Five Hundred is the national card game of Australia, but is also popular in other parts of the world. It has elements of Contract Bridge and Euchre. It is played by four players, who play in partnerships. The name of the game comes from the 500 points a team has to score to win the game. Each player is dealt 10 cards. Trump is chosen by the player who makes the highest bid.
Here at CardGames.CLUB you form a team with a solid player, simply named “Partner”. She will adapt to your game smoothly and will keep you out of trouble whenever that is required. Your opponents are named “Opponents”, a tricky lot, that will not allow you to lose your concentration for a sec.
Ranking of the Cards
Hundred is played with 43 cards.
Red suits: A, K, Q, J, T, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4
Black suits: A, K, Q, J, T, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5
A trump suit has 12 (black suit) or 13 (red suit) cards, ranking from Joker (highest), Bower (Jack of trump suit), Left Bower (Jack of same color suit), Ace, King, Queen, Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five (lowest in black suits) and Four (lowest in red suits).
E.g. when Spades is trump, Spades rank as follows: JOKER, J♠, J♣, A♠, K♠, Q♠, T♠, 9♠, 8♠, 7♠, 6♠, 5♠.
Note: The Left Bower can be confusing for players that start with 500, because it doesn’t look like a trump card, and is not part of its own suit during the round.
The other suits rank from Ace (highest) to Five, or Four (lowest).
When the contract is No Trump, suits also rank from Ace (highest) to Five, or Four (lowest).
Only for the first round the dealer is chosen randomly, during the next rounds the dealer changes clockwise. She deals 10 cards to each player and then puts the three remaining cards, “the kitty”, face down in the middle of the table.
Bidding starts with the player to the dealer’s left and continues clockwise. A player can make the following bids:
- A number of tricks (six to ten) and a trump suit;
- A number of tricks (six to ten) and “No Trump”;
- Misere: A contract to lose all tricks;
- Open Misere: similar as Misere, but with the cards of the contractor face up on the table, after the first trick;
A player who decides to pass, will not be able to bid again in that auction. If all four players pass, the hand is declared dead and new cards are dealt.
A new bid has to be higher than the previous one. No Trump rank highest, followed by Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs and lowest is Spades.
Misere is higher than any bid of seven and lower than any bid of eight. Open Misere ranks between eight and nine tricks. Misere and Open Misere are played without a partner.
The highest bidder wins the auction. She and her partner become the contractors. They have to take the number of tricks she bid with the suit she named being trump.
Before play starts, the “kitty” is added to the contractor’s hand. She has to choose three cards to discard. Cards from the “kitty” can also be discarded.
The contractor leads the first trick with any card in her hand she wishes to play. Play continues clockwise. Players must follow suit if possible. If a player can’t follow suit, she may play any card, including a trump card. The trick is won by the highest card of the opening suit, unless a trump is played, in which case the highest trump wins. The winner of the trick leads the next one.
In a Trump or No Trump contract, the contractors win if they take at least the number of tricks they bid and score points according to the above table. The opponents score 10 points for each trick they manage to win. If contractors don’t take the number of tricks they bid, they “go negative” and score the minus value of the contract, while the opponents still score 10 points for every trick they won.
Slam: When contractors manage to win all ten tricks, they score at least 250 points, even when their bid was worth less.
The game ends when a team reaches a score of 500 points or more, or when a team forces the other team to reach minus 500 points or more.