How to play
A new game can be started by simply clicking "New Game". The player may then define a number of settings to determine who may join the game and the opponents’ skill level, as well as the stake and the limit. The player must also decide whether the stake can be doubled during the game. Finally, the player must choose to how many points the game will be played to (1, 2,500 or 5,000). A 1-point game means that just one round will be played (a quick game).
The player’s own cards are shown face-up. At the top of the screen are two piles of cards (the deck and the discard pile). To take a card from the either the deck or the discard pile, the player need only click on the appropriate pile and the card will be added to the hand.
To the left of these piles are the buttons “Concede” and “Double”. If the player clicks on “Double", he/she will be asked whether he/she is sure about doubling the stake. Should the player click on “Yes”, the opponent will be presented with two options: “Double” and “Concede”. If the opponent clicks on “Double”, the stake is doubled. If the opponent selects “Concede”, the round comes to an end and the points are calculated.
To the right of the two piles is the button "Go Out". Also displayed is the “Undo” button which enables the players to pick up cards that have just been laid.
To buy the discard pile, the player must click on the pile itself to move the top card to the meld area. To see the discard pile the player just clicks on the top card and drags it to one side.
Clicking on a hand card adds that card to an already laid meld or begins a new one. If there are no suitable melds or other matching cards, the selected card is placed on the discard pile. To lay a card on the discard pile, the player can drag and drop it into position. To begin a new meld, the player may also drag and drop the first card into the middle of the table. By clicking on a meld, one of the player’s cards (if suitable) is added to it (normal cards first, then Jokers). To see the laid melds, the player can click on the meld itself and drag it to one side. The player can also put cards back into his/her hand by dragging and dropping.
The players’ names, scores and number of cards are shown above the two piles. An eye is also shown next to the number of cards. When a player takes his/her turn, he/she can see which cards an opponent has laid by clicking on the eye.
On the right of the screen, the players active in the current game, as well as those in the game lobby are displayed. Below this list are handy buttons such as “Invite” and “Ignore”. Below these is the game chat.
Automatic help windows appear during the game. These come in the form of small boxes with up to three handy tips relating to the current situation in the game. To scroll through all of the tips, the player can use the small arrow to the top left of the box. If the player no longer wishes to see the current tips, he/she can close them by clicking on the green cross in the top right-hand corner of the box. Should the player not wish to see any further tips, the function can be disabled by clicking on the red cross next to “Show tips?” Should the player later wish to see the tips again, they can be turned back on by clicking on the green question mark at the bottom right of the screen. If the player wishes to continue seeing the tips, he/she must confirm this by clicking next to the question “Show tips?”
Canasta is a card game for two players. Each player begins with 15 cards. Two decks of 52 cards and 4 Jokers are used for the game.
The aim of the game is to score as many points as possible. Before the game begins, a points target is set. The player to reach this target first wins the game.
There are a number of special cards in the game – 2s, Jokers and red and black 3s. The 2s and Jokers are Wildcards and can be used in place of any other card. The black 3s are Stopper Cards. The red 3s are Premium Cards. Should a player pick up a red 3 from the deck, this must be played immediately and another card can be taken in its place.
Once the cards have been dealt at the start of the game, the remaining cards are used to form the two piles – the deck (face-down) and the discard pile (face-up). The player takes a card from the deck or the discard pile, and then discards an unwanted card on the discard pile.
After taking a card, the player may lay a combination of cards. The requirement is that the cards must be of the same value. Wildcards can be used to complete melds, however they may not outnumber the regular cards in the meld. There may be no more than 3 Wildcards in a meld. In later rounds, the player has the opportunity to add to the melds, however he/she may only add to his/her own melds. All melds must have a different value. If a meld is laid that has the same value as one already on the table, they will be combined.
If the player wishes to meld for the first time, the cards must have a particular minimum value. This depends on the current points total:
Points total required for laying a meld:
< 0 = 15 points
<1,500 = 50 points
< 3,000 = 90 points
> 3,000 = 120 points
If a player forms a meld of at least seven cards, this is called a “Canasta”. If there are no Wildcards in the meld, this is called a “Pure Canasta”.
The player has the opportunity, under certain conditions, to “buy” the discard pile. When doing this, the player must be able to either add the top card of the discard pile to an existing meld, or create a new meld with at least two cards already in the hand. To carry out either of these moves, the player must take all of the cards in the discard pile by clicking on “Buy Pile”.
If the pile includes a Wildcard, the pile is “frozen”. In this case, the player only then has the chance of buying the pile if he/she holds two cards, which, when combined with the top card of the frozen discard pile, would form a meld. This meld must then be laid. The top card may also be added to meld already laid by the player providing that it matches. It is not possible to buy the discard pile if the top card is a black 3 or a Wildcard. The pile remains blocked and no player may buy it. If no players have laid a meld, the discard pile remains as if it is frozen. If a player has only one card remaining, he/she cannot buy the discard pile if it consists of just one card.
Tip: The bigger the discard pile, the more valuable it is. By buying the pile, the player has the chance to make a number of mends.
It is possible to close out a round if a player can lay all (or all but one) of his/her cards and at least one Canasta. To do this, the player must click on the “Go Out” button. Following this move, the players’ points are totalled. In accordance with the point system, the laid melds are counted as positive points, while the cards remaining in the hand are negative points.
In the game the cards have the following values:
Joker: 50 points
Ace: 20 points
2: 20 points
King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8: 10 points
7, 6, 5, 4: 5 points
The 3s are a special case. For every red 3, the player receives 100 points. If the player has all four red 3s, the player receives 800 points instead of 400.
The player who completes the round is awarded with 100 points.
A player receives 200 points for a “Canasta Hand”. A “Canasta Hand” means that a player lays all of his/her cards in one go.
For every “Pure Canasta” (seven cards without a Joker), the player is awarded 500 points. For every “Dirty Canasta” (with Joker), he/she gets 300 points.
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