It is believed that Canasta was invented in Montevideo, Uruguay in the early twentieth century. It then spread to Argentina, and then to the United States and the rest of the world. The game was very popular in the 1950s.

Although in the fifties there was an effort by Manhattan's Regency Club and the Association of the American Card Manufacturers to standardize the rules, there is a wide variety in the rules used.

Many variants of Canasta were created in the latter half of the twentieth century. Typically, these variants increase the number of cards used, make taking the discard pile more difficult, let players draw two cards each turn, add special melds to the game, and/or require more than one canasta to go out.

Nowadays, there are four major variants:

Classic, the vanilla game described by the proposed Regency Club standard. Samba, featuring sequences. Hand and Foot, featuring "a foot", a second hand for each player which is picked up when the cards of the first one has been depleted. Modern American, giving huge bonuses for canastas of sevens and aces. Within each of these four variants there are minor rule variations, typically named after Latin American locations (Bolivia, Cuban Canasta, Mexican Canasta). There is some overlap between the major variants listed above; for example, Pennies from Heaven, which combines features of Modern American and Hand and Foot.

Canasta is a matching card game in which the object is to create melds of cards of the same rank and then go out by playing or discarding all the cards in your hand.

The distinctive feature of Canasta, as opposed to other Rummy games, is that making a seven-card meld, called a canasta, gives the player a huge bonus, and the number of canastas made usually decides the game. Another distinctive feature is that in Canasta, when a player picks up cards from the discard pile, the player picks up the entire pile, as opposed to only the top card in most other Rummy games.

These differences in rules produce differences in play. Whereas in ordinary Rummy, the goal is to go out fast, and having cards in your hand is generally bad, the goal in Canasta is to build canastas, which requires many cards, and thus picking up the pile is usually advantageous to the player.

There are variations of the game for two to six players, but the original version is played by four. The games for four and six players are team games, and if some other number of players participates, each player plays individually. The most popular versions are the games for two and four players.

The game is named after the Spanish word for "basket."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Bicycle Canasta Games provides hours of Latin inspired family fun! Canasta is a rummy game that excites with it's wild cards and high scoring hands. This game became the favorite of millions when it arrived from South America with the Samba and Bossa Nova, and it remains popular with players of all ages and skill levels today. Bicycle Canasta brings you concise rules for the basic game, plus seven game variations including Pennies from Heaven, Mexicana, Chile and Urugay. These high quality cards feature highlights on wild cards, point values printed on the card face, and the beautiful Fan Back design first introduced in 1894.

Contents of Bicycle Canasta Games:

2 decks of cards including jokers Instructions



Canasta Caliente is hot! The Canasta craze of the 1950's is back with this spicy twist on an old favorite! Canasta is basically a variation of our old standby, Rummy. The object of this game is to be the team who first scores 5,000 points by laying down sets of cards. You can rack up lots of points by Claiming the Prize pile or thwart your opponents by Freezing the Prize.

Contents of Canasta Caliente:

110 custom cards Illustrated rules



Canasta burst onto the scene in 1950 and created the biggest card game craze to ever hit the country! Millions were (and are) captivated by the tantalizing twists of this great game and its romantic South American origin. Your partnership aims to score 5,000 points by laying down sets of cards and adding to them. Claiming the Prize pile can make your point total soar, and freezing the Prize pile helps to thwart your opponents. Form a Canasta then go out to claim your bonuses! The special Caliente ("hot") cards add an exciting 21st century variation. This deluxe version of Canasta Caliente features 2 decks of beautiful custom cards, and a sturdy rotating card tray.



Designed for ease of use and ready reference, the Bicycle Official Rules of Card Games book includes unique diagrams that illustrate the basics of more than 250 different card games. This book contains 315 pages and covers popular games such as Spades, Hearts, Bridge, Bid Whist, Poker, Pinochle, Rummy, Canasta, Solitaire, Cribbage, Children's card games and more!



The Play According to Hoyle book will teach you the rules to many exciting new games! This book contains expert advice on skillful play and invaluable help in settling disputes on any number of fine points. Packed with up-to-the-minute rules of your favorite games, including the latest bridge bidding and scoring rules. Includes 255 pages.

Included rules and strategies:

Poker Scrabble Canasta Contract bridge Four-deal bridge Goren system bidding rules Gin Rummy Chess Solitaire Backgammon Many more



This molded Plastic Card Tray is great for rummy, canasta or any multiple deck card game. These card trays are not very deep - only about 1/2" - but will hold one deck comfortably. These trays are available in red, white and blue. Please specify your color preference, if any, in the comments box during checkout.