These are the Canasta rules as defined by "Hoyle's Rules of
Your goal is to beat your opponent by scoring more
points. You score points by melding cards, and making
as many canastas as possible. A canasta is a meld of at
least seven cards of the same rank.
Each player starts with 15 cards in hand. Yours are
visible at the bottom of the window.
Both players take turns in drawing one card from the
stock, and discarding one card on the discard pile (in
that order). Both players take turns in drawing the first
After drawing a card, a player may meld cards if (s)he
wants to. Cards are melded in columns of at least three
cards; e.g. you can meld three Kings, or four Fives.
You cannot meld sequences like Four-Five-Six. Once a
card has been melded, it cannot be taken back into the
hand (except with the Undo meld option).
When a player has melded his cards, he ends his turn
by discarding a card. At that point, his melded cards
are checked to see if they conform to the canasta
rules. Discarding a card is not necessary if the player
can go out by melding all of his cards.
Instead of drawing a card from the stock, a player may
take the entire discard pile. However, this is only
allowed if he can directly meld the top card.
A hand is over when one of the players has no cards
left in his hand, or when there are no cards left on the
stock. The scores of both players are then computed,
and a new hand is dealt. A player can only finish a
hand when he has at least one or two canastas,
depending on the setting of the corresponding option.
A canasta match is over when one of the players
reaches 5,000 points.
If a rank is melded, it must contain at least three cards
on the table.
It is possible to add a wildcard to a column of cards of
any rank on the table. The wildcard is then seen as a
card of that rank (but the value remains unchanged).
However, there may never be more wildcards than