Rules of the game

This game is related to the American Rummy or the Spanish “Ramy”, the game is played in one or various turns and finishes when the number of 5.000 points or more are reached.

It is played with two packs of the so called POKER type, a total of 108 cards, 52 cards each, plus two jokers per pack. It can be played by two to six people, for it to become interesting and entertaining, it´s conveniente that four to six persons play in couples.

To start the game, each one of the players takes a covered card and uncovers it, the one with the highest card choses. The one who took the following one, sits in front of him, thus one couple is formed.

The other players that have received the following value in cards form the other couple.



In the draw, the pokers have no value. The one that receives it has the right to another card.


They are, Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clovers

The espades and clovers are black, the diamonds and hearts, red.

Once the draw has been made, the one who received the highest card is hand, and the former, alter shuffling the cards and having them cut by the player to his right, distributes the cards. The distribution is done from left to right. Being four the players, the dealer déals eleven cards to each one of them, one by one. When he has finished, he leaves an uncovered card together with the rest of the cards. This card is the beginning or initiation of the pool. If the card discovered to start the pool is a joker,a red two or a three, another card is taken from the lot and it´s put on top of it, crossing it. If this happens again, another card is taken, until the discovered card is a normal one.

The game

The player who is hand can take the uncovered hand if he has two similar cards, and has cards that reach a total of 50 points, including the discovered one, but not the ones below.

If he has those two or more similar cards, to which he can add a joker of 50 or 20 points to complete the 50 points necessary to open the game, he can take the pool.

The minimum punctuation necessary to open is only indispensable in the first opening of each couple.
If the pool has been taken, it is necessary to show phisically a series of combining cards, amongst which must unavoidable figure then one taken fron the pool. If a player has shown a start of a game: Kings and a joker of 20, when the turn comes for his companion to play, he will be able to have as many Kings as he wants and up to a total of 3 jokers, together with uncovering other cards linked between them.


After taking the uncovered card or covered one, the player is obligad to leave an uncovered card in the pool, trying of course, that this card be no use to the following player.

Generally, when starting the game, the pools are of no interest, and any card thrown is good.

Then the player will try to get rid of the card that suits him less, but, further on, when the pool goes growing, it´s valuable, and then is when it has to be avoided that the opponent takes it. For that purpose it is conveniente to check the cards that have appeared and get riid of the cards of which there are more in the pool, which are less likely to be in the hands of the opponent.

If one supones that he has cards that we have to throw, we can save ourselves puting on the pool a black three that serves as a cover card or otherwise, one can throw a poker of 20 or 50, which also serves to avoid the opponent from taking the pool.

If the pool was not and a joker has been thrown, this one is put slantwise, thus the pool is for future thows, and can only be taken by two similar cards. After each throw, the one who has done it, is obligad to discard one card. He remains without the obligation to do it when he finishes.


To start, it is necessary to uncover a game combining the following punctuations:

- Between 0 and 1495 50 points

- Between 1500 and 2995: 90 points

- Between 3000 and 4995: 120 points

As indicated, these points are only needed for the first opening. The following are not counted as positive points, the red threes we might have nor the joker’s o prizes that might be in the pool. The points that are counted are the ones in the hand and that can form game.


Yokers: 50 points each.

Yokers two: 20 points

Aces: 20 points.

From the King to number 8: 10 points.

For having “Canasta Limpia”: 500 points each.

For having “Canasta Sucia”: 300 points

For having the four Red Threes: 800 points.

For finishing a game: 100 points.

For “Relance “(second chance): 200 points.

The values of the prices are positive when one of the two players that form a couple has been able to show a set of good cards.

If the game ends without one of the two been having been able to open, that is show a combination of cards, all the prices become negative..

When every game ends, the cards that remain in the hands of the other players are negative, and are discounted from the total of points won.

