Canasta Game

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History of the Canasta Game

Different to most of the other Rummy games whose exact origins are not known, Canasta history is traceable and well known. The origin of the game dates back to Montevideo, Uruguay in 1939. From there it spread to Argentina, the United States and then worldwide.

In the early 50′s in the United States a new version of the game was created and is known as Classic Canasta. Over the years players continued to develop this version of the popular game and the game that we know today is Modern Canasta that was developed by North American players,

What is Canasta?

Canasta is a game based on the principles of Traditional Rummy. It is played by 2-6 players, and is usually played in pairs. The goal of the game is to accumulate the highest amount of points and to be the first pair to reach 8500 points.

You accumulate points according to the number of melds, the number of unfinished melds, the amount of 3′s you collected and the value of the remaining cards in your hand at the end of the round. For more information about the scoring system in Canasta go to the rules page.

The Canasta game play consists of rounds in which each player takes a turn. As in most of the Rummy games, Canasta is also made up of 2 main moves, drawing a card and discarding a card. A card can be drawn from the stock pile or from the discard pile. If a player chooses to draw a card from the discard pile he must immediately use it to form a valid meld. As well, the player that draws from the discard pile, receives all of the card in the discard pile as well as the one card he chose.

In between drawing and discarding a card, a player can meld cards in the designated melding area. A valid meld contains at least 3 cards . A full meld contains 7 cards and is called a “Canasta”.

In the rummy game there are “Natural Cards” ( all cards except for 2′s, 3′s and jokers), wild cards(2′s and jokers) and the 3′s that you collect during the game. A pure Canasta meld contains 7 natural cards. A wild card Canasta contains only 2′s and jokers while a mixed Canasta contains both natural cards and wild cards.

The game ends when one player has melded all of their cards or the stock pile has run out. At the end of the round the players score is calculated. In order to find out more information about the points scoring system, bonuses and penalties go to the rules page for the game.

Read canasta tips and strategies page and learn how you can get better at Canasta and play our online games!