This game is a variation of Canasta.  Hand and Foot card games is played with 4 to 6 standard decks, and was ideally designed  for 2 players but four to six players can also play it forming a team of two or three. Usually, number of decks is one more than the player but it is not standard.

This game is widely famous in North America.  There are no standard rules with various variant available. Each player is dealt with two hands; the first set of cards dealt is Hand while the other set of cards dealt is Foot.

4 Players (Two Teams)

Two teams having 2 players each are formed which sit opposite to each other. Jokers are included making 54 cards per deck. There are 4 players so five decks are used.

Hand and card foot game rules and variations

Teams will decide who will deal first. There are total 270 cards. One teammate will deal each player with 13 cards (11 cards in other variant) until all the four players have a stack from a deck. The stack dealt first is Hand. Another teammate takes another deck and distributes 13 cards each to all the four players in clockwise order around the table known as Foot.

Cards remaining are kept face down in center of the table forming a Stock. The topmost card of the Stock is turned face up and if it is joker or a three red it is covered in the stock and another card is kept face up.

Foots are kept face down till all the cards of the hands are played. Players are permitted to pick their Hand and the game proceeds by the player sitting left to the one who has dealt the Hand.

Objective: Meld Cards

Melding is the term which is used to get rid of all your hand. Meld is a set of 3-7 cards having equivalent rank kept face up. It is not permitted to make melds more than seven cards and less than three cards. Melds are turned into books of seven cards.

Melds belong to the team, not an individual player. After commencement of meld having three cards or more than it, players can soar up it to seven cards. Player can meld any cards of rank from Ace, King, Queen…down to 4.

Wild card such as Jokers, Deuces cannot be melded in a normal way. There must be two or more than two real cards to use wild card.

Thus, there can be at most 1 wild card of three, four, five and at most 2 wild card of six or seven. Players can also make a meld of twos and wild cards. There are 3 categories of meld:

1. Natural Meld– Clean Melds excluding all the wild cards.

2. Dirty meld having more than one wild card. (It will not have two or more than two unless there are at least six cards in the meld).

3. Wild Meld made up completely with wild cards.

Set of seven cards meld becomes Pile. When they are face up, entire pile is squared up for everyone else to see. If the top card of pile is a red card then it’s a natural pile, Black card for dirty pile and wild pile for joker.

Players are awarded with points depending on the degree of their melds and lose points for the cards left. The game end terminates if any team get rid of all the Hand and the Foot either by melding or discarding them. To get rid of cards, players have to do this:

1. A team must accomplish at least two Natural Melds, two wild meld and two dirty melds. (Carrying exactly 7 cards in each) .

2. A teammate must have picked “Foot” and lays some part from it.

3. A team should agree to meld all the cards. An individual player is not allowed to go out. A team can melds all their cards or melds except the last one and discards it.

Cards Points
Wild Card (Jokers) 50 points each
Deuces and Aces 20 points each
8-K (Eight up to King) 10 points each
4-7 (Four to Seven) 5 Points each
Black Threes 5 Points each

Bonus Points

Bonus Points are awarded for making entire piles and degree of hands within the pile. Teams who “Go Out” first are scoring bonus points too. If red threes are placed face up with melds, you will score +100 points but -100 points if an opponent goes out first.

Hands Bonus Points
Each Red Three 50 points each
Scoring Go Out 100 Points each
Dirty Pile of complete seven cards 300 Points each
Clean Pile of complete seven cards 500 Points each
Wild Pile of complete seven cards 1500 Points each

Round Points

There are four rounds in a game. This game is played with two variations as follows.

1st Round 50 Points
2nd Round 90 Points
3rd Round 120 Points
4th Round 150 Points
1st Round 50 Points
2nd Round 100 Points
3rd Round 150 Points
4th Round 200 Points

The Play

After the hands are dealt, player sitting left to the one who has dealt the cards starts the game in clockwise order till someone gets rid of all the Hand and the Foot. Players after having their first turn must replace any red three they hold face up with equivalent number of cards from the stock pile. Player draw card for his first turn which consist of:

1. Draw the first two cards from the top of the stock.

2. Either Meld cards or add melds to your partnership.

3. Discard the top most card from the discard pile.

You have to replace your card from the stock pile if you draw a red three.

