learn how to play racko

OBJECTIVE OF RACK-O: Be the first player to score 500 points or more

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 – 4 players

MATERIALS: 60 RACK-O Cards, 4 card racks, 1 card tray

RANK OF CARDS: (low) 1 – 60 (high) 

AUDIENCE: Kids, Adults


RACK-O is a card game that has been published by many different companies over the years. Originally published in 1956, RACK-O is a card game in which players take turns drawing and discarding cards. The end goal is to have a set of 10 cards in order from low to high.  


RACK-O includes a 60 card deck numbered 1 – 60, four card racks, and 1 card tray. A way to keep score will need to be provided.  


The number of cards used depends on the number of players.

2 players: all 60 cards

3 players: 1 – 50

2 players: 1 – 40

Place the card tray in the center of the table. One side of the tray will contain the draw pile, and the other side will contain the discard pile.

Draw cards to determine the first dealer. The player who draws the highest number deals first. Shuffle and deal ten cards to each player one card at a time.

As a player receives their cards, they should place them in their rack beginning with the #50 slot and moving forward toward the #5 slot.

The rest of the cards are placed face down in the card tray. Turn the top card over and place it on the opposite side of the tray. This begins the discard pile. Deal will pass left each round.


On a player’s turn, they may either draw a card from the top of the draw pile or take the top card from the discard pile.

The card that is drawn may be kept or discarded. If the card is kept, the player exchanges it with one card from their rack. The card that is removed from the rack is placed face up on top of the discard pile.

If the draw pile runs out of cards, turn over the entire discard pile. This becomes the new draw pile. Flip the top card over to begin a new discard pile.

Play continues until a player gets a RACK-O.


Once a player gets all 10 cards in their rack from low to high, they end the round by announcing RACK-O! It’s time to tally up the score.

After the score is tallied for the round, collect the cards, shuffle, and deal out for another round.



To increase the challenge for a 2 player game, a player cannot get a RACK-O until they have at least three cards in sequential order. In the picture below, the player has a RACK-O with 12,13,14 in sequential order.


In a four player game, RACK-O can be played in teams of two. Score is kept as a partnership with each team member’s score being combined for the round.


The player who gets a RACK-O also earns bonus points for a run of cards in their rack. A run must consist of three or more cards in sequential order. If the player has more than one run in their rack, they only earn points for one of them (the longest if possible).

The RACK-O earns 75 points

Run of 3 = 50 bonus points

Run of 4 = 100 bonus points

Run of 5 = 200 bonus points

Run of 6 or more = 400 bonus points 


The player who gets a Rack-O earns 75 points. 

The other players earn 5 points for each card in their rack that progresses from low to high starting with slot #5. 

racko scoring

In the above example, the player would earn 30 points. Their progression of six cards is interrupted by the 37.


The first player to earn 500 points or more wins the game.

Mark Ball
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