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Basic information to the Canasta

You can play Canasta for two to six. With up to three players, everyone plays against everyone. With four, you form two parties. With five players, one must always suspend. At the same time, either two or three parties play against each other. However, one must always sit at a three party. So it's best to play in pairs or fours. You need two card games with 55 cards. The parties are best determined by pulling. Two and Jokers do not count.

The cards are given individually. With two players, each receives 15 cards, with three 13 and with four, only 11 cards are distributed per player. The remaining cards come into the Talon. His top card is revealed and placed next to the pile.

In the following, we limit ourselves to the description of a

                                4    p e r s o n - g a m e s  


according to the official Canasta rules of the Regency Club.

Canasta is played with 2 * 52 cards and 4 jokers. Canasta is actually a game of 4, with 2 players always forming a partnership. They always sit opposite each other, as it is in Bridge (N-S and O-W).

Aim of the game:


Together with the partner, an attempt must be made to be the first to achieve the total score of 5000 before they reach the opponents. Of course, your own advantage should also be as big as possible.

In the 4-player game, each player receives 11 cards.

Only sentences with the same card value can be designed. Sequences/sequences, as they are allowed in the Romme, are prohibited in Canasta. Such sentences of three or more cards are called "messages." For each report of a card value, there are a maximum of 8 cards. In contrast to the Rommè, individual card values may also be present twice. For the initial notification, certain minimum point values must be reached, which we will discuss in more detail later.

Wild map


This includes all 2s and the Joker cards. You can replace any desired but missing card in a message. For example, if you only have 2 boys, you can interpret this message if you add a wild card to it. However, it should be noted that in a message the wild cards (jokers) must never be in the majority. 3 natural cards with 4 jokers are therefore not allowed.

Counting values of the cards


Each card value has a point value:

each Joker 50 points

every two and every ace 20 points

King, Queen, Jack, Ten, Nine, Eight 10 Points

Seven, six, five, four, black three 5 points

The 3s are an exception.

The First Report


At the first report of a player (party), he must play at least 3 corresponding cards and he must achieve a certain minimum score. The minimum score of a party depends on the points account. At the beginning of a game series, there are at least 50 points.

After the initial report, further cards are usually laid out in the course of the game. At the end of the game, all values are added up and with the additional reward points for special achievements, the score is given. Only the card values in the hand are then deducted.

Depending on the current score of a team, their first report must be of different value:

Minus 15 points

0 - 1495 50 points

1500 - 2995 90 points

3000 and more 120 points

If the top card is taken from the storage pile, the following must be observed. So only the top card of the drop pile counts for the initial report. Further minimum card values must come out of hand and be laid out. Only after that may the storage pile be stolen.

Further reports


After the initial report of a party, a player of it can, if it is his turn, add more cards to a report or play new reports on the table. Each message must consist of at least 3 cards. In the 4-person game, only one of the partners has to overcome the hurdle of the initial registration. Both partners then only have common reports. Cards to the opposite reports may not be created.

However, no one is forced to lay out cards if they don't want to. But when the opponent ends the game, the cards on the hand are counted as minus values.

The aim of the game is to form as many "Canasta" as possible and get reward points for it.



Canasta is a message with 7 cards. If a canasta does not contain wild cards/jokers (so it consists only of natural cards), you will receive 500 additional reward points. Of course, the card values count extra.

If there are wild cards in the Canasta, it is called a "mixed" Canasta. This is easier to achieve and is therefore rewarded with only 300 reward points. A maximum of 3 wild cards may be in a canasta.

If a party has a canasta, it can end the game, but it can also continue.

Further cards may be created on a finished canasta if the following is observed:

a) In the case of a natural canasta, only the missing card may be created so that it remains natural.

b) If a wild card/joker is added to a natural canasta, it automatically becomes the mixed one, which earns fewer reward points.

c) A mixed canasta always remains a mixed one, no matter what is put on. More than 3 wild cards/jokers are not allowed.

It is also not allowed to make 2 mixed canastas from a natural Canasta. This would theoretically be possible (4 natural cards and 3 jokers)

Picking up the cards


After handing the cards, the remaining cards are placed backs up on the table. His name is then Talon. The top card is then placed face down next to it. For certain cards, others also have to be turned over, but we'll get to that later.

Every player who is next must pick up a card and if he does not want to/can't lay out a card, place a card face up on the "open" pile (called a drop pile).

The player has 2 options for picking up a card. Either he takes the top unknown card from the Talon or the top open card of the drop pile.

If the top card is taken from the drop, the following must be observed:

a) If a player or his partner has not yet made a first report, he may only take the top card if he can immediately play a report with 2 natural cards. However, the minimum score must be achieved.

b) For further reports:

The top must .....

- be laid out with 2 natural cards.

- be laid out with 1 natural card and a wild card/joker.


