If one has ever played rummy, mastering canasta will certainly come easier than others. The game is played with at least three cards of the same value. The difference between Canasta and Rummy is that you can’t play sequences of cards of the same suit. So what is its phenomenon?
Kanasta is a game that is similar to rummy. It consists in placing reports on the table. The game is played by two or four players. In the latter case, two teams are formed. For every report that is placed on the table, a team receives points.
The first card games similar to canasta were developed as early as in the 18th century and were known under such names as manila, ronda or comet. The actual rules of the increasingly popular card game were first written down in 1939 in Uruguay, and the game itself spread over time throughout South America. In the 1950s it gained a large group of fans in the United States, and since then it began to record regular increases in popularity around the world.
The greatest charm of canasta lies in the fact that it is a multiplayer game. It is worth mentioning that “canasta” in Spanish means a shopping cart. Of course, it has a close connection with cards, as it refers to the main purpose of the competition, which is to collect cards of the same value.
The rules of canasta may seem complicated at first, but it can be learned after the first few turns. A hand that contains seven or more cards forms a hand called a canasta, for which an additional point bonus is given at the end of the game. Importantly, a canasta cannot contain wild cards, as it will be scored lower. During the game participants make moves consisting in taking a card from one of the piles on the table or laying down new reports. It is also permissible to add another card to the cards already dealt and then put one of them back in the pile.
Players may draw two cards from a face-down pile or one card from an entire face-up pile while using its top card. Players can also draw a card to one of their own reports or to create a new one consisting of at least two cards from their hand. It is not always possible to take a card from the stack, however, as there may be one of the wild cards or a black three on top of it.
The aim of a game of canasta is to get rid of all the cards and score as many points as possible at the same time. The game usually consists of very many hands, and ends when a participant or team has scored five thousand points. In order to complete the game, players must lay out at least one canasta in a team game or two in a single game. As already mentioned – a canasta is a set of at least seven cards of the same value. Wild cards may appear in it, but they can never exceed the number of natural cards.
The values of individual cards are as follows:
joker – 50 points,
ace and 2 – 20 points,
king, Queen, Jack, 10, 9 and 8 – 10 points,
7, 6, 5, 4 and 3 – 5 points.
Quite unusual is the proportion of threes in the game, because it varies depending on the color. If a player draws a red three from the face-down pile, he immediately puts it aside and chooses a replacement card. On the other hand, if he draws a red three from the face-down pile, he only puts it aside. After the hand is completed, the players receive a bonus for red threes.
Black threes can only be taken as the last report and without wild cards. There may be a situation where the black three of a kind is on top of the face-up pile; at that point, it cannot be taken except as the last report. Kanasta has several variations, but the vast majority of its supporters play the classic version.
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