Red Threes

You can not form columns or combinations with the red threes. The are called prize cards, because at the end of the game they will mean 100 points if the player that has received them has his game on the table.
When taking the cards that have been dealt, each player must leave uncovered, on the table by his side, the red threes he might have, and when his turn comes to take a card from the lot, he will take as many as red threes he might have, plus another one, that is, the one he would have taken anyway. If amongst these cards another three would appear, he must uncovered it equally and take another card. And so along the game, when receiving a red three, it will be left uncovered andl take another card from the lot. If a player or a couple of players gather between them the four red threes, their value doubles to 800 points.

Black Threes

They are no used for making “Canastas”. They are used for discards and they are called cover cards, because they avoid the following player for taking the pool. At the end of the game, the player that finishes can put 3 black threes alongside the uncovered cards, combining a threesome or a quartet, or joining a yoker to two of them forming a threesome. The black three is very useful when the pool is valuable and it´s suitable to avoid the opponent from taking it. The effect as a cover card lasts only one throw, and when covered by the card the next player throws, it´s value is annuled.


The “Canastas” can be “Dirty” or “Clean”. The ones that are “clean” are formed by 7 similar cards, that is, 7 eights, 7 aces, 7 queens, etc.They go forming in the table or in the hand, preferible on the table for the partner to help forming it.

For “Canasta” to be “Clean” it hs to be formed without Jokers.

When in it´s formation a Joker participates, two or three, it turns into a “Dirty Canasta”. This one can have a maximum of three jokers, that is, it can be formed with six cards of the same number and a joker; five cards of the same number and a joker, or four cards of the same number and three jokers, that can be of 20 or 50 points.

When“Canasta” has been formed, the game can be closed if wanted or when wanted.

Once formed the “Canasta”, all the cards are put together in one lot, uncovered, and if the “Canasta” has been “Clean”, the above card is red. If it is “Dirty”, the card that marks it must be black.

Once done this, the “Canasta” or “Canastas” obtained are put in a visible place, but nobody, even the one who made it, can extend them again to see how they were formed., that is, to count the jokers that intervened in their formation.

The pool

It is formed by the pile of cards uncovered proceeding from the discard that goes forming together with the pile of covered cards.

It starts with the first card uncovered, when dealing the cards to the players is finished, that is with the 55th card. It already has been said that as from the first throw the cards of the pool can be taken, but is necessary to have two similar cards, if the game is still uncovered; or a similar card and a joker, if the game is already open.

If the previous player has discarded a similar card to any of those that form the game already in the table, the pool can be taken, without more requisites by the following player.

That is, if a “Canasta” of sevens has started or finished, and the previous player discards a seven, the pool can be taken.

If the pool is rewarded with a joker, or from the beginning, with a red three, whoever has similar cards to the discarded ones, uncovered, and is not allowed to take the pool that then can be taken by two similar cards.

It is not allowed to examine the cards that form the pool, and only the last one must be seen.

The first time, the pool can be taken with two similar cards and a complement of jokers or other combining cards that add up 50, 90, or 120 points, according to the punctuation one might have.

If the uncovered card of the pool is a six and the game has not been opened yet, the pool can be taken with 2 sixes and a joker of 50 or two sixes and two jokers of 20.

If there are more than 1500 points, the game can be oponed and take the pool with two sixes, three fives and three aces, adding up then 60 points with the aces, 15 with the threes and 15 of the two sixes plus the one who took the pool.

If the opening were at 120, for having more than 3000 points to our favor, we would need the two sixes and two jokers of 50 plus another of 20. You can also open with three aces, three nines, and another card with a value of 10 points, plus a joker of 20 that can be put over the sixes, the aces or the nines.

All the combinations exposed on the table have to be at least, of three cards, of which only one can be joker.

Passing this minimum of three cards, the jokers one wants can be added, up to three,

You can not take any pool with two jokers nor with two black threes.

The rewarded pool is the one that has one red three or a joker, and to win it, two similar cards are needed , even if the game is exposed.

The red three and the joker are put crosswise with the three cards for them to be seen during the game.


It´s forbiden to talk or make commentaries.

One can only ask the players how many cards they have got in the hand.

