Card Games > Canasta
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Canasta is a matching card game in which the object is to create melds of cards of the same rank and then go out by playing or discarding all the cards in your hand.
The distinctive feature of Canasta, as opposed to other Rummy games, is that making a seven-card meld, called a canasta, gives the player a huge bonus, and the number of canastas made usually decides the game. Another distinctive feature is that in Canasta, when a player picks up cards from the discard pile, the player picks up the entire pile, as opposed to only the top card in most other Rummy games (but see also 500 Rum).
These differences in rules produce differences in play. Whereas in ordinary Rummy, the goal is to go out fast, and having cards in your hand is generally bad, the goal in Canasta is to build canastas, which requires many cards, and thus picking up the pile is usually advantageous to the player. [Wikipedia]