Mastering the Card Game 2500!




The objective of this intructable is to teach you an exciting and interesting card game called 2500.  This game is similar to other card games such as rummy, Phase 10, and hands and feet.  It is suitable for any age that knows basic card game skills and terminology.  For example of age ranges, I have had an 8 year old cousin to a 97 year old great grandma who play.  Although it may take a couple of times of playing to understand and learn the game, it can be a great way to interact with friends and family.  Plus, if you run into any questions you can always come back to this page and look at what to do next.  I hope you enjoy this instructable and have a fun time learning 2500!

The ultimate goal of the game is to reach 2500 points the quickest.  The goal of each hand (round) is to accumulate as many points as possible.  This can be accomplished by laying down three cards of one kind or two cards of one kind and a wild.  For example, a player would need three aces or two aces and a wild to lay down.  Having three wilds does not count as a condition to lay down.

Step 1: What You Will Need:

1. People who are going to play the game with you
2. Two decks of cards (for 2-6 players, if you have more than that I would suggest adding another deck)
3. Paper to keep score on
4. Writing utensil (pen, pencil, or marker)
 Optional: A calculator if you do not like to calculate scores in your head. 

Step 2: To Start Off...

Remove all jokers and deuces (twos) from the two decks.  These cards are not used to play the game.

Step 3: Dealing

1. Decide who is going to deal first.

2. The dealer shuffles the two decks (minus the jokers and deuces) together.

3. The dealer will deal the cards in a clockwise fashion (i.e. starting with the player to the left and continuing around the table until the dealer deals for himself/herself).  To start, the dealer flips over a card from the top of the shuffled deck to the adjacent player to the left and that card determines how many cards that player will receive.  The card flipped over is associated with the card order.  Card order goes from: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, with Ace having the highest value (shown in the second picture).  The table below shows the card and the number of cards received.  The first picture provides an example of a hand dealt out with the correct number of cards for each card flipped over.

Card          Number of cards dealt (this includes the card flipped over at the beginning)
Ace             14
King           13
Queen       12
Jack           11
Ten            10
Nine           9
Eight          8
Seven        7
Six              6
Five            5
Four           4
Three         3

4.  Whatever card is flipped over by the dealer for himself/herself is considered the wild card.  For example, if the dealer deals himself/herself an eight, as shown in the first picture below, then eight is the wild card.

Step 4: Playing

1. The player to the left of the dealer goes first.  Since this is the beginning of the game they must pick up a card from the deck and then discard a card in the discard pile.  Remember the goal of this game is to get three cards of one kind or a pair and a wild.  If this player has one or both of these conditions, they can lay down as many sets of cards that fit the conditions.  Once a player has achieved one of these conditions and laid down the cards on the table, they can start to play on other player's cards.  This is similar to what can be done in Phase 10.  For example, if player one has laid down three aces and player two has already laid down, player two can now lay a single (or more) ace on the table to add to their score.

2. Each player, going in a clockwise fashion, takes a turn until a player has gone out.  Gone out means a player has laid all their cards on the table and one in the discard pile.  For example, if a player was dealt eight cards to go out they must have eight cards laid on the table which fit the conditions above.

3. The dealer has the advantage as that they are the last person to play before the hand ends.  If a person goes out that is not the dealer, each subsequent player plays until the dealer has had a final turn.  For example, as shown in the picture below, if there are three players in a game and player two goes out, only player three will get another turn to play.  In this case, player one will not get another turn because player three is the dealer and play stops at the dealer when someone goes out.  A great strategy for the dealer is to wait to lay any of their cards down on the table until someone or they can go out. This disadvantages the other players because they will not be able to lay any cards for which the dealer could have laid down.

Step 5: Scoring

At the end of each hand, the scores are calculated.  Any cards not laid down on the table count negatively against the player and any cards on the table count positively.  The goal is to reach 2500 points the quickest and whoever does this first is the winner.  The table below shows the points distributed for scoring at the end of each hand.  Note that if anything but an Ace is wild, it is 100 points per card laid down.  If an Ace is wild, each Ace laid down on the table is worth 200 points each.

