Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Canasta Rules

Canasta is a card game that originated in Uruguay in the 1940s and became extremely popular in the 1950s in the United States. It's usually played with two to six players. Here are the basic rules:


The main objective of Canasta is to score points by forming melds (sets of cards of the same rank) and by making canastas (melds of seven cards).


Two standard 52-card decks are used, including four jokers for a total of 108 cards.

The dealer is chosen randomly and deals 11 cards to each player if there are four or more players, or 15 cards if there are two or three players. The remaining cards form the draw pile, and the top card is turned face up to start the discard pile.


Starting Player: The player to the left of the dealer goes first, and play proceeds clockwise.

Drawing Cards: On a player's turn, they can draw either the top card from the draw pile or the entire discard pile.

Melding Cards: After drawing, players may lay down melds if they have them. A meld consists of three or more cards of the same rank, such as three kings or four sevens. Players can also add cards to existing melds on the table.

Going Out: A player can go out by melding all of their cards, either in one turn or gradually. To go out, a player must have a minimum of one canasta (seven cards of the same rank) or make a canasta as part of going out.

Ending the Hand: The hand ends when a player goes out or when the draw pile is depleted. Players then calculate their scores and start a new hand.


Red Threes: Red threes are worth 100 points each and are set aside when drawn.

Melds: Each meld (set of three or more cards) has a point value based on the rank of the cards.

Canastas: A natural canasta (without wild cards) is worth 500 points, while a mixed canasta (with wild cards) is worth 300 points.

Going Out: A player who goes out earns a bonus of 100 points.

Remaining Cards: Players lose points for cards remaining in their hands at the end of the hand.

Ending the Game:

The game typically ends when a player or team reaches a certain point threshold, such as 5,000 or 7,500 points. The first player or team to reach or exceed this threshold wins the game.

These are the basic rules of Canasta. There are also variations of the game, such as Classic Canasta, Hand and Foot Canasta, and others, each with its own unique rules and strategies. 

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