Canasta For Three Players

You may play three-handed Canasta with basically the same rules as four-handed Canasta except for the following:

  • Each player plays for himself.

  • Each player is dealt thirteen cards.

You can also play three-Handed Canasta as a "cutthroat" game (i.e. "Cutthroat Canasta"), which many consider to be a faster and more exciting game:

  • Each player plays for himself.

  • Each player is dealt thirteen cards.

  • If the player draws from the stock, he draws two cards, but only discards one.

  • The first player to take the discard pile becomes the lone hand, and the other two play in partnership against him for that hand, and can combine their melds and work together.

  • If a player goes out before the discard pile is taken up, he's considered to be the lone hand.

  • The initial meld requirement (minimum count) for each player depends on his own score, so one partner may have a different requirement than the other.

  • Each player has his own column on the scorepad. The lone hand scores only his own points, while his opponents score the total made by the partnership.

  • A red three counts for each individual player, and is not part of the partnership total.

  • Two canastas are required to go out.

  • Game is 7500 points.

  • If the stock is exhausted, play ends when the player who drew the last card of the stock discards.

  • If the stock is exhausted, and the discard pile is never taken, each player scores for himself (no partnership).

Additional Information