Talk:500 (card game)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Board and table games (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is part of WikiProject Board and table games, an attempt to better organize information in articles related to board games and tabletop games. If you would like to participate, you can edit the article attached to this page, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the importance scale.

Incorrect usage of "Bower"[edit]

I'm going to swap terms "left bower" and "right bower" - the original author had them confused. I checked three websites to make sure my understanding wasn't just parochial. The "right" is the jack of the trump suit, the "left" is the jack of the other suit of the same colour. -- Tim Starling

Note although the German playing card decks have a "B" on the jack or knave card, it actually stands for "Bube" not "Bauer". Group29 (talk) 18:02, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Rule Variations[edit]

I always thought the standard rules for four handed 500 had the black 4s removed not the red. I've never seen it played the other way. Is it an error in the article? - Tobin Richard I've always played by removing the 4 of spades and the 4 of diamonds. Then, the 4 of diamonds or 4 of spades is considered trump, if hearts or clubs are trump, respectively. This rule makes sense, because it ensures that there are always 13 trump, and counting trump cards is an integral part of strategy. We would similarly play a two person game with 23 cards, including two 7s. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:40, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

I've only seen removing the black cards from the deck and keeping both the red and black cards in the blind and the winning bidder disposing of 5 cards before play began. Also "slamming the match" needs to note that there also needs to be no nullo/misere in play to win the 250 points James Mauro

I find issue with some sentences in the 'Score Keeping for 500' section. First,

'Whether or not the bid winning team achieves its bid, the losing bidders receive 10 points for each trick they take.'

This might be considered usual but a common variant is that points are awarded to the losing bid-team only when the bid-winning team do not make their bid. In misere and open misere, the bid-losing team get 10 points for each trick that the bid-winner takes.

I think the sentence

'A team wins the game by scoring at least 500 points through winning bids, which means that any team surpassing 500 points solely with tricks has not yet won the game.'

is confusing. Not all 500 points need to be won through winning bids (as opposed to accumulating points through odd tricks won as the losing-bid team). The variant that I know of says you can only get up to 460 or 490 with odd tricks - any odd tricks you take after that simply do not count. To win the game, you must cross over 500 by winning (and making) a bid.

'A team whose score dips below -500 points loses the game only if the other team is not in the negative.'

I have never heard of this. If you go out the back door, you lose, even if the other team is on -490.

Also, the table of bids and their point values includes a row for 'slams', though what a slam is is not discussed elsewhere in the text. A slam occurs when the winning bidder takes all ten tricks, regardless of what they bid. Slams can (in some variants) be rewarded with an additional 100 points over the winning bid amount. For example, if the original bid was 7 hearts and all ten tricks were taken, the score would be 200 (7 hearts) + 100 (for slamming) = 300. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:08, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Could a section be added with regional terms? For example, I have never heard it called "misere" in the Midwest, where it is called "Noola." Taking all ten tricks is called a "sweep" instead of a "slam." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:51, 8 July 2010 (UTC)


I reformatted the page to be easier on the eyes and to give it sections. I used the Euchre page for 'inspiration' and borrowed some of their wording where I think it was clearer. I believe I kept all the original content. Anything missing? - grubber 20:08, 2005 Jun 15 (UTC)

Needless deletions[edit]

I've been skimming through the history and have noticed that there have been many needless deletions of accurate material on the game. For instance, the article version I came across today made no mention of the American term "nullo," nor did it mention the 43-card version of the game, nor did it mention that "kitty" and "blind" are alternative names for the "widow." All of these details were present in earlier incarnations of the article, but were stripped in later edits. I suspect that the motive for such deletions is that the author(s) wished to present the "correct" or "standard" version of the game in the article (that is, the version that they play). This might be a much more satisfying and less confusing approach for someone authoring a rule book, but it is not the right approach for an encyclopedia article, which must neutrally and fairly represent all pertinent details on a subject, even when those details vary from each other. There is no world-wide standardized version of 500, so details on the many variations should be incorporated into the article. In future edits, I ask that all authors preserve unique information on the variations. To do otherwise hampers the article, and disrespects the contributions of others who have enjoyed one species or another of this still-evolving game. (unsigned by Rohirok)