- be applied to a report of your own party.

In any case, the top card must be played immediately from the storage pile if it is taken.

If you take them, you must also take the entire drop at the same time. With the help of the cards from the drop pile, new reports can be formed or created on existing ones of your own party. If this is not possible, the cards must be taken in hand.

The drop pile is usually very sought after and hotly contested.

The Canasta game provides for further sophisticated rules for handling the drop cards. For example, you can lock it by dropping certain cards for the successor or trap them for a while.

The black three (block card)


The 3s have a special meaning in this game. No canasta can be formed from 3. Let's first look at the meaning of the black 3s. During the game, they must not be interpreted in messages. This is only allowed in the final report. A combination with wild cards/jokers is not allowed here.

However, this is only a secondary function. The task is much more important than a blocking card.

In the course of the game, you sometimes get into the position where you can only drop cards that the following player, who is an opponent, urgently wants. Maybe he still lacks such a card to make out or to the canasta. In order not to help him to this happiness, you need a black 3. If you have them in your hand and now throw them off, you will lock up storage piles for the following player. Since you are not allowed to report these 3s during the game, a dropped black 3 cannot be recorded either.

You save the black 3s to lock.

As soon as there is another card other than a black 3 on the drop pile, the entire pile can be stolen again.

When laying out the 3 as a final message, each card has the point value 5, as usual with smaller cards.

The freezing of the drop pile


Another way to block the drop pile is to drop a wild card/ joker. This freezes the drop pile. The shock can then not be stolen until someone with the top card and 2 natural cards can make a report, as required by the rules on the initial report.

This freezing therefore only makes sense if the opposing party has already laid out reports. So you can simply do the 7th. Card from the color of which the opponents would already report and otherwise they would create immediately.

In order to better detect the freezing, either the wild card/joker is placed next to it or transversely on the drop pile. Normally, the cards are always placed on the drop in such a way that you can see the top card value.

The red 3


They now play a completely different role. They are just reward cards. As soon as you receive them, they are laid out normally, i.e. they are also laid out individually. It does not matter whether you have already had the initial report or not. After laying out, a new card is drawn from the Talon.

You can also keep the red 3s on your hand, but they bring a lot of minus points. Each red 3 laid out brings 100 points. If a party has all 4 cards, the points are doubled. In this case, it is 800 points.

However, you only get these points if you have already passed the initial report before an opponent ends the game, otherwise the points will be counted as minus points. Keeping them in the hand also makes little sense, because you get the laid out cards immediately replaced by the Talon and thus have more cards for the messages.

The red 3s are also not considered an initial report and they are not among the minimum points. If you are still on hand in the end, this player will receive 500 penalty points.

The red 3s must never be placed on the drop pile, but there is still the theoretical possibility that they can be obtained by receiving the storage pile. In this case, you can lay them out, but you will not get any replacement cards from the talon. (see explanation in the course of the game below.)

The turning off (ending a game)


Once a party has formed a canasta, it can end the current game. But she doesn't have to do that. A game is over when a player no longer has cards in his hand. However, he does not have to discard a card if he can put in all the cards. After that, no further play is played, but all points of the laid out cards of both parties are added together. All cards that the other players still hold in their hands - this also applies to their partner - all single points are counted as minus.

As a bonus for the scoring player, he will be credited with 100 points.

Before making out, the single player still has the opportunity to ask his partner the following question: "Partner, may I make out?". He must then answer "yes" or "no." His answer is also binding on the questioner.

Whether you ask the question should be considered carefully, because the generic party is warned and interpret as many points as possible before the questioner is back in the game. It comes into question, for example, if the partner has an extremely large number of cards in his hand, while the genes are almost none.

A special form of the feature is the H a n d - C a n a s t a . If a player already puts all his cards into messages at the first registration (the minimum card points do not have to be reached) and has a canasta, this is called a hand canasta.

However, this procedure when playing with a partner only makes sense if the opposing party has not yet made an initial report and thus still holds all the cards in the hand, otherwise your own advantage will be reduced very quickly by the hand cards of your own partner.

If his partner has already made the initial report, he can only make a hand canasta if he does not put cards on his partner's reports.

For making out by hand, there are 200 points instead of 100.

Make out due to lack of cards


If the talon is completely used up and the player who drew the last card cannot make out, the game ends in the following way:

1) The player who drew the last card drops a card.

2) The following player must take the drop pile, if he is allowed to do so in accordance with the rules. This also applies to a frozen pile. If the player is unable to do so, the game ends. The premium for making out is omitted.

3) If the drop pile could be recorded, the player in question unputs out all the cards he can report and throws a card. If he could make out with it, the game ends of course. If not, the next player must pick up the discarded card, if he is allowed to do so according to the rules. If he cannot do this, e.g. because a black 3 has been discarded or because he cannot create the discarded card in messages, the game ends.

