Rummy Rules – Three Player Canasta


Play Canasta – Rules for three players

The following rules are followed for 3 player canasta:

  • 13 cards are dealt (however, some play with 11 cards each as in the four-handed game).
  • As you draw a card from the stock pile, top two cards are taken, but in all cases, discards only one card at the end the turn.
  • The first player who takes the discard pile plays alone, in each hand, and the other two players form a temporary partnership against that player. When a player goes out before anyone has taken the discard pile, the player who goes out, will then be lone player.
  • To play canasta, as usual like the classic game, play ends as soon as the stock runs out, and no one dares to take the discard pile. Each player scores separately for that particular hand.
  • A cumulative score for each player is treated separately. The partners do however; combine their melds, but not their red threes. The score created by the partnership for cards and canastas at the end of the hand is added to both partners’ cumulative scores. Nevertheless, each partner tallies their own red threes. The solo or lone player’s score for the hand is added to that player’s cumulative score.
  • Because each player has a different cumulative score, oftentimes two members of the partnership have different opening meld requirements. To play Canasta with this kind of scenario, the partner who melded first must get the initial meld requirement according to their own points, and the other partner is then free to add to these melds and start new ones as usual.
  • The rest of the standard rules apply. As soon as one or more players reaches 7,500+ points, player with the highest score wins the game.