  • I agree with you, as it's hard to represent every way this game is played. 500 is a staple of family get-togethers and we play with slight variations. The only solution I can think of is to use sub-pages. Is that proper in the Wiki-world. This would let everyone have their own way without needlessly complicating & cluttering up the main article. - grubber 2005 July 8 09:15 (UTC)
My primary concern here is that all accurate material is retained. Simply deleting information that does not conform to the "standard" rules will not do. Reorganization for the sake of clear presentation, however, is a good approach. I don't think each variation needs a separate page, since this will result in a lot of very brief pages (or else longer pages that repeat a lot of the information from the main article). How about this: the game seems most popular in Australia these days. How about if we designate the Australian version as the standard one and give it its own section at the beginning of the article. All rules and terminology will refer to the Australian version in this section, without muddying the waters with a lot of information on other versions. Next we could have a section on the original U.S. version, along with notes on how it is usually played today. Finally, notes on other variations not covered in the first sections can be collected into their own section. The 500 article linked at the bottom of the page provides a good source for information on variations, and its organizational style might prove a good example for the Wikipedia article. Rohirok 19:58, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
It's possible people were deleting out of verifiability concerns. Retaining all accurate material is an admirable goal, but how do we know what's accurate? That being said, this article is about a card game, so I don't see that it needs to conform to standards as strict as what's expected at some other articles. Friday (talk) 20:26, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
Possibly some deletions were as you say, though certainly not all. Any Google search of Euchre-style games would confirm all of the common alternative names for the blind/kitty/widow, yet some of this terminology was inexplicibly excised from the article. Obviously, documenting every last house rule for the game shouldn't be an objective for this article. However, documenting regional variants (in rules and terminology) ought to be (Australian rules, U.S. rules, New Zealand, etc.), and this sort of thing is verifiable to some extent through rough consensus of players in those regions who watch, talk about, and contribute to the article. Knowledge can also be drawn from other sources written by people who have done straw polls of other players around the world, such as the author of the article currently linked at the bottom of the article. Patterns emerge, and mere house rules can be sifted away from regional trends. As for the standards, I think all the "standard" standards ought to apply to every Wikipedia article, regardless of its presumed triviality. Accuracy, pertinence and completeness are the goals for an encyclopedia. Rohirok 01:47, 10 September 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure what the best solution is. 500 is a religion in our family and the way the article is written now describes the way I've always played the game. There does need to be a "base" set of rules and then a set of "variations" on the game to describe the variants. I'm not convinced the Australian version should be the base however. - grubber 15:40, 2005 September 10 (UTC)
My reason for suggesting that was that 500 is the national card game of Australia, and more popular in that country than anywhere else. If you look up the game on Google, the majority of sites dedicated to the game will be Australian. Of course, even in Australia, there are variations, so a section devoted to "Australian rules" won't be without its caveats. What do you think about using the U.S. rules (as written by the company that introduced the game) as a base, and expanding from there? What other base might you suggest? Rohirok 00:32, 11 September 2005 (UTC)
I like the above suggestion. We may find that the original US Playing Card company rules are one of the few that are verifiable without "original research". But I see no reason not to include regional variations to whatever extent is feasible. Hopefully we'll find that the major variations are documented in books somewhere. Friday (talk) 03:46, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

Time to rework this page?[edit]

Someone back there said that 500 is a staple of family get togethers; I agree, but this entry does little to facilitate growth in that area. Only a few sentences in, on the "Rules" or "How to play" section (which is for some reason called "Setup" in this article) the reader is confronted by a variation in the number of cards that should be used in a game. Personally I would start losing interest around there.

Now I know that the primary point of an encyclopedia entry is to be informative, but structuring this article such that it can be used to easily learn how to play the game need not detract from that.

