How to play Canasta
Canasta is a complex game that requires cooperation and strategy in every move. There are many different variations of the popular Canasta game, including American Canasta.
The game of Canasta
*Canasta is played by 2-6 players. If there is an even number of players, it can be played in pairs.
*You need 2 decks of cards including jokers (108 cards in total).
*At the beginning of the game 7 cards are laid out (in a pile of 3 and 4) and are kept face down.
*Each player receives 13 cards to start the game. If a player has 3′s in their hand they must set them down into a pile that will be used throughout the game to collect the team’s 3′s.
* The goal of the game is be the first player to accumulate 8500 points, or the highest amount of points.
* During the game players must form sets with the cards in their hand. A set contains at least 3 cards. A Canasta contains 7 cards.
*All of the cards except for 2′s, 3′s and jokers are called Natural cards. The rest of the cards are called Wild cards and can be used to take the place of natural cards in Canastas.
* A pure Canasta contains only natural cards. A mixed canasta contains both natura and wild cards while a wild canasta contains only 2′s and jokers.
* In each turn a player draws a card and discards a card. They can draw a card from either the stock pile or from the discard pile. If the player chooses the latter they must also pick up the rest of the cards in the discard pile.
* A player can make a third move during their turn, melding canastas into the melding area.
In order to meld you have to have the following: (1) The value of the cards must be at least the value of the minimum points limit. (2) A player has a pure canasta with only natural cards. (3) a players cards for a special hand.
For more information regarding how to play Canasta online, please visit the Canasta rules page on our site.
* The game ends when the stock pile runs out or when one of the players has gotten rid of all of thei cards in their hand.
At the end of the game the score is calculated for every player. The score is affected by the nmber of Canastas formed, the number of 3s in the players hand, the number of unfinished canastas and of course from the remaining cards in their hand.
For detailed information about the scoring system please visit the Canasta Rules page.
These are the basic terms and rules for Canasta. You can learn detailed instructions about the rules of the game, tips and strategies and all of the pertinent information for new players for all of our Rummy games.
You can also click on the tutorial or demos for each game if you want to learn how to play Canasta variations.