OBJECTIVE OF TREPPENROMME:  Be the first player to earn 500 points or more

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 – 4 players


RANK OF CARDS: (low) Ace – Ace (high)


AUDIENCE: Kids and Adults


In English, Treppenromme is called Staircase Rummy due to the way the discard pile is built.  Much like in 500 Rummy, the discard pile is staggered so that all of the cards can be seen.  Although it looks a lot like Rummy 500, there are quite a few differences.


Treppenromme uses a standard 52 card French deck.  To decide who will be the first dealer and scorekeeper, each player takes a card from the deck.  The player who has the highest card is the first dealer, and the player with the lowest card must keep score for the game.  From this point on, deal passes left each round.

The first dealer should collect all the cards and thoroughly shuffle them.  They deal seven cards to each player one at a time.  The remainder of the deck becomes the draw pile.  Turn the top card over to begin the discard pile.


It is the dealer that gets to go first.  Each turn will consist of three phases: draw, meld, and discard.

When drawing, a player has a couple options.  They may take the top card from the draw pile.  A player may also take from the discard pile.  There are two ways to do this.  First, if the player wants the top card from the discard pile, they may take it.  Second, if a player wants a card that is somewhere in the middle of the discard pile, they can take that card.  They must also take all the cards that are on top of it.  For example, if the discard pile is made up of 3-9-J-2-Q, and the player wants the 9, they must also pick up the J-2-Q.  None of the cards drawn from the discard pile have to be played.  

After a player has drawn, they may play melds to the table.  There are two types of melds: sets and runs.

A set is three or four cards of the same rank.  For example, a 3♥-3♦-3♣-3♠ is a set.  A run is three or more cards of the same suit in sequential order.  For example, 3♠-4♠-5♠-6♠-7♠ is a run.  

In Treppenromme, going around the corner is allowed, so Q♣-K♣-A♣-2♣-3♣ is allowed.

A player may also lay off during their turn.  This is done by adding one or more cards to melds 

that have already been played by them or an opponent.  

Once a player is ready to end their turn, they discard one card from their hand to the discard pile.  Remember to stagger discards in such a way that each card in the discard pile can be seen.  

Play like this continues until one of the players has emptied their hand.  A player does not have to discard their last card to end the round.  It can be played as part of a meld or part of a lay off.


Once a round has ended, it is time to figure up the score.  All players earn points for the melds and layoffs they have played.  The winner also earns points based on all of the cards left in their opponents’ hands.  Points for cards are awarded as follows:

2’s – 10’s = points equal to the value of the card

Jacks, Queens, and Kings = 10 points each

Aces = 15 points when played in a set, 10 points when played as a high card, 5 points when used around the corner, and 1 point when used low.  Aces left in hand are worth 15 points to the winner.

If a player has failed to lay off any cards or play any melds, the winner of the round gets double points for their hand.  


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

Mark Ball
Latest posts by Mark Ball (see all)