player who played it must announce the suit that the others must follow.
Bowers The jack of trump is known as the right bower and the jack in the same color as trump is known as the left bower. The right bower is elevated to be the second highest trump card, immediately below the joker, and the left bower is the third. It is important to note that the left bower is no longer considered to be part of its original suit. If ♥ are trump, the trump suit is ranked as follows (low to high): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Q, K, A, ♦J, ♥J, Joker.
Objective Work with your partner to take at least as many tricks as your bid.
Forehand leads a round of bidding that continues until all four players pass in succession. Passing once does not remove players from the auction.
A bid is comprised of the number of tricks the bidder expects to take and a desired trump suit or no trump. The suits are ranked from low to high: ♠, ♣, ♦, ♥, and no trump. The minimum number of tricks that may be bid is 6, and each subsequent bid must either increase the number of tricks or the trump suit or both. For example, a bid of 6♣ can be over called by a bid of 6♦, 6♥, 6 no trump, or any bid of 7 or more.
Once all players pass, the winning bidder becomes the declarer and the suit they bid becomes trump. The declarer takes the stock into their hand, and then discards back to 10 cards.
The declarer leads the first trick. Standard trick-taking rules apply.
Contract Value Table
The declaring team wins or loses the value of their contract. There is no bonus for taking more tricks than required. The one exception to this is if they take all 10 tricks under a contract that is worth less than 250 points. In this case, they score 250 points in place of their original contract value.
If the defending team has fewer than 490 points, they score 10 points per trick they take regardless of whether or not they set the declarers. They are not allowed to score higher than 490 while defending.
The first team to make 500 or more points wins. Conversely, if a team ever has -500 or more points they lose.
Cards 7 through ace in all suits plus one joker, 33 cards total.
The declarer plays alone against the other two players, who play in temporary alliance. All scores are kept individually.
Cards A standard 52-card deck plus one joker.
After the declarer exchanges with the stock, they call for a card other than the joker or a bower. The player who holds the card is their partner for the hand, but they do not reveal themselves except by playing the called card. The remaining three players are the defenders. If the declarer calls for a card that’s in their hand or the stock, they play alone against the other four.
All scores are kept individually. Both the declarer and their partner win or lose the value of the contract. Each of the defenders scores for the number of tricks that their team collectively took.