When the pile has few cards, they can be counted without uncovering them.

One can ask the partner permission to quit, that is, open in combinations all the cards and close the game.

The player must anounce the others when he has only one card in the hand.

When one player is asked by his partner if he can quit, the answer can only be YES or NO, but it can´t neither be vague nor is permited to comment anything.

The player that is in conditions to finish the game for already having a “Canasta”, can ask his partner once or various times if he soul finish. But he is only obligad to take into account his partner´s repply once, while in the second chance, if he wants,he can quit against his companions will.He can also closet he game without previous consultation.

These consultations are done for the partner who accompanies us, so that he can, if he has them, get rid of the high cards and the jokers, so that when closing the game, there are not to many cards to discard.

When finishing the game, the couple that has done it wins 100 points, and if the closing is done uncovering all the cards at once, that is, opening and closing the game at the same time, the points are 200, for doing what is called” Relance”.

A game also finishes when there are no cards left in the pile.

The one that has taken the last one is obligad, if he doesn´t close the game, to discar one card, being able then the following player to take the pool, and the one who does, will also have to discard a card if he doesn´t complete the game with all the ones he has taken. In these cases the game ends when one of the players can not take the pool.

Points, Penalties and Advise


When the game finishes, each player counts the cards he has left in the hand, and substracts that total from the positive points he has gathered.

For example: Suposing that on the table they have one Clean Canasta, 2 Dirty Canastas, 4 Aces and a joker of 20, 3 Kings and a red three. The account will initially be:

Clean Canasta: 500 points

Dirty Canasta: 600 points

Red Three: 100 points

Total: 1.200 positive points.

The uncovered cards are added and piles of 100 points are formed to facilitate the account.

Let´s súpose that between all we have 320 positive points that together with the 1200 gives 1520 points. When closing the game we might have cards left in the hand with a value of 75 points. These cards are negative points and must discount from the 1520 points obtained.

If when closing the game the opponents have all the cards in the hand, both these and the prizes turn into negative points that will be discounted from the total achieved in previous games. The total of each game is added to the sum of the previous ones, and goes increasing up to 5000 or more, but the points only count when the game ends. That is, if one of the teams finished the previous game with 4950 points and already have on the table a Canasta, in fact they have already won, for they add a minimum of 4210 points, to the previous ones; but then they have to quit, that is, that one of the players must place in uncovered combinations all the cards of the hand. While they don´t, they run the risk that the opposition might surpass them.

For this game, it´s necessary to use paper sheets for the annotations.


Apart from the negative points, the following penalties have been added to the Canasta, that are points to be discounted from the total of positives that have been achieved:

For having kept, unawares, a red three instead of exposing it, 500 points.

For having asked permision to quit and not been able to do so, by wrongly calculating the game, 100 points.

For uncovering a card when taking the, 50 points.

The penalties are not obligatory, therefore, it´s convenient to determine before the game, if there will be penalties or not. To avoid annoyances, it´s prefereble not to apply them and leave their use only for the tournaments.


The most entertaining game is between 4 players, but it can also be played between two, three or more than four, with these variants:

For two: 15 cards are delt, instead of eleven, and in some cases, it´s established that to quit, the player must do two Canastas, as a minimum. In every thing else it´s similar to the Canasta for four.

For three: The three play independently and 13 cards are dealt.


The Canasta is also learned playing and watching the mistakes that are made when using wrong game tactics.

With what it´s mentioned here you have the base to learn.

When opening the game, it´s not conveniente to put to many jokers over a simple pair of cards, because it can happen than the rest of the same number be in the the hands of the opponents, that won´t throw them, and therefore we will have Canastas started that we won´t be able to finish, having used the jokers to no avail.
It is also non conveniente to take to many pools and spend too many jokers doing so, which then will be needed, and we will only have achieved uncovering to much game.

Many times the wish to take pools cause forced plays that result in grievances for oneself.That player that does not destroy it´s own game, it´s the one that finally wins with a compact game but efective, defeating the player that has it delayed and without interest.