The object of Rummy 500 is to be the first player to gain 500 points through melds, which are combinations of three or more cards of the same number, or consecutive sequences of cards in the same suit. Jokers are wild and can replace any card.
A player can also meld cards by adding to a combination or sequence already played by himself or another player. At the start of the game, the dealer deals each player seven cards, starting with the player to his left, who also takes the first turn. The dealer places the rest of the cards face down in the stock pile, leaving one face up in the discard pile. At the start of his turn, a player can draw a card from either pile. If the player draws from the discard pile, he must take all of the cards in the pile and immediately use the top card.
If two to five people are playing, they play with one deck of cards and two jokers; if more than five people are playing, they use two decks and four jokers. The game continues until a player runs out of cards or the stock pile runs out. Each player then tallies his score by adding the total value of the cards he melded and subtracting the value of cards left in his hand. Face cards are worth 10 points, and aces and jokers are worth 15. If no one scores 500 points, the game continues in a second round.