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9/21/2021 - 05:04  EST

  Help Topic Game Help 
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Safe Harbor Games << Prev  3011  Next >> Club Discussions
Canasta (Safe Harbor) Last Update: 3/14/2015


Welcome to Eliters Canasta Safe Harbor League (CANAY).  Canasta Safe Harbor Tourneys are played in matches of 2 players or 4 players.


  • Draw Cards – 1 or 2 (Default) see “Tourney Special Rules”
  • Minimum Canastas to go out - 1 (Default) or 2 or 3 see “Tourney Special Rules”
  • Discard Pile; No Pick up (Default Unchecked) see “Tourney Special Rules”
  • Check Wildcard Allowed on Opening Meld (Default) and Allowed for Pickup (Default).
  • Number of players: 1x1 = Check 2 Player Version or keep unchecked for 2x2 = 4 Players Version
  • Points - Select or Type the Points as per Round Points specified on Tourney Page
  • Bots - Select Disabled in all cases.

All Tourney Games are Automatically played on Rated Tables.



The Cards
Canasta is normally played with two standard 52 card packs plus four jokers (two from each pack), making 108 cards in all. They have standard point values as follows:
  • Jokers >>>>>>>>  50 points each
  • A, 2  >>>>>>>>>>  20 points each
  • K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8 >> 10 points each
  • 7, 6, 5, 4  >>>>>>>  5 points each
Initial Meld Requirement:
In Head to Head 1x1 Games; in order to meld, the total value of the cards you lay down must meet a following minimum count requirement based on the Cumulative score achieved in the previous hand:
  • negative  >>>>>>> 15 points (i.e. no minimum)
  • 0 - 1495   >>>>>>> 50 points
  • 1500 - 2995   >>>> 90 points
  • 3000 or more >>>120 points

Canasta: A meld of seven or more matching cards:

  • Natural or Red Canasta: Canasta containing no Wild Cards.
  • Black Canasta: Canasta containing one to four Wild Card.

Discard Pile: The pile of Cards including all Cards removed from players' hand.

Up-card: The top Card of the deck that is turned face-up after the deal to start the Discard Pile.

Frozen Pile: A discard pile that cannot be taken without a natural pair in one's hand; specifically, a discard pile is frozen for a team that has not yet melded, and also whenever it contains a red three or a wild card

Black 3: 3 of Spades or Clubs; black threes may not be melded except when going out (and without using any wild cards), they are a safe discard that prevents the opponent from taking the Discard Pile.

Red 3: 3 of Diamonds or Hearts, worth 100 points each (For all four red threes an extra 400 points added if melded by one side)..

Wild Card: A card that can stand for any other; any Joker or Deuce. It can be used to block the Discard Pile too.

Going Out: Getting rid of all the cards in one's hand, either by melding all of them or by discarding one and melding all the rest; going out is worth 100 points.

Round Points

The Match points settings for individual Tourneys will vary, depending on the desired length of the Tourney and its entry Fee. Typically, higher Fees Tourneys will have higher Match points, ranging from 3000 to 5000 points rounds.

Some tournaments are "progressive"; the round points increase as the tourney advances. It is common also to have tourneys in which the finals are played to a higher point total than the other rounds.

Tourney Matches may be set to finish after a specific number of Hands; the letter h will be used to specify the Number of hands to be played; followed by the Points or Score to end each Game; examples:

  • 1500 = The first player achieving the 1500 score advances.
  • 2000 = The first player achieving the 2000 score advances.
  • 5000 = The first player achieving the 5000 score advances.
  • 1h = The player achieving the highest score after one hand advances.
  • 2h = The player achieving the highest score after two hands advances.
  • 2h2000 = The player achieving 2000 score after 1 or 2 hands (whichever comes first) advances.
  • 2h3000 = The player achieving 3000 score after 1 or 2 hands (whichever comes first) advances.
Resign a Game
Use the Resign Button to end game early if needed. This feature disables a game that was incomplete by players. It stops the options of restoring or canceling a ongoing game that was previously being played by 2 or 4 specific players.
Continue Game
If both players are booted or lose connection during a game/match, select Continue Game after the table is reloaded with all opponent(s) (2 or 4) seated.

Canasta Safe Harbor League will run tourneys in the following formats; the main format being SE 1x1:

  • SE (Single Elimination - 1x1, 2x2): See Help Topic 2211.
  • DE (Double Elimination  - 1x1, 2x2): See Help Topic 2221.
  • RR (Round Robin  - 1x1): See Help Topic 2231.
  • SR (Super Robin - 1x1): See Help Topic 2232.


The following General Tourney Rules will be observed in all CANAY Tourneys:

  • In the event of a tie, a tiebreaker hand will be played according to the same Game Specific Rules; Players will continue at the same table, and the tiebreaker hand will be played with the TD in attendance.
  • If a Player commits an error by not following the Tourney Special Rules (such as freezing the pile in a No Freezing Tourney) s/he is automatically disqualified.
  • If you are playing a Team Tourney, and do not already have a partner lined up (for Partner Select (PS) formatted tourneys), please be in the tourney room at least 15 minutes prior to the tourney's scheduled start time to arrange a partner. For System Select (SS) formatted tourneys, a partner is selected for you.  Please be in the tourney room at tourney's scheduled start time.  For details please refer to Partners Tournaments (2x2)

For a complete list and description of CANAY Tourney Special Rules variations; please refer to:

How to Play Canasta at Safe Harbor Games

For help on How to Play Canasta at Safe Harbor Games; please visit:

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