Hand and Foot Card Game

Hand and Foot Card Game is a North American variation on Canasta in which each player is handed two decks of cards - the hand, which is played first, and the foot, which is played once the hand is exhausted. This game has multiple versions and no set rules.

Hand And Foot Card Game

What is The Hand and Foot Game?

Hand and Foot is a version of Canasta, one of the Rummy family’s most popular card games. Although the game’s actual roots are unclear, we do know that it was highly popular in the 1980s, when it most likely originated.

Thus, it is relatively juvenile in comparison to certain other Canasta versions. Hand and Foot is also a team game that is best played with two two-player teams. The game may, however, be played with more than two teams. In many aspects, the game is a simplified version of original Canasta.

What You’ll Need to Play?

To play Hand and Foot, you’ll need lots of playing cards. Purchasing in quantity, such as these playing cards, is definitely the best choice. Additionally, you may like to get some Hand and Foot score sheets.

These are likely to be particularly advantageous for rookie players. Who could otherwise have difficulty keeping track of their score as the game progresses.

While an automated card shuffler is not required, it may be beneficial because to the large number of cards in play. We’ll discuss how the cards are utilised in more detail below.


Unlike several games, the Hand and Foot card game rules allow for the use of all 52 playing cards. However, the values of the cards will vary. If you adhere to the rules of the classic Hand and Foot card game, both Jokers and 2s are wild. This adds to their value throughout games. This moves us well to the following portion.

How to Play Hand and Foot

Hand and Foot is a fun campfire game that combines elements of Solitaire and Jack Change It. However, each veteran of Hand and Foot brings small alterations to the rules, so don’t be afraid to alter or experiment with the ones outlined here to fit another player.

Players, Card and Deals

Hand and Foot is often played in pairs, with participants seated across the table from one another. Deal with one pair initially. They must shuffle the cards and then pass the deck to one individual.

The dealer then distributes a stack of 13 cards to each player and passes them clockwise until each player has a hand. Then the other partner does the same thing and gives the foot to each participant. These two card piles must stay distinct.

The remaining cards are then arranged in a stockpile in the middle of the table. Alongside it, the top card is turned over face-up and serves as the start of the discard pile. If the card is a 3 or a Joker (wild card), it is then placed inside the stock and replaced with a fresh one.

Around the stock and waste piles, ‘foot’ stacks have to be put. After that, players take up their ‘hand.’ The play starts with the dealer of ‘hands.’

The deal travels to the left, and the game consists of a total of four deals.


Hand and Foot’s purpose is to eliminate all of your cards by constructing melds, just as in any classic rummy game. Three to seven cards of equivalent rank make a meld. The term “book” or “pile” refers to a seven-card meld. Unlike a fanned spread that is continuously being added to, books are squared up.

The card affixed to the top of the book determines the kind of meld (described below): a red card suggests clean books, a black card indicates filthy books, and a joker indicates wild books.

While teams may own books of the same level, a new meld cannot be begun until the previous meld of the same rank has been finished. Typically, one partner will have the completed melds in front of them, along with the red threes, while the other will have the unfinished melds.

The cards are dealt face-up to the player on the table in front of him. In this form of Rummy, melds are shared by all players, rather than just one. This implies that any player in a partnership may contribute to any melds they make together, until the meld reaches a maximum of seven cards.

Scoring Melds

Players get points for merged cards and deduct points for cards remained in hand. The game is over when one player has successfully played both their ‘hand’ and ‘foot’ in their entirety. That player has’retired.’ Prior to venturing out, players must meet three conditions:

  • Two filthy books, two clean books, and one wild book must have been finished by the partnership.

  • One partner has picked up their’foot’ and played at least one turn from it. (The player who hasn’t used their whole foot)

  • You must get permission from your partner to go out and meld all of your remaining cards save one, before discarding the last card. You may be unable to go out if your spouse forbids you.

Red & Black Threes

Melds are created with cards ranging from A to 4. Threes, on the other hand, may not be merged normally.

