Canasta was invented in Uruguay around 1940. During the 50s, canasta was one of the most popular card games in the United States. The game also reached craze proportions in 1950s Britain. Canasta in Spanish means "basket". Tejiendo las cartas, that is, "weaving the cards", is a colorful Spanish way of saying that a meld of three of a kind or more is being "woven" together. The biggest meld of all (7 cards), the canasta, is called a "basket".
Canasta is played with 108 cards, consisting of two standard 52-card packs with four Jokers. To avoid player collusion online, Gamecolony only supports two-player canasta variation. Each player is dealt 15 cards. The rest of the deck is placed facedown to form the stock, and the top card of the stock is turned faceup and placed alongside the stock to start a discard pile.
The object of the game is to be the first to score the agreed-upon number of points (default -- 5000 points). Points are earned by melding sets of three or more cards of the same rank. A meld of seven or more cards is a canasta and the player must have at least one canasta to end the game (by default -- 2 canastas are needed to end the game).
|Click Here for Canasta Table|
Playing the Game
Each player in turn performs one or more actions in the following order:
Draw -- Details |
You may always take the top card(s) of the stock and add it to your hand. If you draw a red Three, it is placed face up in front of you and another (replacement) card is drawn for you. (If a replacement card is again a red Three, the process of replacement is rep eated until the replacement card is not a red Three.)
Instead of drawing from stock, you may draw the whole of the discard pile if you can immediately meld the upcard -- either by adding it to one of your existing melds or by using it to start a new meld together with two or more matching cards from your hand (see ga me options).
You may not take the discard pile if it is frozen. The discard is frozen:
If discard is frozen, you may only take it if you can immediately use the upcard to start a new meld in conjunction with at least tw o matching natural cards (see Game Options). If the upcard is a black Three, you may not take it; you need to draw from stock.
Meld -- Details |
To meld, you need a set of at least three cards of the same rank placed face up on the table (in front of your hand). Points are only scored for melds that are made before the hand ends. Jokers and deuces (twos) are wild cards that can be used as cards of any rank in a meld. However, all melds must contain at least two natural cards, no meld may contain more than three wild cards, and no meld may contain more wild cards than natural cards.
A canasta is a meld of seven or more cards. A canasta must contain at least four natural cards.
Red threes may not be melded or discarded (except in 'red 3 freezes' game option (see Game Options), where a red Three can be discarded). Black threes may only be melded when going out, in which case the meld must consist of a set of three or four black threes without wild cards.
Discard -- Details
After drawing and optional melding, you complete your turn by discarding a card face up on the discard pile (unless you go out and have nothing left to discard).
You may not discard a red Three unless the table was created with 'Red Three Freezes' option. If you discard a black Three, you will freeze the discard for your opponent for one turn only. With 'Red Three Freezes' option, discarding a red Three also freezes the discard for your opponent for 1 turn only. If you discard a wild card, you will freeze the discard and it will remain frozen until taken.
A player "goes out" when no cards are left after a meld or discard. A player is not permitted to go out, however, unless there's at least one canasta (or at least two canastas, as in default game option. See Game Options).
Upon going out, a player earns points as described below. In addition, the other player subtracts the point values of all cards that remain unmelded in the hand from his score. Values of all melds are also calculated, and players go on to the next hand unless one of the players has reached the winning total. If both players reach the winning total, the player with a higher total is the winner. Very rarely, the hand may end in a tie, and an extra tie-breaker hand will be played.
Ending Hand By Exhausting Stock
If nobody goes out before the stock is exhausted, the play ends after the player who took the last stock card completes his turn unless opponent can pick up his discard. When there's no stock and discard cannot be picked up, the hand ends. The hand is scored as usual except that nobody earns a bonus for going out.
If the last card drawn from the stock is a Red Three, the hand proceeds normally as above except no Red Three replacement occurs in this instance.
|K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8||10|
|7, 6, 5, 4, black 3||5|
|At End of Hand||
|Each red three (up to 3)||100|
|All four red threes||800|
|Each natural canasta||500|
|Each mixed canasta||300|