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Rack-O Card Game: Rules and Instructions

Rack-O Card Game: Rules and Instructions

Rack-O Quick Links | Objective | Setup | Playing the Game | Winning a Round | Scoring | Winning the Game | Two Player Game | Partner Game | Bonus Rack-O | FAQ | Components |

Objective of Rack-O

The objective of Rack-O is to place the cards in your rack in numerical order faster than your opponents in order to score more points.


  • Depending on the number of players you may need to remove some cards from the deck:
    • Four players – Use all cards 1-60
    • Three players – Use cards 1-50
    • Two players – Use cards 1-40
  • Each player takes one rack.
  • Cut the deck and have each player take a card. Whichever player draws the lowest card becomes the dealer.
  • The dealer shuffles all of the cards and deals ten cards to each player. As each card is dealt to you, you should add it to your rack. You should place the first card you are dealt in the 50 slot. The next card goes in the 45 slot and so on.
When you are dealt cards to start a round you will place them one at a time starting at the back of your rack.
  • Place the rest of the cards face down on the table. These cards form the Stockpile.
  • Take the top card from the Stockpile and turn it face up to create the Discard Pile.
  • The player to the left of the dealer starts the game.
Setup in Rack-O

Playing Rack-O

On your turn you will draw one card. You can take a card in one of two ways.

Drawing a card

Take a Card From the Discard Pile

First you may take the top card from the Discard Pile. If you choose to take the top card from the Discard Pile, you will choose a card from your rack. You will replace the card in your rack with the card you took from the Discard Pile.

Take card from Discard Pile in Rack-O
This player decided to take the five from the Discard Pile. They decide to add it to the first slot in their rack.

The card you replaced is added face up to the top of the Discard Pile.

Discarding a card
The player has added the five card to the first slot in their rack. After placing the card in their rack, they discard the ten card which was previously in the slot.

Take a Card from the Stockpile

Otherwise you can choose to take the top face down card from the Stockpile. When you choose a card from the Stockpile you can choose what you want to do with the card.

If you like the card, you can use it to replace one of the cards on your rack. Remove the card from a slot and place the new card in the now empty slot. Add the card you removed from your rack to the Discard Pile face up.

Taking a card from the Stockpile in Rack-O
This player drew a 59 card from the Stockpile. Since it is a really high card, they decide to place it in the last slot in their rack.
Replacing a card in your rack
After adding the 59 card to their rack, they will discard the 49 card which was previously in the slot.

Otherwise you can choose to immediately discard the card you just drew from the Stockpile.

If the Stockpile ever runs out of cards, turn over the Discard Pile to create a new Stockpile.

Special Powers

In some versions of Rack-O (2006 version for sure), some of the cards have special powers printed on them.

If you discard one of the cards that have a special power on them, you can take the corresponding action.

If you own a version with the special powers, you can also choose to ignore the special powers.

Winning a Round

Players will keep taking turns choosing cards from the Stockpile and Discard Pile.

The objective of the game is to place cards in your rack in numerical order from the front (5) to the back (50). The cards do not need to be in sequential order (5, 6 , 7), but each card needs to be larger than the previous card.

When a player gets all ten of their cards in numerical order, they have created a Rack-O. They win the current round.

Winning a round of Rack-O
This player has created a Rack-O as each number on their rack is larger than the previous card. They have won the current round. They will score 75 points for creating a Rack-O.

Scoring in Rack-O

Each player will score points for the cards placed in their rack during the round.

The player that created the Rack-O that ended the round, scores 75 points.

The rest of the players score five points for each card that they placed in numerical order. Starting at the card placed in the 5 slot, count how many cards you were able to place in numerical order. You will score five points for each card you placed in order until the numerical order was broken. You could also look at the number printed on the slot of the last card that was in numerical order. Even if you have another set of cards in numerical order later in the rack, you only score points for the cards in order at the start of your rack.

Scoring in Rack-O
This player did not create a Rack-O before the round ended. They will score 30 points since their first six cards are in numerical order.

Keep track of the points that each player scores each round.

Winning Rack-O

The first player to score 500 or more points, wins Rack-O.

Two Player Game

If there are only two players, you need to slightly alter the rules.

You will only use cards 1-40.

Also you may not claim a Rack-O until you have a run of at least three cards in your rack. A run is three or more cards that are in sequential order (10, 11, 12).

Partner Game

If there are four players you can choose to play in teams.

The game is played in the same way as the normal game. The only difference is that the two players add their scores together to get their total score each round.

The first team to score 500 or more points wins the game.

Bonus Rack-O

Bonus Rack-O is played the same as the normal game except that it gives you additional ways of scoring points.

In this variant game you can score additional points if you create runs. A run is three or more cards in sequential order (33, 34, 35). Only the player that creates the Rack-O that ends the round will score points for the run(s) they created. If you create a Rack-O you can choose not to go out immediately in order to try and score more points.

In addition to scoring 75 points for creating a Rack-O that ended the round, the winner of each round can score bonus points as follows:

  • Three card run – 50 bonus points (125 points total)
  • Four card run – 100 bonus points (175 points total)
  • Five card run – 200 bonus points (275 points total)
  • Six or more card run – 400 bonus points (475 points total)
Scoring in Bonus Rack-O
This player has created a Rack-O. They also created a run of four cards in the middle (24, 25, 26, 27). The player scores 175 points this round.

If the winner of the round has two or more runs, they will only score bonus points from the longest run.

Rack-O FAQ

If you have any questions about how to play Rack-O, leave a comment below on this post. I will try to answer any questions asked as best and as quickly as possible.

Components for Rack-O

Rack-O Components

  • 60 cards (1-60)
  • 4 racks
  • Instructions

Year: 1956 | Publisher: Hasbro, Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers, Winning Moves

Genres: Card, Family

Ages: 8+ | Number of Players: 2-4 | Length of Game: 30-45 minutes

Difficulty: Light | Strategy: Light | Luck: Moderate-High

Where to Purchase: Amazon, eBay Any purchases made through these links (including other products) help keep Geeky Hobbies running. Thank you for your support.

For more board and card game how to plays/rules and reviews, check out our complete alphabetical list of board game posts.

Lori Kreiner

Monday 23rd of October 2023

Would you received 5 points if the first card is a 60? I'd say no because that's the highest card. If it was a 59, there would then be a higher card. I don't think a 60 should be an automatic score, it would never be a lower card.

So far I haven't found anyone that agrees with me. lol

Eric Mortensen

Monday 23rd of October 2023

Unfortunately I also have to disagree with you. The instructions for the version I have specifically say that you receive 5 points even if the card in the 10 slot is lower than the card in the 5 slot. It doesn't specifically say anything special about the 60 card. Therefore I would play it where you still get 5 points even if you have card 60 in the first slot.

I am a strong believer in house rules though. Based on the official rules I would say you would still get the 5 points. If all of the players you are playing with want to play it where you don't score points if you have a 60 in the first slot, I see no reason why you couldn't agree to play it that way.