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Eliters Newsletter
Issue Number 60
February 2008
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Canasta Yahoo Invites you to try your Hand at Canasta

Basic Information

The object is to be the first to score 5,000 points. Points are earned by melding sets of three or more cards of the same rank.

Each card has a point value that is earned when it is melded. The same values are subtracted from a player's score for cards left in that player's hand when someone else goes out. The values for each card are:

Card = Point Values
Joker = 50
2, A = 20
K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8 = 10
7, 6, 5, 4, black 3 = 5
red 3 = 100 each
all 4 red 3s = 800 total

A meld is a set of three or more cards of the same rank that are placed face up on the table. A player need not make a meld when able; however, points are only scored for melds that are made before the hand ends. (Points are subtracted from scores when they are in your hand still, and if you do not have a meld, but have red 3's - those red 3s will count AGAINST you!!)

Jokers and deuces (twos) are wild cards that can be used as cards of any rank in a meld. However, all melds must contain at least two natural (non-wild) cards, no meld may contain more than three wild cards, and no meld may contain more wild cards than natural cards.

Threes have special properties. Red threes may not be melded or discarded, and black threes may only be melded when going out, in which case the meld must consist of a set of three or four black threes without wild cards. Red threes score points, however; a player who is dealt one or who draws one immediately turns it face up and draws a replacement card from the stock.

Initial Meld Requirements
The first meld a player makes during a hand must have a minimum value, based on the card point values above, which varies with the player's score prior to that hand. The requirements are as follows:

Player's Previous Score = Required Meld Value
Less than 0 = 15
0 to 1495 = 50
1500-2995 = 90
3000 or more = 120

A "canasta" is a meld of seven or more matching cards. Besides earning a large score, canastas are important because a player is not allowed to go out until they've melded at least one canasta (or two canastas, if players choose this option when setting up their table). A natural canasta (one with no wilds cards) is more valuable than a "mixed" canasta (one that contains at least one wild card). Each canasta is squared up into a pile, with a red card placed on top if it is natural and a black card if it is mixed. In addition to the point values of the melded cards, the following bonus points are scored at the end of a hand:

End of hand... = Bonus Points
Going out unconcealed = 100
Going out concealed = 200
Each red three (up to 3) = 100 each
All four red threes = 800
Each natural (red) canasta = 500
Each mixed (black) canasta = 300

"Going out concealed" means making all of one's melds at once on the final, going-out turn. A player who has made any melds previously can only go out unconcealed.

contributed by SerendipityFr0g

For more information on games offered in Canay

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