Playing rummy is not merely a passing time activity or entertainment anymore. It is a proven way to stimulate one's brain and strategic skills. Therefore, if you are spending time playing rummy, no one can claim that you are wasting time. Though it is a known fact that honing your skills makes you better in any profession or area you are interested in; you have to participate actively. The beginning of participation is gaining a basic idea about the skill and building from there. For instance, before honing your skill in rummy, you need to know how to play rummy online or offline, for that matter. This will take you through the myriad of rules the game has.
Knowing and Remembering all the Rules of the Game is not Easy
It is not possible or even easy to know and remember all the rules of a particular variant of rummy, and if you have to remember multiple of them, it will cause problems. That does not mean you should not even try to get the information and master it as much as possible because not doing so will keep your skills and potential from reaching their peak. For instance, if you have been familiar with canasta, then it will make more sense to know about its other variants. This is one rummy version that has different variants in different countries. Though they are not as different from each other, there are significant points that you need to remember.
The Rules of the Meld in American Canasta
One such crucial aspect is the melding rules in canasta, or instead of its American version. Knowing about this will help you to play the game better and find your chances to convert your participation to winning. Now, regarding the actual melding, you need to remember the following points:
In American canasta, the melds that do not have any sevens or aces can include one-two wild cards at the most and not three like the classic version.
In this version, a meld consisting of more than seven cards is forbidden. Along with that, duplicate melds of the same rank and team won't be allowed. This calls for a more strategic thought process and, at the same time increasing the level of difficulty of the game.
An exception to this rule is made when a player is going out. At that point, they are allowed a meld of 8 or more cards. Experienced players tend to play a wild card on an existing canasta and win the game with the help of this leeway.
Sequences are not considered legal melds in American canasta and do not have any importance in this variant game. The closest to a sequence accepted in this version is the Special Hands.
You cannot also include a wild card, and a meld of seven in American canasta is worth 2500 points instead of the regular 500. If the hand ends without a team completing this canasta, then they lose 2500 points. If a player retains three or more sevens, they get a penalty of 1500 points.
Aces in American canasta are treated like sevens, but there is one exception if the initial meld of the team included aces, then wild cards can be added at the time. If this happens then, the aces get treated like any other meld and not like the sevens. Apart from this, all the different rules, including penalties applies to aces just like the sevens.
In a game, melds that consist entirely of wild cards are accepted and considered legal. Now, a canasta consisting of wild cards, entirely of twos, will be worth 3000 points. If it contains all four jokers, it will be worth 2500 points, and for any other combination, the point worth will be 200 points. Inability to complete the canasta will also have a penalty of 2000 points.
If it will be the team's first and only meld, then a few special hands are considered legal. For instance, these special hands mean 14 cards that a player can conceivably have after drawing their card for the turn. If a team plays their special hand, then the play ends, and the team scores the points for the special hand only. No other penalty is charged for the cards remaining in the hands of a partner. In this situation of the game, a player won't be allowed to discard though. What is allowed in a special hand and how it should be scored has several variations, but the most accepted ones are straights, pairs, and garbage. There are also regular legal and tournament-legal versions.
If a team has been unable to complete any canastas while playing, then the cards already melded will be counted against, and there will be penalties too. Your team will score positive points if it has completed at least one canasta.