Wiki How is a wiki similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are written collaboratively. Article Summary The Basics Playing the Game Two-Handed & Three-Handed Canasta Strategy Community Q&AReferences From the Spanish for "basket," canasta is a card game for 2, 3 or most commonly, 4 players.
To create this article, 15 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. It was developed in Uruguay in 1939 from an earlier form of rummy, spread through South America and was introduced to the United States in 1948 as "Argentine Rummy." Most popular in the United States in the 1950s, the game has spawned a number of variations of its own. This means that after doing that the pile cannot be taken by anybody, only those having a pair of cards similar to the one that will be shown at the pile.
Here are the rules for playing the original forms of canasta.
This is a version of rummy in which points are scored for cards melded and lost for unmelded cards remaining in a player's hand when someone goes out.
The game is won by the first player to reach a cumulative score of 500 or more over a series of hands.
In this game you are not restricted to taking only the top card of the discard pile - more than one card can be taken in order to reach a card lower down which you can use in a meld.
In books this game is normally called 500 Rum or sometimes Pinochle Rummy (presumably because it shares its target score of 500 with some versions of Pinochle), but in real life it is more often known as 500 Rummy or Rummy 500.
The version with jokers described on this page is also known as Joker Rummy.
Some players call it Gin Rummy, which is confusing as this is also the name of a different game, and many people just call it Rummy.
It has variants known as 1500 Rummy, 2500 Rummy, 5000 Rummy and various other names, in which the target score is higher, a variable number of cards is dealt, and aces and wild cards have a high value.
These are described separately on the 5000 Rummy page.
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