Canasta

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Canasta

3.7/5 (3 votes)

Getting started

Start a new game or join one started by a fellow player. If you start a new game you decide who is allowed to join the table, how high the stakes are, up to how many points the game is played (between 1000 and 5000) and how many players can participate (2 or 4 players).

Displayed to the right of the table is the current player, the time remaining for the current turn, as well as the number of points you need to achieve to win. Below the player names you can view the number of points that the players have already achieved in this game.

You can view the number of cards on the deck and the number of cards that your opponents are holding next to the relevant player name. You may also chat with players using the chat function.

Gameplay

Canasta is played with 2 decks of 52 cards each and 4 jokers (altogether 108 cards). With 4 players, the game is played with 2 teams that play against each other. Every player is dealt 15 cards (with 2 players) or 11 cards (with 4 players).

Upon entering the game, the player’s cards are fanned out on the table in front of them. The remaining cards form the discard pile. The stack of cards with the face up cards is the discard pile. Every move consists of taking at least one card from one of the piles and discarding a card.

With the button "Reverse" you can pick up cards again that you have laid.

Special cards/wildcards

With Canasta 2s and jokers are so called wildcards, which can replace any card when laying. The black 3s are stopper cards. The red 3s are premium cards. Should you pick up a red 3 from the deck, this must be played immediately and another card can be taken in its place. All other cards are called regular cards with Canasta.

Laying/melds

After taking a card you can start laying combinations. The requirement is that the cards must be of the same value (for example three 4s, three 5s etc.) Wildcards can be used to complete melds, however they may not outnumber the regular cards and not more than 3 wildcards can be laid at a time. In later rounds you can to add to your melds. If a meld is laid that has the same value as one already on the table, they will be combined.

Buy the discard pile

You can “buy” the discard pile by adding the top card to an existing meld, or start a new meld with the top card. As soon as you have taken a card from the discard pile and added it to your cards laid or started to lay a new meld you can buy the entire discard pile.

The discard pile is blocked for the next player if the previous player has discarded a black 3. If the pile contains a wildcard it will be "frozen". You then only have the opportunity to buy the pile if you hold two regular cards which have the same value as the top card of the discard pile. You will have to lay these cards together with the top card.

The discard pile is also blocked before the first meld that means you can only take cards if you have at least 2 regular cards of the same rank.

Hint

The bigger the discard pile, the more valuable it is because by buying the pile, you have the chance to make a number of melds.

End of the game

If one of your melds contains at least 7 cards, this is called a Canasta. If there are no wildcards in the meld, this is called a Pure Canasta.

You can close out a round if you can lay all (or all but one) of your cards and at least one Canasta. Afterwards the points of all players are totalled. In accordance with the point system, the melds laid are counted as positive points, while the cards remaining in the hand are negative points.

Scoring

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

For every red 3 you receive 100 points. If a player has all 4 red 3s, he/she receives 800 points. For every Pure Canasta (7 cards without a joker), the player is awarded 500 points. For every Dirty Canasta (with joker), he/she gets 300 points.

The player who completes the round is awarded 100 points. A player receives 200 points for a Canasta Hand (a player lays all of his/her cards in one go).