What Are the Rules of Canasta?

The objective of canasta is to score more points than the other players by melding cards and attempting to create canastas. Canastas are melds of seven or more cards.

Each players begins with 15 cards, and the remaining cards are kept in the stock. Players take turns drawing one stock card and placing one card that they are holding on the discard pile. Once players draw a card, they can meld cards when possible. Cards are melded by their face value. Players must still discard after melding if they have other cards available. Players also have the option of taking the entire discard pile instead of a stock card if they are able to meld the topmost card on the pile.

Hands are played until either there are no cards left in the stock or one player has no cards left. Players must have at least one canasta to finish a hand. Scores are then tallied before dealing a new hand. The Four, Five, Six, Seven and Black Three have a value of five. The Eight, Nine, Ten, Jack, Queen, and King have a value of 10. The Deuce and Ace have a value of 20. The Joker has a value of 50, and the Red Three has a value of 100.