A Comprehensive Overview of the Rules for Playing Hand and Foot

Hand and Foot is a popular card game that has gained a significant following over the years. It is a variation of Canasta, and while the basic gameplay remains the same, there are some distinct rules that set it apart. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the rules for playing Hand and Foot.

Understanding the Basics

Hand and Foot is typically played with four to six players, divided into teams of two. The game requires multiple decks of standard playing cards, including jokers. Each player is dealt two separate hands – a “hand” and a “foot.” The hand consists of 11 cards, while the foot consists of 22 cards.

Building Melds

The objective in Hand and Foot is to create melds – combinations of three or more cards of the same rank. Melds can be either sets (cards of the same rank) or runs (consecutive cards in the same suit). A minimum point requirement must be met before players can start building their melds.

To begin building melds, players must first lay down their initial meld. This can only be done once they have met or exceeded a predetermined point threshold. After laying down their initial meld, players can continue to build on existing melds or create new ones by adding cards from their hand or foot.

Wild Cards

Wild cards play a crucial role in Hand and Foot as they allow players to complete melds that would otherwise be impossible. Jokers are considered wild cards and can substitute any card in a set or run. However, they cannot be used consecutively in runs – at least one non-wild card must separate them.

In addition to jokers, deuces (2’s) also serve as wild cards. Unlike jokers, deuces can only be used in sets and not in runs. They can substitute any card of any rank.

Red Threes and Bonus Points

Red threes are special cards in Hand and Foot that carry bonus points. At the start of the game, each player receives four red threes, which must be set aside face-up on the table. Red threes cannot be used to build melds.

At the end of each round, bonus points are awarded for red threes, completed canastas (melds with seven or more cards), and going out (emptying your hand and foot). Players should keep track of these bonus points as they can significantly impact final scores.


Hand and Foot is an engaging card game that requires strategic thinking and teamwork. By understanding the basics, building melds, utilizing wild cards effectively, and capitalizing on bonus points, you can improve your chances of winning. So gather your friends or family members and enjoy a fun-filled game of Hand and Foot.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.