Five-Hundred++ is a set of extensions to the standard 500 card game (the standard Australian four-player version). The game may be played with any or all of these extensions, it is up to players to agree on which ruleset to use. One variant is that the dealer chooses which rules are in effect, though this can be confusing for inexperienced players. For most of the rules below there are multiple subtle variations which have not been included.
We recommend that you start by adding as few of the 500++ rules as possible, then work your way up from there. The best rules to start with are the Incrementally Partially Visible Kitty, and Five-Card Kitty Fractional Bidding.
Each time the bid is incremented to the next integer value (e.g., from 6 spades to 7 diamonds, or from 8 spades to open misere), the player who made the bid turns over one card of the kitty for all players to see.
If the bid is incremented more than one integer value (e.g., from 6 spades to 8 spades), then bidder turns over a number of cards equal to the size of the increment (2 in the previous example).
Misere is the highest 6 call and is worth 150 points.
Open Misere is the highest 9 call and is worth 400 points.
On a non no-trumps contract for N number of cards of suit S, the Nth card in suit S becomes the highest trump, the `megatrump' or MT. For example, if a contract is made for 8 diamonds, then the 8 of diamonds is the highest trump.
For the contract (N, S), the Nth card in the opposite suit of S, S', becomes the `anti-megatrump' (AMT). Hearts and Spades are mutually opposite suits, as are Diamonds and Clubs. The anti-megatrump becomes a card of both suit S and suit S'. That is, it must/can be played as both suit S and suit S' (cannot reneg on either suit). If both the anti-megatrump and the megatrump are played in the same trick, they cancel. If the AMT is led, players must play either suit S or S' if they have cards in either of those suits. If AMT is led, MT is played and no other cards follow suit (or are trumps), AMT wins.
One variation is that if the AMT is led, players must attempt to follow in suit S' (the anti-suit). If the MT is played, the MT and AMT still cancel. If AMT is led, the MT is played and no other cards follow suit (or are trumps), AMT wins.
A 2nd joker replaces the 4 of diamonds. One joker is denoted the `red joker', the other is denoted the `black joker'. If the contract is for a red suit the `red joker' becomes the joker and the `black joker' becomes the Anti-J (AJ). Similarly, if the contract is for a black suit, the black joker becomes the joker and the red joker becomes the Anti-J. In a no-trumps contract, the black joker becomes the joker and the red joker becomes the Anti-J. The AJ cancels the effect of the joker and (except in no-trumps contracts) the right and left bowers (J*). The AJ may be played as any suit on which the player has not previously renegged. If the AJ is led, it is done so as the trump suit. If the AJ is led and no other cards follow suit, the AJ wins the trick. If the AJ is led, and the only trumps played are J*, the AJ wins. If a non-trumps suit is led and the AJ and J* are played (and no other trumps), the highest card of the led suit wins. If the player must play the AJ on a suit on which player has previously renegged, AJ has no value.
If all cards in a trick which are on-suit are cancelled (e.g., if J*, AJ, MT and AMT are played), the highest anti-card wins. The AMT is a higher anti-card than the AJ.
The lowest card of the suit opposite to the contracted suit. Need a full explanation.
Also known as `Ultimate 500', this is one of the better extensions we have come up with. One of the motivations behind the modified bidding is the unfair discrepancy between suits: why should 7 hearts be worth more than 7 diamonds; why should one have to go to 8 diamonds to call over 7 hearts. With this bidding system all suits are treated equally.
The 4 of spades and 4 of clubs are added to the deck. The hand is dealt as normal, but with 5 cards remaining in the kitty. Bids now consist of two numbers: the number of tricks contracted to win, and the number of cards in the kitty given to the opposition. For example, a contract of `6.3 Hearts' means that the contractors need to win 6 tricks (with hearts as trumps), whilst giving 3 cards in the kitty to the opposition. The bid-winner determines which cards are given to the opposition, though they must number as if they had been dealt (i.e., in this example 2 cards must go to the player on the bid-winner's immediate left and 1 card must go to the player on the bid-winner's right). Bid values are shown in the table below.
In the bidding process, no suit is higher than any other suit, so that a bid of `6.0 hearts' is NOT better than a bid of `6.0 spades'. However, a bid `6.0 no trumps' beats all other `6.0' bids.
The incrementally partially visible kittie rule should also be used, though it is not clear as to when cards should be turned over. We have used 7.1, 7.2, 6.4, 9.1, 8.3.
The rules of five-hundred++ were developed in 1996 and 2001 in association with Robert Colvin, Steve Grundon, Julian Boot, Blaize Rhodes, Geoff Parker, Jamie Shield, Chris Hunter, and possibly others. Many of these people have been rehabilitated and are now working in roles that are beneficial to society.
If you've tried 500++ then your feedback is appreciated.