The Canasta game play is a combination of collaboration, strategy, and calculated risk—skills all used to minimize the inevitable luck of the draw. Our lessons for four-person Canasta is a rummy card game played by partners, using two full standard decks of cards. It is played in a series of hands where each partnership accumulates points until it reaches a total of 8,000 or 8,500 total points (be aware—the winning total is decided by the people playing). Canasta is a very organic game and can often have many variations and rules. It’s often fun to adjust to other people’s table rules! Our beginner lessons will focus on the core rules that tend to be consistent across variations we’ve encountered. Remember, variations are not wrong, they are just different. In the beginning, take time to negotiate your table rules, start to play and continue to adjust table rules as you realize that you forgot to discuss a rule that you thought everyone played. There are also variations for both two- and three-person Canasta. We’re excited to introduce you to standard four-handed Canasta.

Have fun and play on!


Lesson 1
Into to the cards and their values

Lesson 2
Important terminology to know

Lesson 3
Setting Up a Hand

Lesson 4
Watch a Hand Part 1

Lesson 5
Watch a Hand Part 2

Lesson 6
Watch a Hand Part 3

Lesson 7
Scoring

Lesson 8
Special Canastas

Lesson 9
Splash and Trash

Lesson 10
Discard Tray

Lesson 11
Rule of 3 and 5

Lesson 12
Getting the Discard Pile

Lesson 13
Spare Pair
Rule

Lesson 14
Spare Pair and Talon

This is a PDF of the Canasta rules taught in the videos