Italian Canasta Rules
Italian Canasta has a unique way of beginning a game. After the cards have been dealt, but before the upcard is turned, all players replace their red threes. Then the top card of the stock is turned face-up, and the number of cards indicated by its value (counting Jack as 11, Queen as 12, and King as 13) are removed from the top of the stock and left face-down in a pile. The initial upcard is then placed face-up on top of these to form the initial discard pile.
The discard pile is always "frozen", and can only be taken by a player having a natural pair matching the upcard.
You may meld deuces as a rank of their own, or use them as wildcards. However, if you make a meld of all twos, you cannot use any other twos as wildcards until the canasta of twos is completed.
Game is 12000 points.
Initial melds must be naturals (no wildcards).
The initial meld by a side must meet the following minimum counts, depending on the side's total score at the beginning of the hand:
Total Score Minimum Count Negative 15 0 to 1495 50 1500 to 2995 90 3000 to 4995 120 5000 to 7495 160 7500 to 9995 180 10000 and up 200
The bonus for going out is 300 points.
Two canastas are required to go out, but a wildcard canasta does not count for this purpose.
Red threes count 100 points each for one to three, 200 points each for four or more.
Italian Canasta provides opportunity for the following scoring bonuses (in addition to the standard Canasta bonuses):
Condition Points A Canasta of Seven Twos 3000* A Mixed Canasta of Deuces 2000* Five Pure Canastas 2000 Four Pure Canastas Plus One Mixed Canasta 1000 Ten Canastas of Any Kind 2000