You know the rules of Rummy 500 (aka 500 Rummy). You’ve got a little experience under your belt. Now, you want to know how to win. Rummy 500 is a simple game to learn, but not so easy to master. Our goal today is to give you enough strategy tips to help increase your skill and have a higher rate of success against your opponents.
Easy 500 Rummy Strategy and Tips
This is not a partnership-based game. You can rely on no one but yourself to employ the best maneuvers and strategies to win. The most important factor is experience. The more you play and get to know the game in a hands-on environment, the easier it will be to recognize opportunities, and potential pitfalls, as they arise.
With that being said, the following tips should help you achieve a better rate of success as you gain experience.
#1 Setting Your Hand
As soon as you get you cards, set your hand in a way that is easy to understand and evaluate, disseminating suits and same-rank values. One popular option is to separate suits by color and sequential order. For instance, put all your clubs first (lowest to highest), then diamonds, then spades, then hearts (black, red, black, red). Not everyone’s mind works the same when observing a hand. Find what works best for you, and stick with it.
#2 Get Your Meld(s) Down
The most important factor in winning Rummy 500 is to get at least one meld on the table as quickly as possible. Doing so guarantees positive points, as opposed to an entire hand of penalty points, and gives you the ability to lay off on other players’ melds. Put together a run and/or set as quickly as possible and get it on the table, even if it means grabbing a lot of cards from the discard pile.
#3 Be Alert To All Opponent Moves
This can be one of the hardest, yet most important, Rummy 500 strategies of all. Pay close attention to what your opponents are discarding and drawing from the discard pile. Knowing what they’re collecting, and how close they might be to melding and/or going out, is crucial. You can avoid giving them what they need, and hold onto cards you’ll soon be able to lay off for extra points.
#4 Minimize Deadwood
Deadwood is the points left in your hand when another player goes out. Keep your deadwood to a minimum by discarding unusable high points whenever possible. If you can’t meld them for score, don’t let them count against you.
#5 Make Jokers Count
Sets and runs of 3 aren’t too hard to come by. When you have a Joker, make sure you use it for the most points possible by melding it with a high-scoring set or run. 2-2-J$ isn’t worth nearly as much as A-A-J$ or Q-J$-A! Play them wisely…
#6 Don’t Fall In Love with a Meld
Just because you start with two high same-suit sequence cards doesn’t mean you’re going to make the meld into a run. Waiting too long for that important third card can lead to your demise. Re-evaluate your hand every time you draw/discard, and always consider what’s available in the discard pile, to see if other more productive opportunities might come along.
#7 Take Stock of Mid-Value Cards
Mid-value cards, like 6, 7, and 8, can be the easiest to meld. The 7 can align with 5-6, 6-8, or 8-9 of the same suit. Being mid-rang cards, they aren’t worthless, nor are they a severe risk. Retain them for easy point-generating melds while discarding bigger, potentially hazardous points. Gathering low-value oft-discarded cards, like 2s, 3s and 4s, can also make for easy melding of sets to increase your score.
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