Canasta Card Game Rules: How to Play

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Canasta is a card game in the Rummy family, popular for its melding mechanics and use of wild cards. It’s typically played by four players in partnerships.

The Deck and Players

  • Players: 4 (two teams of two).
  • Deck: Two standard 52-card decks with four jokers.


  • To score points by melding cards and making canastas (a meld of seven or more cards).


  1. Dealing: Each player receives 11 cards.
  2. The Draw: Players draw from the stockpile or take the entire discard pile.
  3. Melding: Forming and laying down sets of cards of the same rank.
  4. Canastas: A meld of seven or more cards. Can be natural (without wild cards) or mixed (with wild cards).
  5. Going Out: Ending the round by discarding all cards after forming at least one canasta.


  • Points are scored for melds, canastas, and bonuses, while points are deducted for unmelded cards.


  • The game typically ends when a team reaches 5,000 points.


  • Managing the balance between drawing new cards and taking the discard pile.
  • Collaborating with your partner to form efficient melds and canastas.

Canasta is a game of strategic planning and partnership, providing a rich and engaging card game experience.

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