Card              Points
3-9                     5
10-King            10
Ace                   100
Wild (3-King)  100
Wild (Ace)        200

Step 6: Examples of Scoring

Picture 1: As shown in this picture, this player has one set of three of a kind and four cards that count negatively against them.  The group of threes count positively as 15 points (5 points for each card).  The cards that were not laid down (were still in the player's hand) count 30 points (5+10+10+5 points) negatively towards their score.  Adding the +15 points to the -30 points gives the total for this player's score of -15.

Picture 2: This picture shows that Aces were wild because they are used as the third card to make three of a kind.  Look at the eights, for example, they would not be able to be laid down if it were not for the ace being wild.  Since Aces are wild it means that they are worth 200 points each.  Adding the cards that were able to be laid down (the top row) and subtracting them from the cards still in the player's hand (bottom row) gives the score of 620 points.

Cards laid down
3 Aces* 200 points each = 600 points
2 cards * 10 points each = 20 points
5 cards * 5 points each = 25 points
total = 645 points
Cards in hand
3 cards * 5 points each = -15 points
1 card * 10 points each = -10 points
total = -25 points
final score = -25+645 = 620 points

Picture 3: This picture shows three players and their cards at the end of the hand.  As the third player (the dealer) has eight cards, this means that eight is the wild card.  The scoring will be as follows:
Player 1: -45+430 = 385 points
Player 2: 0+130 = 130 points
Player 3: 0+420 = 420 points



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    16 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Also if u have sets laid down and draw a wild card can u lay it on any sets already played?

    2 replies

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    If there are not already wild cards with that set you can play the wild card


    Reply 7 weeks ago

    Only if there are more naturals than wild.


    7 years ago on Step 6

    In playing the game of 2500, we were told that you could take cards from the discard pile as long as you had two naturals in your hand to make a set. Is this true? They also said that you can go back as far in the discard pile as you needed to to retrieve the card you wanted as long as you took all other cards before and including the card you need. We were also told that you could take your card from either the deck or the discard pile.and, If taking the top card from the discard pile would you still need to have a natural of two in your hand? We're confused. Can anyone clarify?

    3 replies

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    If I read the rules above correctly they kind of lead me to believe that you cannot draw from the discard pile. They state if you start out with 8 cards you should have 8 cards on the table in front of you at the end of play. If you take cards from the discard pile that would not be true. I've also played that if you are picking up let's say a 5 from the discard pile- you would need to pick up 5 cards from the discard pile. So if you pick up a jack you would pick up either 11 cards from the discard pile or the entire pile if there are less than 11 cards. Again as stated above- that's the way I learned it. Before you start playing with someone agree on the rules you start. Saves a lot of grief!


    Reply 2 years ago

    Yes, you have to have 2 naturals in your hand to be able to take the top card of the discard pile, However, if that top card is a wild card, you have to have two other wild cards and three sets of pairs in your hand to take that card. If there is a card anywhere underneath that wild card in the discard pile that matches the pair in your hand, then you would go down to that card in the discard pile and take it along with any other ones that are on top of the one(s) you need. For example, you have two jacks in your hand and you know there is a third jack in the discard pile, You take all the cards on top of that pile right down to the jack, including the jack. You only need two cards to match the one you are retrieving from the discard pile, You do not have to have a matching card to take a card from the deck. That pile is turned upside down so that you can't see what's in it. You are taking a chance of getting a card you want, or not. You also don't have to discard if you can go out by playing all the cards in your hand. I hope this helps.


    Reply 2 years ago

    The above comments I just added are according to the way I was taught. It seems that the instructions on this site are different from how I was taught. Maybe there are different variations of how this game is played. Either that,or I was taught incorrectly, or the instructions on this site are incorrect.


    Answer 7 weeks ago

    No. The information above says you need 2 naturals(a pair) with one wild. In any case you need more naturals than wild cards.


    Question 11 months ago on Step 4

    Do you have to meld prior to picking up the discard pile


    Question 1 year ago on Introduction

    In order to go out, Can I use two wildcards on three naturals?


    2 years ago

    I mean if I have a set and no discard does play continue or do I miss those points till I have a discard


    2 years ago

    What if u r able to play and have no discard, does play go on around till u can?


    2 years ago

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    7 years ago on Introduction

    is there anywhere online that you can play this game i love playing this game and i wish i could play it online when i have no one to play with