Five Hundred Rules Intramural Sports Iowa State University PLAYERS: Four-handed partnership with partners sitting across from each other. CARDS: A pack of 45 cards created by discarding the twos and threes from a regular deck of 52, then add the joker. The joker is always the highest trump. The jack of the trump suit is the secondhighest trump and is called the right bower. The jack of the other suit of the same color as the trump suit is the third-highest trump and is called the left bower. Thus If spades are trump, the rank of trump is: joker, J ♠, J ♣, A, K, Q, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4. In non trump suits, the rank is A (high) K, Q, J (if it is not the left bower), 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4. DEAL: Players take turns drawing from the top of the deck until one draws a jack. That player becomes the first dealer. Each player is dealt 10 cards and the 5 remaining cards are called the middle (widow or kitty). Dealing goes 3 each – 3 to the middle – 2 each – 2 to the middle – 3 each – 2 each. BIDDING: Bidding begins with the player on the dealer’s left. Each player has one chance to bid, either passing or making a bid higher than any preceding bid. Each bid must name a suit and a number of tricks, such as “seven hearts” or “eight no-trump”. Only the first two bidders are allowed to bid 6…if their partners don’t bid higher than 6, the cards are re-dealt by the same dealer. “Six no-trump”….usually means a person has the joker. If you have no aces, jacks, queens, kings or joker, then at your turn to bid you may announce “no ace – no face”, which is a proposal to abandon the deal. Partner may agree or disagree. If partner agrees, the cards are thrown in and re-dealt – the bidder’s opponents have no say in the matter. If partner disagrees, the bidding and play continue, but the team which said “no ace – no face” are not allowed to play nullo. “Nullo” is only allowed if both teams agree before the game starts. If one team does not want to use nullo then it will not be allowed. A nullo bid is an offer to lose every trick at no-trump. The nullo bidder plays alone and the bidder’s partner puts his hand face down on the table. The value of the bid is 250. We do not play “double nullo”, “grand nullo”, “open-face” or “give me your best card”. If all players pass, the deal is thrown in and the cards are re-dealt by the same dealer. Otherwise the highest bid becomes the contract. TOURNAMENT: All teams will play a minimum of 2 rounds. “Round” – you play the best 2 of 3 games to 500 against an opponent. A game shall have a maximum of 6 hands that are played out – a re-deal does not count as a hand. Starting with the 2nd round, teams who lose will be eliminated. In the first round we will play 2 games with a maximum of 4 hands per game and a 45 minute time limit. Beginning with the 2nd round we will play the best 2 out of 3 with a maximum of 6 hands per game. A bid is higher than a preceding bid if it has a higher scoring value in the following table: Number of Tricks Suit 7 8 9 10 No-trump Hearts Diamonds Clubs Nullo Spades PLAY: 220 200 180 160 140 320 300 280 260 250 240 420 400 380 360 520 500 480 460 340 440 The high bidder takes the middle into their hand and discards five cards face down. He/she then makes the opening lead. The hands are played out in tricks. A player must follow suit led, if able; if unable to follow suit, he/she may play any card. The highest trump in a trick wins it, or the highest card of the suit led when no trump are present. The winner of a trick leads for the next trick. With no-trump, the joker is the sole trump card. It wins any trick that it is played on. However, the joker cannot be played onto a trick unless the player is void of the suit led. When the joker is led, its owner specifies its suit and the other players must follow suit, if able. SCORING: If the contracting (bidding) team wins at least as many tricks as were bid, it scores the value of the bid according to the bid table. However, if the team wins all ten tricks, it scores either the bid or 250 points (whichever is greater). If the contracting team is set (fails to make the bid), the value of the bid is deducted from its score. Thus a team can have a negative score. Regardless of whether the bid was made or not, the opposing team scores 10 points for each trick they took. If both teams reach 500 or more in the same deal – the contracting team wins the game. A team who reaches minus 500 or worse loses the game. MISDEAL: The same dealer re-deals if a card is exposed or hands have the wrong number of cards. If a player bids lower than a previous bid, the opponents may ask for a re-deal. EXPOSED CARD: There is no penalty for exposing a card to an opponent. However, if the player exposes a card to his/her partner, the card must be left face up on the table and be played at the first legal chance. REVOKE: Failure to follow suit when able is a revoke. A revoke may be corrected at any time before the next lead; otherwise it stands as established. When a revoke is corrected in time, the offending card is treated as exposed. If it is an established revoke by the bidding team, their bid is defeated. If the offender was not the bidding team, then the bid is scored as made with the opponents not scoring.
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