I propose opening with a brief history and description followed by, as the backbone of the article, a definitive set of rules. Variations should follow (original rules, New Zealand rules, Martian rules, etc) with each giving some kind of reckoning of it's popularity and also it's caveats. The definitive set of rules that heads up the article should be the most popular version in play today; I believe that's the Australian rules. In my personal experience the Australian rules place an emphasis on highlighting what is different about Euchre and 500 and makes the element of risk involved with the bidding as great as possible (no partner communication is tolerated unless it is in the form of a legitimate 6+ bid). I think if people think the bidding needs to be made easier because it's just to stressy for them, then they should be playing Euchre, but we'll include the variations to keep them happy. While I'm on a roll, other ways in which variations of 500 can be found wanting is allowing a Misére bid before bidding has reached 7 no trumps; once players realise how easy it is to complete such a bid, this can ruin gameplay. Joker play during a no trumps bid can also foul things up.

The article should trail off with a more comprehensive history, along with other snippets, anecdotes and trivia.

John McLeod's page does a pretty good job ( has he been invited to contribute?

Thoughts? ...

John is maintaining his own site which predates Wikipedia. If he opens up his site to allow the text to be copyrighted, he may lose a significant source of revenue. Much of the material in this article clearly has been lifted from his web site (Nullo rules and Granola for example). He would be well within his rights to declare copyright violations. Also, Wikipedia is not a "How to" (see Wikipedia:GAMEGUIDE ). Note that the US Playing card company created the rules, which may or may not be copyrighted themselves. The game rules have been published also in a number of "Hoyle" guides. I would guess that in Australia, the Australian rules are the most popular variant. Perhaps the article should just describe the game and link to John's site. Group29 (talk) 17:58, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Unsigned Question[edit]

there is no tactical reason for a misire calls before any 7 call... can a player call open misere imediatly after a 'closed' misere call?

Since you only get one bid, if you have a Nello hand (what we call misere), that's what you bid, even if you're the first player. On your second question, subsequent players can bid anything they want as long as the bid is higher (except double nello and double exposed nello, which can be bid only if your partner bids nello or exposed nello, respectively). So, one player can bid Nello and the next Exposed Nello. - grubber 15:21, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Quaint "Australian" remarks[edit]

Those remarks in the article about the Joker being called "the bird" here in Australia seem a bit ridiculous. Never heard it called anything of the sort. And the note about sometimes the Joker card having a picture of a kookaburra - well, I suppose there might be some decks with kookaburras. There'd also be decks with landmarks, cars, naked women and so on. Hardly worth noting in the Wikipedia entry for 500, though, I'd have thought.

I reckon those remarks should either be supported as being particularly true of Australia (which I don't think they are) or should go. MrLefty 02:04, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

I have to admit, i'd been playing 500 for about five years in and around Sydney until one day I played it with someone from QLD who called it "the bird" and I was confused at first as to what he was referring to. However, yes, I did work out that he was referring to the Joker so I have to agree with the comment about "the bird". I say, keep it in. Sits69 13:29, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

I vote to delete the reference to "the bird". It is not in anyway specific to the game 500. Does this mean that in any card game on Wikipedia this should be mentioned because some Australian players use that word for the joker? (I am Australian and have never heard the term used before, or played with a deck with a kookaburra). If it is relevant on any page, move it to the page for "The joker" if there is one. 05:20, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Yeah I have to agree with removing it, I'm also from Australia and I've never heard of the joker being called the bird, nor have I ever seen a deck with jokers being birds. I'm sure there are decks like that somewhere but unless there's evidence that it's widespread I don't think it should stay. And in either case it doesn't belong on this page. 17:11, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

On that subject, is there any source for 500 being the "national" card game of Australia? I know some enthusiastic players, but I've also had to teach almost everyone I know because hardly anybody knows it. There are a lot of card games that are better known here. And I'm sure that 500-specific decks exist, but again, they aren't widespread - all the play I've seen of 500 has been on a regular deck with cards removed. (talk) 03:38, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Reed's "Queen's Slipper" card decks (especially 500 decks the additional cards for six handed play) feature a Kookaburra on the Joker and are quite common - examples of both old and current versions can be seen on this site: . I grew up calling the Joker the Bird. Neb-Maat-Re (talk) 03:03, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

