Led by Mary Thomas this group meets on the first and third Monday of the month at 2p.m. at the Rugby Club; it caters for members of all capabilities and new comers are most welcome.
SUMMARY OF THE GAME
Canasta may be played with 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 players but is best played with four persons as a partnership game. The word "Canasta" actually means "Basket" in Spanish and probably referred to the tray that was originally used to hold the discards. It is still often referred to as "Basket Rummy". Canasta is played with two decks of 54 cards or a total of 108 cards including 4 jokers. All are shuffled together as one deck before the game begins. Note that in Canasta, both Jokers and Deuces (twos) are wild cards. Treys (threes) are special as you will see later.
The dealer shuffles, cuts and deals the cards face down, clockwise beginning with the player to the dealer's left. Each player gets 11 cards in a game with 4 or more players as per the table below. The dealer then places the next card face up (the "upcard") on the table, starting the discard pile, next to the discard pile, the rest of the deck is placed face down to form the stock pile. All subsequent discards are laid face up in one pile, on the upcard, if the first player does not take it. No previous discards are seen and only the upcard is visible at the top of the discard pile. If the upcard is a wild card (a joker or a deuce) or a trey (three) one or more cards must be turned upon it until a natural card appears. Also each player must immediately place, face up in front of them, any red threes they were dealt and draw an equal number of cards from the stock pile to replace them. The goal of Canasta is to obtain the most points by melding, or creating sets out of one’s cards. Going out sooner than your opponent and discarding your last card is somewhat less important in Canasta than in other Rummy games.