How Do You Score in Canasta?


Quick Answer

The most common way to score in canasta is through cards melded on a player's side, plus bonus points for mixed canastas. Collect red treys, go out of cards, and lay down lots of melds to score even more points. The first person, or team, to 5,000 points over several hands wins the game.

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Full Answer

  1. Meld when you can

    A meld requires at least two natural cards and a wild card, or three natural cards. The more you meld, the more points you make. Cards worth five points each include four through seven, and 10 points each are eight through 10 plus face cards. Aces and deuces are 20 points, while each joker is 50 points.

  2. Make as many canastas as possible

    You earn bonus points for every canasta, or seven or eight of a kind, you make. A mixed canasta, or one with wild cards, is worth 300 bonus points. A natural canasta, or one without wild cards, is 500 points. Collect several canastas in one round to accumulate points even faster.

  3. Collect red treys and other bonuses

    There are four red treys in two decks for canasta. One red three is worth 100 points, and if you collect all four you earn 800 bonus points. Going out of cards is 100 points, and going out of cards on your first play is 200 points.

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