You can draw up to seven cards from the pile but if the pile contains less than seven cards, player is permitted to take entire pile. Player cannot take more than seven cards. For replacing the card from the stock file, a player has to fulfill some requirements.

1. It should not be a three. (The topmost card of the discarded pile)

2. There should be at least two cards of the same rank a player must hold of the top card of discarded pile.

3. The top card along with the two you are holding should be promptly melded.

A player has completed his turn by drawing card from the pile and melding it by discarding a card.
If a team has not melded, then they have to meld card which fulfill the minimum meld requirements. For the first meld, it is usually 50 points.

Players can accomplish this as they wish. Whether, they meld with the top card along with two cards they hold of the same rank with the additional card to achieve the minimum count or add some cards which are wild. It is not permitted to add other six cards from the discard pile to achieve the minimum count.


Consider the 1st round is of fifty points. A player has discarded 7 sitting at your right and you are holding two 7’s and one 2. He is permitted to use his two 7’s to pick top seven cards from the pile and create dirty meld of fifty points( three 7’s and one 2). If the 2 is buried in the discarded pile, a player would not be permitted to meld as he has to hold it in Hand.

A team is not permitted to have two partial meld of same rank but they can make a new meld if they have completed a pile. A single meld must not contain more than 7 cards. For example, if you hold partial meld of six cards it is not allowed to take cards from the discard pile unless you hold cards of same rank to accomplish a seven cards pile. Once you have completed, you can make another meld of three cards of same rank. Again, another meld would be made from the hands you hold with the top card of pile and not with the cards from the discarded pile.


Suppose the discard pile has its topmost card a 7 and there is another 7 which is buried four cards down. A meld of five 7’s is on the table and player has two 7’s and one 2 in his hand. It is not permitted to take cards from the discard pile as he has already completed pile of 7’s, and player have two cards to commence a new meld of 7’s. The cards which are buried are not allowed to include in a meld until a player has made a Natural Meld.

Picking up the Foot

Team will pick their Foot as soon as they get rid of their Hand. This will happen in two ways.

1. If a team has meld all cards in their Hand and pick their Foot immediately carry on their turn and discard one card at the ending.

2. Or they have melded all their cards except one, discard that one and pick their Foot after it and commence playing when the next turn comes.

End of the Game

The game will come to an end if:

1. The player has received permission by asking for going out by melding all the cards of Foot or melding all the cards from it and discarding the last one.

2. When the Stock pile is finished and player would like to draw from it.

It has previously explained that the team should agree to Go Out (already accomplish one wild, two clean and two dirty piles) with the necessary condition that teammates have take their foot, playing at least one turn from it. Team should agree to Go Out, if any team member refuses it, a player is not permitted to leave without any cards. You have to keep at least two cards after melding while playing from foot, one to hold on hand to proceed the game and the other one to discard.
Game will come to an end soon if there are not sufficient cards from the stock and someone wants to draw cards from it. Each side will score points for the melds, no one would get bonus points and less points for the remaining cards.


1. 11 cards are dealt instead of 13 cards to both Hand and Foot.

2. Players just turn the top card face up from the dealt cards. He then chose one hand to keep as his Foot and pass it to the player sitting to his left.

3. Player currently playing his Foot can play the top discard, than they take up the entire pile instead of just drawing two cards from it. Player taking the whole pile can encounter risk of having black threes and the opponent have the opportunity to go out first.

4. Player playing his foot has the option to Pass or Float rather than discarding the last card. Now, player can avoid going out by keeping the last card. He wish to avoid discarding as it could be beneficial to opponents or too avoid breaking a pair.

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