4) If the card has been taken, the player in question must in turn drop a card.

5) This recording of the discarded cards and dropping them again will continue until a player cannot create the discarded card of his front man. That's the end of the game.

6) If the game ends in this way, none of the players will receive the reward point for making out.

Course of the game at Canasta for four


2 players each play together and they always sit opposite each other and never next to each other. It becomes 2 * 52 cards each with 4 jokers. The dealer shuffles the cards well. It is best to put all cards on the table with your back and stir them well. After mixing, each player receives 11 cards. It is always played clockwise.

The dealer stacks the rest of the cards in the middle of the table, with the back facing up. This stack is the talon from which cards are drawn in the course of the game.

The dealer picks up the top card of the talon, turns it over and places it with the picture side up next to the talon. On this card, the drop pile gradually forms.

When uncovering this card, the following must be taken into account:

a) If a joker or a wild 2 is placed as the first card, the dealer must immediately remove and reveal the next card from the talon. It is placed on the wild map. If it is again a wild card, further cards will be revealed and placed over the wild ones until a natural value appears.

b) If a red 3 or a black 3 is discovered, the same procedure is done as described under a).

c) If a 3 is placed on a face-up wild card, or a wild card on a 3, further cards must be revealed in the same way until the top card of the throwing pile is a natural value at the start of the game.

d) If a natural card is revealed first, no more cards will be drawn before the start of the game.

After each player now holds his cards in his hand, the player to the left of the dealer starts playing.

If the player has now received red 3 after giving, he puts them out immediately and draws the same number of new cards from the talon, so that he has 11 cards again.

Now he checks whether he can use the upper card of the drop pile to lay out his initial report. If this is not the case, he takes the top card from the talon and puts it in his hand.

He can now make another report. If he cannot or does not want to, he now puts a card on the drop pile. All cards under the top cards must then no longer be recognizable from the card value.

Now it's his neighbor's turn. He also checks his red 3, then takes out a card. It's all as just described.

In the current game, messages are now interpreted or created on them. The right Tatik is very important in putting down the cards. The following game is listed for this:

The opponent to the left of the player has reported 5 kings. The player himself has a king on his hand. In the drop heap, there is another king somewhere, which the partner had dropped earlier. If the player now also throws off his king, the opponent can take the drop pile, add the top king to his message, the other king as well - a natural canasta would be ready. This must be prevented.

If possible, you steal the drop pile yourself; then you could lay out the two kings (the one from your own hand and the one thrown away by your partner) together with a jocker. But then the opponent would see that he no longer has the possibility to form a real canasta with his kings. He would as soon as possible with 2

Wild cards form a mixed canasta.

At some point the game ends and you have to bill the game.

First, the interpreted plus points are now calculated for both parties. In the following table we have summarized possible points again.

Card values laid out on the hand card points minus points

4,5,6,7 5 5

8,9,10,B,D,K 10 10

As 20 20

Joker 50 50

2 20 20

Black 3 5 5


Natural Canasta 500

Mixed Canasta 300

Red 3 100 (*) 500

Four red 3 800 (*)

Make Out 100

Make out from the hand 200

(*) = Only as plus points, if the party had a report, otherwise as minus points

After the settlement, it is now still being checked whether one of the parties has already reached the 5000 point limit, if not, the next person to the left of the giver will play a new game.

Other Canasta rules


Up to this point, we have described the official Canasta rules, but in some places small variants are also played, which are also a lot of fun. I will briefly list the ones we support in the following:

a) Number of jokers is changed. Instead of 4, 6 are taken.

b) Wild cards/joker canasta is allowed (Default: off).

As a premium, you get 1000 points.

Optionally, a distinction can also be made between natural Joker-Canaste (premium: 2000 points) and mixed Joker-Canasta (premium: 1000 points).

c) The number of starting cards can be changed. (13 instead of 11) This makes the game easier.

d) Change of the break-even point from 5000 to 7500 or 10000

e) Minimum score can be changed. Instead of 15-50-90-120 to 25-90-120-150

f) Premiums for Hand-Canasta can be changed. Instead of 200 now 500,....

g) No natural pair is required for the initial notification (default: off).

h) Turning off is only allowed with a natural canasta (default: off).

i) Premium for the red 3 is only available if the party has a canasta, otherwise they will be deducted as minus points (default: off).

j) No further cards may be added to finished Canasta (default: off).

Product:    Skat Premium          Doppelkopf Premium              Schafkopf Premium

                 Skat 10 / 10 Pro       Doppelkopf 10 / 10 Pro           Schafkopf 10 / 10 Pro

                 Quick Skat 5            Quick Doppelkopf 5,               Quick Schafkopf 5

                                                  Doppelkopf Lehrgänge

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