French Canadian version?[edit]

Is there more than one person playing the French Canadian version of 500? How else could someone make the assertion that the game is mainly played at family reunions? 02:09, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, is there any reason at all to include the French-Canadian Version? Especially in its current state, where it somehow deserves its own section and table, and is written in an entirely unencyclopedic tone. Nik-renshaw (talk) 21:37, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Group variants and list at end (recommendation)[edit]

There are far too many WP articles bloated and made confusing by authors’ felt need to cover every variant and exception. As others have noted here, this might be OK for the aficionado, but the novice (and this is who we are catering for) gets confused and bored. There are exceptions and variants to EVERYTHING. The best way to deal with them is to note this at the outset, then present the common, standard case (in this case, the game as played by a majority of players), and briefly detail the variants at the end. If more writers followed this commonsense rule, there would be a lot more vigorous, clean and useful articles in WP. Myles325a 02:14, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Gender Neutrality[edit]

I'm wondering if anyone happens to know about Wikipedia preference of gender in single-person pronouns. This article makes a lot of use of "he" to refer to a player, and I'm aways hesitant to overuse such terminology. Anyone know if there is a preference against this, or of a way to alter the usage? Nik-renshaw (talk) 22:56, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

See the Wikipedia:Gender-neutral language section linked from the Wikipedia:Manual of Style. Maybe read this discussion if you want: Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Archive (gender-neutral pronouns). Gender neutral is preferred. Thanks Group29 (talk) 18:09, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Italics / Style[edit]

Does anyone happen to know if the titles of marketed games should be italicized? I have a feeling like they should, but I've done some limited searching and uncovered no mention of it. I've found that specifics of style are always more difficult to find on the internet than in comprehensive scholastic volumes, which I happen to be sorely lacking. Thanks. Nik-renshaw (talk) 21:34, 4 January 2008 (UTC)


Do the following sentences belong in the setup section, or even in the article at all?

"Bower is an Anglicization of the German Bauer, a word meaning farmer, peasant, or pawn. This name is often used to refer to the jack of German games. This is important later in the game, and is usually known by newcomers as the hardest part to learn about the game.

In Australia decks of cards are for sale especially for 500, with 11's, 12's and red 13's included."

I feel like the second may find some place in "History," perhaps, or in the lead, just as a note that decks exist specifically to accommodate the game, but I can't seen any reason for the first section about the history of the word "Bower" to be in this article, especially since this is just a variant of Euchre, which also uses the Bower. If no one responds, I will likely remove the first section and move the second relatively soon. Nik-renshaw (talk) 21:49, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

11's, 12's, and red 13's[edit]

I can find 11's, but no 12's or red 13's on Wikimedia Commons. Please upload the missing cards to Wikimedia Commons. -- (talk) 08:50, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

It will be here tomorrow............:) ! You know what, too much talk on very little work. This article should already be in a more advanvanced level of development. All card game articles are now being standardised. More important, it's not about writing an article that nobody has ever dreamed of writing, but adding precious information for millions of people who are desperately looking for answers. Dating period card games and trace their lineage should be a common goal.
Till tomorrow......:) ! Krenakarore (talk) 22:26, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Done.--Countakeshi (talk) 22:01, 31 January 2017 (UTC)


Best not to colour the headlines, per the style guides adn accessiblity. Rich Farmbrough, 15:41, 16 September 2009 (UTC).


Phrases like "do not do it justice" and "excellent" in the intro don't conform to Neutral POV. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:03, 7 February 2010 (UTC)


500 is still played by many in NE Iowa SW WI and SE Minn and there are many social card clubs that get together monthly in members private homes to play. It is not commonly played in bars in this region, the card game of choice there is usually Euchre or Bid Euchre —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:42, 6 February 2011 (UTC)