Red Threes count for a player if they are placed down with their melds, but count against them if they are not. Red threes should be put face up on the table immediately, and a fresh card picked from the stock.

They may be discovered in your hand, plucked from the stock, discovered in your foot, or plucked from the garbage. If your opponents ‘go out’ (remove all their cards) before you have seized your ‘foot,’ and a red three is there, that three counts against you.

Black Threes may be used exclusively to prevent the following player from picking up your discard. Five points are deducted from your score if you have any black threes remaining in your hand. They cannot be used; they must be dumped.

Twos & Jokers

Wild cards are twos and jokers. Wild cards may be used to replace any card in a meld, provided that the meld contains twice as many natural cards as wild cards. However, a meld may be fully composed of wild cards. This form of meld is necessary before to ‘getting out’ and securing a certain agreement.

Types of Melds

  • Clean melds do not include any wild cards.

  • Dirty melds must have at least one wild card, but not more than one if the meld has less than six cards.

  • Wild melds include solely wild cards.

Hand and Foot Card Value

The values of the cards in the game are listed below. These values count for you (or your team) if they are merged at the game’s conclusion and against you (or your team) if they are not.

  • Each joker receives 50 points.

  • Each pair of twos and aces is worth twenty points.

  • 8-King: ten points

  • 4-7: 5 points per point

  • Each of the black threes is worth five points.

Bonus Points

Additionally to the card values, both sides may earn additional points. If red threes are on the table, they add 100 points to your score; if they are in hand, they subtract 100 points from your score.

  • Each “Clean Book” is worth 500 points.

  • 300 points for each Dirty Book

  • 1500 points for the Wild Book

  • ‘Leaving the House’: 100 points

  • Each Red 3 is worth 100 points.

Meld Minimum

Each deal establishes a minimum criterion for the total point value of the cards that comprise the partnership’s first meld.

  • 1st deal: 50 points

  • Deal number two: 90 points

  • 120 points for Deal 3.

  • Deal number four: 150 points

  • Red 3s and whole book bonuses are not included in the total.


The game starts with the person immediately to the left of the ‘hand’ dealer and proceeds clockwise. The game continues until someone ‘exits.’ Prior to your turn, put three red threes face-up on the table. The red threes must be replaced with an equivalent number of cards picked from the stock.

Taking Turns

A normal turn entails the following:

  • Two cards are drawn from the top of the stock pile.

  • Melding cards—begin a meld or add to an existing one (yours or your partners)

  • Add a single card face-up to the top of the discard pile.

  • The red threes taken from the stock must be put face-up on the table immediately, followed by a fresh card drawn from the stock pile.

  • You may not begin a new meld or meld cards during your turn; instead, you must pick which action to do.

You may draw seven cards from the discard if you do not desire to draw two cards from the stock. If the pile includes less than seven cards, the whole pile may be gathered. If you intend to draw from the discard, the following conditions must be met:

The top card of the discard pile is not permitted to be a (black) three.

  • You must own two cards of same rank as the discard’s top card.

  • Three cards must be melded immediately: 2 cards of similar rank already in hand, as well as the top card of the discard pile

  • Finish your turn by discarding one card to the discard pile.

The initial meld placed on the table must satisfy the required minimum meld value (this is the total sum of the value of the cards played). Multiple melds may be initiated in order to meet this condition. If you are drawing from the discard pile, the three necessary cards to meld may count toward this criterion, but the other six cards drawn do not. Wild cards may be included in the first meld.

It is not permissible for partners to have two incomplete melds of same rank. A book must be finished before beginning a new one of equal value.

The ‘Foot’

After you have discarded all of the cards in your ‘hand,’ you may pick up your ‘foot’ and continue playing normally. The foot may be picked up in one of two ways: all cards in the ‘hand’ are melded together, the foot is picked up, and a single card from it is discarded; OR all cards in the ‘hand’ are melded together, the final card is discarded, and the foot is picked up.

There is no penalty for discarding a wild card in order to reach the foot in this variant of Hand and Foot.


  • The play concludes when one of the following occurs:

  • A player successfully exits the game, subject to the requirements outlined above OR

  • The stockpile has been exhausted, and players are averse to drawing from the trash.

