At the start of each round, each player is normally dealt 10 cards (ordinarily – this depends on the “deck size” option you select).
Teams must then BID how many tricks they think they can take given a specific TRUMP suit, meaning the suit which will outrank all others. A bid of no tricks is called “Misere.” For extra challenge, a player can declare “Open Misere” if they think have an unstoppable Misere hand (cards will then be exposed to the other players). Bidding continues to the next player (clockwise) who can either PASS or choose to outbid by bidding a higher number of tricks or suit. This outbidding continues until all players have passed.
The high bidder (DECLARER) has the opportunity to discard up to 3 cards from their hand in exchange for the leftover cards dealt into the kitty to improve their hand. At this point, the declarer and partner are referred to as the “Contractors” and the opponents are known as the “Defenders.”
Play begins with the declarer leading any card in their hand. Each player then plays one card and together the 4 cards are called a TRICK. The highest card in the suit led wins the trick. If a player’s hand does not contain any cards of the led suit, they may play any card, including the trump suit (the suit which the DECLARER chose during bidding).
If trump is played, then the highest trump card wins the trick, even if it is lower than any non-trump played. Jokers are considered the highest trump. After the Joker is the Jack of trump (called the Right Bower), followed by the Jack of the same color suit as trump (i.e., if Hearts is trump, the JH is the highest and the JD is the next highest). After these special circumstances, the rest of the cards are ranked in the following order, from lowest to highest: 2-10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace.
The player that wins the trick now leads a card. Play continues in this manner until all cards are played. The first team to reach or exceed 500 points wins!
- Now download a free 3-game trial of Championship Five Hundred All-Stars to test your knowledge. Take advantage of our easy interactive tutorial, or play a real game. (Choose from five difficulty levels through the Settings menu.) Access the tutorial by simply clicking the Tutorial button on the first game screen you see.
- For more information about Championship Five Hundred All-Stars, please visit our Championship Five Hundred All-Stars Information Page
- For expert tips and techniques, please visit our Five Hundred Tips page.