It's a 4 player game (2 teams), with a 108 card pack containing two 52 card standard packs plus 4 jokers. 13 cards are dealt to each player and also a packet of four cards and a packet of three cards are placed face down called Talons. The team that scores more points wins the game.
Types of Cards:
A meld is set of matching cards placed face-up
on the table.
A meld of 4s, 5s, 6s, 8s, 9s, 10s, jacks, queens or kings consists of:
A meld of 7s and As consists of:
A meld of wild cards consists of:
Playing American Canasta
Draw a card from the stock (face-down pile of cards) or discard pile(face-up pile of cards), check if there are any cards you can meld and select a card you want to discard, the game moves clockwise. After drawing a card you may meld some cards before discarding. You can only discard 3s if you are going out and wild cards if all the other cards in your hand are 3s or wild cards. If the discard pile is empty you can't discard As and 7s unless you have no other option in your hand but 3s and wild cards. By discarding you end your turn and allows the next player to play. At least two canastas are required for going out. It's not allowed to go out without discarding unless you meld a Special Hand. If any of the teams menage to go out, the game ends when a player needs to draw from the stock pile if the stock pile is empty.
Drawing from the discard pile
Instead of drawing from the stock pile, the player may draw all the cards on the discard pile unless the top card is a 3 or a wild card. To do so the player must meld at least two cards of his hand with the top card of the discard pile. If the top card matches a team's meld it can only be drawn if the meld has less than five cards for it's not allowed melds with more than seven cards.
The conditions to make a valid initial meld are:
|Cumulative Score||Minimum count of initial meld|
|Less than 3000||125 points|
|3000 to 4995||155 points|
|5000 or more||180 points|
After making the first meld one of the talons is yours to have, at the start of your next turn to play the cards of your talon will be automatically added to your hand. The player that makes the first meld takes the four-card talon.
A special hand is a combination of fourteen
cards which allows the player to go out by exposing all his cards after
drawing, without discarding.
When game ends, each team reckons its total score for the hand. The team's score is obtained by adding up the bonuses and penalties and subtracting the point values of the cards left in the hand of the other partner. If a team has at least one canasta, the point values of all the cards in the melds placed on the table are counted and added up to the total score.
The point values of each card are:
Bonuses and penalties:
The total score of the 3s will be:
If a player melds a Special Hand, the score
rules listed above will be ignored and the team's score will be counted
Straight: 3000 points
Pairs without wild cards: 2500 points
Pairs with 2s, 7s and As: 2000 points
Garbage: 2000 points
The game ends when at least one of the teams reaches a cumulative score of 8500 or more points. The team with more points wins the game.