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Game Rules

Canasta

Type: a rummy game

Objective: Be the highest above 7,500 points

Players: 2+

Partners: if four players, across. If three players, whoever did not pick up the discard pile first are partners and split score against the one person who picked up the discard pile.

Decks: 2

Rounds: multiple

Jokers: yes

Wilds: 2’s and Jokers

Aces: Always high

Point system: Canasta

Deal 15 cards for two players, 13 for three, and 11 for four.

If you picked up the exact number of cards to deal to each player (e.g. 30 for two players). You get a bonus 50 points!

Flip one card to start the discard pile (not included in the 50pt. bonus, sorry).

The player to the left of the dealer starts.

Each turn, draw two cards at the beginning of the turn and discard one at the end.

If you draw/have a red three in your hand, put it down and draw a bonus card. Red threes are worth 100 base points, but do not help to meld.

            Having all four red threes gives a bonus for a total of 800 base points.

Instead of drawing, you can pick up the entire discard pile

To do so, you must have at least two of the top card in your hand and can play the set immediately (including being able to meld).

E.g. if there is a 9 discarded, you can pick it up only if you have two 9’s (or a 9 and a wild, but not two wilds) in your hand and you must play the set of nines immediately.

If you pick up the pile, you can only play the top card of it on that turn.

You may play the rest of the cards from the discard pile the following turn or afterward.

You may discard from the discard pile immediately though.

If there is a black three on top of the discard pile, it is frozen and you may not pick it up.

Loose goal: collect Canastas (seven cards of one number).

            A canasta with only cards of one number (no wilds) is clean and worth 500 base points.

            A canasta with a mix of one number and wilds is dirty and worth 300 base points.

                        There must be more cards than wilds in a dirty canasta (at least 4 of a number)

A wild card canasta (only wilds) is worth 2,000 base points (but cannot be made dirty if you fall short).

Melding: Depending on your point range, meld requires a certain number of points that can be achieved by simultaneously putting down sets of three or more of the same number.

            Negative points: 15pts to meld (this rarely happens)

            0-1,495 points: 50pts to meld

            1,500-2,995 points: 90pts to meld.

            3,000 plus points: 120pts to meld.

It is possible to skip meld brackets (e.g. the first round you get 3,000 or more points).

Both partners must meld before they can add cards to the set of their partner.

After you meld, you may play sets of three or more of the same number as you please, but you may want to wait to allow for picking up the discard pile.

If you have a set on the table, it does NOT count as two cards of the number in your hand to pick up the discard pile.

You may add one or more card to a set on the table as you obtain it.

You can make a set of black threes if you wish, but they are useful for discarding. You may not make a canasta of threes.

Ending the round:

If one player (not partners combined) has two canastas and discards the last card of their hand, the round is over.

If there are no cards to draw from the draw pile, the round is over (it does not continue by picking up the discard pile).

            Leftover cards in players’ hands are negative points.

Points on the table are counted. Base points (canastas and red threes) are counted. Then, individual cards are counted (including those cards inside canastas, but not red threes).

If a player discards their last card (you must discard every turn and cannot be floating) but does not have two canastas, the round continues, and that player draws two cards at the beginning of their next turn.