  • If your partner does not let you to go, you must have two cards remaining after melding: one to discard and one to continue playing with.

At the conclusion of the game, players score their books and melds, taking into account any applicable bonuses. After four transactions, the side with the most points wins.

Hand and Foot Card Game Rules

  • A team may not have two melds of the same rank that are unfinished.

  • At no point may a meld have more natural cards than wildcards.

  • Once merged, a wildcard cannot be transferred.

  • A meld should consist of a minimum of three and a maximum of seven cards.

  • Because black 3s are used to obstruct the discard pile, they cannot be melded.

  • If the opponent team concludes the round before your team selects the foot stack and your foot contains a red three, your team will be penalised 100 points.

  • If the first card in the draw pile turned face up is a wild card or a red 3, that card is returned to the pile and the next card is flipped.

Melds are formed with a range of cards from A to 4. Wild cards may be substituted for any card in a meld, provided that the meld comprises at least twice the number of natural cards as wild cards.

Frequently Asked Questions

People usually ask many questions about Hand and Foot Card Game. A few of them are discussed below:

1. What is the difference between Canasta, Hand and Foot, and Hand and Foot?

This is a quad deck game that is played with a hand and a foot, as opposed to conventional canasta, which is played just with a hand. Hand and Foot is a Canasta variation that features four to seven cards and is played in two-player teams (usually two teams, but it also works with three or four teams).

2. How many books do you need to go out on foot and in hand?

Five books are required to go. Each of two red or clean books is worth 500 points. Each of three black or filthy books is worth 300 points. This is a bare minimum; you may have as many books as you like.

3. Is it possible to play hand and foot with eight players?

The Fundamentals: 4 – 8 Players – In two-player teams or 3 – 6 Players – In three-player teams. Play using a deck of cards that is one greater than the number of participants. Each deck’s backs are colour coded to assist you in rapidly adjusting the amount of decks you’re using.

4. In canasta, what is a meld?

Three or more cards of the same rank, regardless of suit, constitute a meld. A canasta is a seven- or more-card meld. Melds may be boosted by combining natural cards of the same rank or by combining wild cards (jokers and 2s). Both spouses’ fusions are maintained together in front of one of them.

5. When the deck runs empty in canasta, what happens?

When a player is eliminated, the hand is over and the scores are tallied on both sides. A player is not required to discard any cards while exiting; they may combine all of their remaining cards. A player who has just one card remaining in their hand is not permitted to take the discard pile if it contains only one card.

6. Is Canasta a simple game to learn?

Canasta is a combination of Bridge and Rummy. This game is simple to learn, even for experienced players of similar games. Canasta is preferred by players because it may be played independently or in partners.

7. In canasta, is it possible to discard a red 3?

Red 3’s are considered bonus cards. When a red 3 is drawn, the player places the card on his or her side and draws a replacement card. A red 3 is not replenished if it is removed from a trash pile. To get the required canasta, one must perform a meld.

8. How do you play canasta in Bolivia?

If separate Canasta melds of the same card value are tabled, they merge to make a Set. Only after a Canasta meld of the same card value has been completed may the same team begin another Canasta meld of the same card value. Multiple Samba melds of the same suit are permitted, but they cannot be joined into a single Set.

9. What is the procedure for logging into canasta Junction?

To participate in a live game, you must first log into Canasta Junction. On the main menu of CJ, click Account: New Users – All new players must create an account with a unique UserName, Password, and Email Address. All fields, including the email address, are CasE seNsitiVe!

10. Super Samba has how many decks of cards?

Samba is a card game that is a version of canasta. It is played with three 52-card decks plus six jokers. In contrast to canasta, which allows only cards of the same rank to be melded (grouped face up on the playing surface and scored), samba allows for the melding of sequences of three or more cards of the same suit.

One of two methods may be used to lift up the foot. All of the cards in the ‘hand’ are merged together, and only one is discarded. Hand and Foot Card Game is won by the team with the most points at the conclusion of the game.

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