Hand and Foot rules are not excessively complicated and the game is a variation of Classic Canasta. Rather than only obtaining 11 cards for your hand, you are also dealt 11 cards for your foot to be used after the cards in your hand have been utilized. The goal is to create melds of three to seven cards laid face up on the table. There are many versions of both Canasta and Hand and Foot online that make playing and scoring a breeze. To win the game you or your partner must get rid of all of your cards, in your hand and in your foot, before the other team does.
A meld is a group of three cards, example: 4, 4, 4 of any suit or 5, 6, 7 all of the same suit. Once a meld of three cards has been started cards can be added by your teammate. Jokers and 2s are wild. A meld cannot include more wild cards than real cards and wilds cannot be melded alone. Once a meld reaches the seven-card maximum, it becomes a book. Any Clean meld doesn't have wild cards when it reaches the seven-card limit, it becomes a Red Book. If your seven-card meld contains any wild cards it turns into a Black Book. All melds are organized on the table on your side but your teammate can put down a card on his side that adds to your melds.
Completed Books are piled individually with a red or black card face up on top to indicate the type of Book it is. You gain points for every card melded and for Books. If you are a player left holding cards when another goes out, you lose points for all those left in your Hand and Foot. You do not have to have a discard to go out. In order to go out you must:
1. Completely play your Foot.
2. Possess one or maybe more Black or Red-colored Books.
Hand and Foot scoring:
Jokers = 50 points
Twos = 20 points
Aces = 20 points
Eights through Kings = 10 points
Three through Seven = Five points (unless the no 3s rule is adopted at the onset of the overall game)
The play begins with 2 complete decks of cards for two players and four decks for team play with four players. Hand and Foot partners rules are the same for two players, however the scores are combined for each team.
Round Points: 50/100/150/200
In order to lay down your first meld of the round the cards need to add up to the following points before you lay down:
Round 1 = at least 50 to play
Round 2 = at least 100 to play
Round 3= at least 150 to play
Round 4 = at least 200 to play
Book Points: 500/1000
Red Books are 1000 points
Black Books are Five hundred points
The Player who goes out gets 100 extra points
There are many different choices and rules for playing the Hand and Foot card game. Try any of the Hand and Foot downloads to see which you prefer. This is an excellent game to start a monthly card club of eight players at two tables. Each person plays with what ever dollar amount agreed to, such as $5 or $10 for the night. Rotate teams throughout the evening until each person has collaborated with every other player. Keep track of your team scores on your own Hand and Foot score sheet and at the end of the evening the individual with the highest score wins the buy-in pot! Hand and Foot rules may seem difficult if this is your first time reading through them, but jump on in, you will get the hang of it in no time!