I have a vintage copy of Rack-O, dating back to 1956, Copyright Milton Bradley. The good thing about this old-timer, aside for the cool throwback look to the cards and the card holders, is that the instructions are printed on the inside of the box! Pick up an old copy, and never need the rules again, or just keep reading, and come to my web page every time you want to play Racko. Either way is fine by me.
Rack-O Deck and Objective
A Racko deck is composed of 60 cards, each numbered 1 to 60. For 2 player games, play only with the cards 1 to 40. For 3 players, use 1 to 50, and for 4 players, use 1 to 60.
The objective is to be the first player to arrange all of the cards in your rack from lowest to highest.
Starting the Game
Have each player cut the deck and reveal a card. The player with the lowest card deals first. The dealer deals 10 cards to each player. Players store the cards in their racks as received from 50, to 45, on down to 5. Do not rearrange the order of the cards in your rack.
Place the remainder of the deck in the center of the table face down to create a draw pile. Flip the top card up and place it beside the draw pile to create the discard pile.
Play starts to the left of the dealer. Each player must pick up a card from the draw pile, or the top card from the discard pile. If you take a card from the discard pile, you must discard a card from your rack and place the new card in that slot. If you take a card from the draw pile, you can discard either the drawn card or a card from your rack. If you exchange for a card in your rack, the new card must be put into its slot.
If at any time the draw pile runs out of cards, flip the discard pile over to create a new draw pile.
A round ends when the first player in the round is able to rearrange all of the cards in order from lowest to highest (lowest number in the 5 position, and highest number in the 50 position on the rack). When this is done, that player who goes out first is awarded 5 points for each of their cards from lowest to highest, and 25 points for going out (going Rack-O) for a total of 75 points. Other players receive 5 points for each card in their rack that is arranged from lowest to highest without a break in the order. For instance if you have a 3, 7, 35, followed by anything below 35, your score would be 15 points. Once the low/high sequence is broken in your rack, you do not score points for any cards behind it, even if they are in low to high order.
The first player to 500 points wins the game.
For 2 players and Teams
You can add an additional rule to lengthen the game for 2 players. No player may go “Rack-O” unless three cards are in sequence, in addition to all card being lowest to highest in the rack.
You can also play with partners if you have exactly 4 players. In a partner game, the scores of the partners are added together, and the first team to reach 500 points wins.
Bonus Rack-O includes the same rules as Regular Rack-O, but bonus points are scored by achieving sequences of numbers in addition to low to high arrangement. In Bonus Rack-O, only the person who goes Rack-O (goes out first) qualifies for bonus points, and bonus points are awarded on top of the 75 points they earn for going Rack-O.
Bonus points are awarded as follows:
3 card run= 50 bonus points
4 card run= 100 bonus points
5 card run= 200 bonus points
6 card run=400 bonus points