Updated: Feb 4
The game of Canasta is a popular Rummy variant that originated in Montevideo, Uruguay, in the year 1939. From there, this variant of the Rummy Card Game Online spread to Argentina, the USA, and throughout the different corners of the world.
The advent of Canasta took place when Contract Bridge had established itself as the card game of choice, and gradually it took over as the preferable one instead. It is believed that Segundo Santos and Alberto Serrato devised Canasta's game. Canasta was standardized in the late 1940s and is still played in this classic form in most countries, including some parts of America.
Canasta is usually played with a standard two packs of 52 cards and four Joker cards. The point values of the cards are:
While you play rummy game online and try this variant of the game, always remember:
The series A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 are the natural cards.
All of the deuces (twos) and Joker cards are wild cards. With limitations, wild cards can also be used during the game as alternatives for a natural card of any rank.
The threes have unique functions and values, depending on Canasta's variation being played.
The object of the game
The main object of the game of Canasta is to outscore the opponents. Points are scored by successfully forming melds - combinations of three or more cards of a similar rank, with or without the help of wild cards. A meld with at least seven cards is called a Canasta.
The player to the dealer's left gets the first turn, and then the gameplay proceeds in a clockwise direction. A turn commences either by drawing the first card from the stock of the player's hand or by entirely picking up the discard pile.
There are also restrictions to be followed when picking up the discarded pile. To pick a card from the discard pile, the topmost card must either facilitate to begin a meld or build upon one that is already made.
After that, the player may make as many legal melds as they wish from the existing cards in their hand. A turn finishes when the player discards one card from their hand on top of the discard pile. It must be remembered that no player can undo a meld or change their mind after drawing a card.
Shuffle and Cut
The player towards the right of the person who drew the highest valued card deals the first hand. After that, the turn to deal cards rotates clockwise. Any player who wishes may shuffle the deck, and the dealer of cards has the right to shuffle only at last. After the shuffle is over, the player cuts the deck to the dealer's left.
A meld in Canasta must consist of at least two natural cards and can never possess more than three wild cards.
For Example, 5♥ 5♣ 2♥ and 9♥ 9♣ 2♥ 2♣ Joker are legal melds. But, 5♥ 2♣ 2♥ is not a legal meld as it contains only one natural card.
Again,9♥ 9♣ 9♦2♥ 2♣ 2♦ Joker is also not legal as it has more than three wild cards.
One team or player cannot have two different melds of the same rank. If multiple cards of the identical rank are melded, they are automatically merged into the pre-existing meld.
End of the hand
The play gets over as soon as a player goes out. Players can only go out if their partnership has melded at least one Canasta by melding all your cards or by melding all except one and then discarding your final card. It is legal to finish the required Canasta and go out on the same turn.
Again, if your side does not yet have a canasta, you cannot leave yourself without any cards after your turn. So, you must play in such a way so that you keep at least one card after discarding. In this case, it is against the rules to meld all your cards except one, and then you would be forced to discard this last card.
Another way to end the play is when there are no more cards left in the face-down stock. The game can continue with no stock as long as every player takes the former player's discarded cards and melds them.
In this situation, a player must get hold of the discard if the pile is not frozen and if the discard matches any old meld of that player's previous side. As soon as a player gets to draw from the stock and opts to do so, but there is no card remaining in the stock, the play ends.