Do you know how to win at the Hand and Foot game? The following article describes the setup, play, object, and rules for this version of the game. The Hand and Foot card game is also called Hand and Foot Canasta which is related to regular North American Canasta in which each player gets dealt two sets of cards – the hand and the foot. Although there are many variations, and accordingly, no standard set of hand and foot rules, a typical game consists of four people playing in pairs.
Players on the same team sit across from each other and use a total of 270 cards which equates to 5 decks along with 2 jokers per deck. You can use any simple method you would use in other card games to choose the team that deals first. Each player gets dealt 13 cards which are set aside for later use. An additional set of 13 cards is then dealt to each player and are held in their hands to play.
Once the cards are dealt, the remaining cards are put in the center of the playing surface and the first card is turned over. Play goes to the left of the dealer or clockwise.
Each player draws two cards from either the kitty or the stock pile. When a player obtains a meld which is a group of three or more of the same number including wild cards (as long as the wild cards don’t surpass the quantity of natural cards) the cards can be laid down. If a partner lays down a meld, the player now does not have to make a minimum meld obligation; instead the partner simply adds playable cards to the partner’s meld.
A team is obligated to lie down (or meld) 50 points to pass the first round by building groups of 7 cards called Canastas. By drawing 2 cards and discarding one, play continues as each team gains as many points as possible.
When all the cards in the ‘hand’ have been played, it is now time to pick up the ‘foot’ and continue making melds and canastas.
The starting round ends when a player can asks authorization to “go out.” In order to “go out” partnerships are required to have one clean canasta and one dirty canasta. A clean canasta is simply 7 cards without any wild cards, whereas a dirty canasta can contains wild cards equal to or less than the number of natural canasta cards. The object is to build canastas (seven cards) by melding at least 3 cards (three of a kind or a set of three with a pair and one wild card). Except for wild cards, playing cards can be added to finished canastas.
Values of cards:
1. Jokers (Wild cards) — 50 points
2. Deuces (Wild Cards) — 20 Points
3. Aces — 20 Points
4. Eights through Kings — 10 Points
5. Threes through Sevens — 5 Points
At the end of each round, the amount of points each partnership must meet to achieve meld goes up by a certain amount of points, as illustrated
1. Round 1 – 50 points
2. Round 2 – 90 points
3. Round 3 – 120 points
4. Round 4 – 150 points
There are a number of variations of the Hand and Foot instructions that can be found by searching for Hand and Foot online. Also, hand foot online is a popular variation to the live Hand and Foot game.
To learn more about the Hand and Foot game and download FREE comprehensive copies of the rules visit the Hand and Foot Game website.
Another great site where you can find additional resources for Hand and Foot and other card games is http://HandAndfootCardGame.org.