Win points by collaborating with your teammate to form card combinations in Canasta! Canasta is a unique set collection game for 4 players in which each player will collaborate with their teammate to be the first to 5000 points!
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- In Canasta, the goal is to be the first team to score 5000 points via their card melds (sets of cards). Cards are scored according to their rank and quantity.
- To start a meld, a player must have at least three or more matching rank cards (EXAMPLE: P1 starts a meld by placing down three 9's).
- 2's and Jokers are wild cards and may used to help start a meld or be added to an existing meld. However, a meld can never have more wild cards than cards of the actual rank (EXAMPLE: P1 can add Jokers and 2's to their meld of three 9's, but they cannot add any more than three Jokers and 2's because they only have three non-wild cards in the meld).
- Canasta uses two standard card decks + 4 jokers.
- Players divide themselves into two teams and sit so that they are opposite of their teammate (EXAMPLE: Team 1 - Player 1, Team 2 - Player 2, Team 1 - Player 3, Team 2 - Player 4).
- The deck is shuffled and each player is dealt 11 cards 1 card at a time.
- The remaining deck is placed in the middle and the top card is discarded to start the discard pile. If a red or black 3 is discarded, another card is discarded on top. If a wild card is discarded, it is placed sideways so that it sticks out horizontally from the discard pile and another card is discarded on top. *For PlayingCards.io, simply offset the wild card so that it is poking out of the discard pile.
Playing the Game
The player left of the dealer starts the round.
The structure of a turn in Canasta is: draw, play cards, discard.
- Before a player draws, they must play each red 3 from their hand and replace them with cards drawn from the deck. Any red 3's that are ever drawn are immediately played into a new or existing meld and the card is replaced with one from the deck.
- On their turn, a player may draw the card from the top of the discard pile if they are able to add the card to one of their team's melds or if they can use the card to create a new meld. If they cannot/do not want to do either, they must draw their card from the top of the deck instead.
- When a player is able to draw from the discard pile, they add the entire discard pile to their hand (but they must be able to use the top card to create a meld or add to a meld).
- If the top card of the discard pile is a black 3, the discard pile is blocked from drawing from and the player must draw from the deck.
- If there is a wild card in the discard pile (sticking out horizontally), a player may only draw from the discard pile if they can make a natural meld using the top card (no wilds).
After drawing from either the discard pile or deck, a player may start new melds (three or more cards of the same rank) from their hand or add to existing melds shared with their teammate. Remember that 2's and Jokers are wild but there can never be more wild cards than non-wild cards in a meld.
The first meld each player starts each round must have a minimum value depending on their team's current score (red 3's do not count as melds as they are played automatically). The minimum first meld values are as follows:
Black 3's may only be melded if a player is "going out" at the end of their turn (see below).
- After playing melds or adding to their team's melds, a player must discard 1 card from their hand.
- If a wild card is discarded, it is discarded horizontally from the discard pile to signal that the discard pile is "frozen". A player may now only draw from the discard pile if they can make a natural meld (no wilds) using the top card of the discard pile.
A round ends when one player "goes out", meaning they end their turn with no cards in hand. A player may only go out if their team has at least one Canasta (meld of 7+ cards) among their melds.
Canasta has several areas where teams can earn points. Points are earned from card values among a team's melds, from Canastas, red 3's and from going out to end a round.
Card Values (each card in a meld has the following value):
8, 9, 10, J, Q, K: 10
4, 5, 6, 7: 5
Black 3: 5
When scoring melds, a team adds each of their meld's card values and then subtracts the values from any cards left in their hands.
Canastas are melds of 7+ cards and on top of their individual card values, they score an additional 500 points if they are no wilds and 300 points if wilds were used.
Each red 3 a team has is worth 100 points and if a team has all four red 3's, they are worth 800 points.
The team whose player went out to end the round scores an additional 100 points that round.
Score is kept round to round and each round teams will score for: Values from melds - values from cards in hand, Canasta bonuses, red 3's and going out.
The first team to 5000 or more points wins the game!
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