The Rules

Canasta is a discard game for four players. Two players form a team, playing against the other two players.

Each player has eleven cards. Each player in turn draws a card from the stock and then places one card on the discard pile.

The object of the game is to gain points from melds (cards place on the table) and canastas. A canasta is a meld of seven cards of the same value or a meld with four cards and three wild cards (jokers or 2s).

Under certain conditions, players are allowed to pick up the discard pile. Players may pick up the discard pile if they have two cards matching the card on top of the discard pile in hand. The two cards and the card from the discard pile must be place on the table. Players may also pick up the pile if they have a matching meld already on the table. This only works if the discard pile isnít blocked.

To finish the game (Going out), a player must get rid of all cards. This can only be done if one of the two players in the team has at least one canasta. A player can place his last card on the discard pile when going out, but doesnít have to. Cards remaining in hand after going out will count as negative points, cards placed on the table as melds will count as positive points.

Red 3s are special cards, each one counts for 100 points. Black 3s block the discard pile for the next player. Wild cards block the discard pile permanently, until a player picks up the discard pile with two new cards matching the card on top of the discard pile.

A round is finished if one team reaches 5000 points.

There are certain minimum requirements for the first meld. 50 points (below 1500 total points), 90 (above 1500 total points), 120 (above 3000 total points) and 15 (negative total points).

Card values:

– 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 = 5 points

– 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K = 10 points

– Ace, 2 = 20 points

– Joker = 50 points


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