Game Rules Idaho Good Sam Organization


Hand and Foot is a game related to Canasta. Each player is dealt two sets of cards, the hand (which is played first) and the foot (which is played when the hand is exhausted). There are numerous variations of this game and no standard rules. The game described here is for four players in partnership. It can also be played by six in two teams of three, or by any number of people playing as individuals. Additional decks must be added for additional players = to number of players plus one deck.

Players, Cards, Deal

Partners sit kitty-corner or every other person. Five decks of cards are used, including two jokers per deck (270 cards). The cards should be thoroughly shuffled and stacked in two piles in the middle of the playing surface, leaving room for the discard pile.

Choose which partner will play first. That player removes a small stack of cards from the top of the stack and deals two piles of 11 cards each. The left pile passes to the left to be played by an opposing team member as their hand, the other pile is set aside to be played as the first player's foot. Each player does the same in turn with play passing clockwise from the first player. If any player cuts exactly 22 cards from the stack, that player's team earns 100 points. Each player sets his foot aside- face down, without looking at them. The hand is arranged and play begins by the player chosen to play first.

The Object of the Game: Melds, Going Out

The object of the game is to play all the cards in your hand and then your foot, forming a required number of books and going out before the other team. The team going out first earns an extra 100 points.

A Meld is a set of from three to seven cards of equal rank placed face up on the table. Melds belong to the partnership, not the individual. After a Meld is started, either partner can add to it to form a book of seven. Any cards except the threes (3s), jokers and two (2s) can be melded. Jokers and twos are wild cards and cannot be used as books on their own. A discarded two or joker freezes the discard pile so that it cannot be picked up by an opponent. Threes are discard cards only and also freeze the discard pile.

Wild cards can be used to substitute for any other card but cannot be used if they equal or outnumber the original card for which they are being substituted. Example: Two queens and one wild card can be used for three queens. Two wild cards and two queens cannot be used as the number of wild cards equal the number of queens. Only a total of three wild cards can be used to form a book and wild cards cannot be added to a book that has been completed.

An initial Meld must include a minimum of one "Clean" book and one "Dirty" book. This means that one Clean book must contain only the original cards - no wild cards. The Dirty book must contain at least one wild card. Additional books may be started at the time of the initial Meld with either Clean or Dirty books.

  • An initial Meld in the first Round/Hand must contain a minimum total of 50 points.
  • An initial Meld in the Second Round/Hand must contain a minimum total of 90 points.
  • An initial Meld in the Third Round/Hand must contain a minimum total of 120 points.
  • An initial Meld in the Fourth and Last Round/Hand must contain a minimum total of 150 points.

One partner keeps the "books" and tends them during the game, the other partner keeps the completed books and tends them during the game. It is best to have opponents on opposite sides of the table keeping books. A hint to make it easier - place a black original card crosswise at the top of the book as it lays on the table to indicate a Dirty book, a red one to indicate a Clean book when it has reached a count of six cards. This indicates that there is only one card needed to complete the book and also indicates a Clean or Dirty book (Books earn points based on whether they are Clean or Dirty for the final count). You score points for cards you have played and lose points for cards left in your hand at the end of the round.

A book is complete when it contains seven (7) original cards for a Clean book, or seven (7) cards consisting of a mixture of original and wild cards, but not to exceed three wild cards, for a Dirty book. A team cannot have two books of the same kind on the table in play at the same time. A book must be completed before another of the same original is started.

A round (or hand) of play is completed when one team achieves a minimum of three (3) Clean books and four(4) Dirty books and has played all of the cards in the hand of the partner going out and the other partner has picked up his foot and played at least one turn from it. The partner going out must ask the other partner for permission to go out. If the other partner agrees, you must be able to play the rest of the cards in your hand. You can use the last card for a discard but you are not required to have a discard. If the other partner says no, you cannot go out on that turn.

The Play:

Each player takes two cards from the stacks in the middle of the table to begin his turn, or lays down two original cards from his hand that matches the top card on the discard pile. The Player then takes the top three cards from the discard pile and lays the top card and the two on display on the table as part of a book being played or to start a new book. Only the top card from the discard pile can be counted toward an initial meld.

The player may add to books in play on the table, complete books on the table or start new books on the table. Additional cards may be added to completed books, but not wild cards.

After the player's turn is complete and all cards are played that the player wishes to play, he discards one card and play then passes to the left. If a player has not played his foot and all of the cards in his hand will play without a discard, he may play all of the cards in his hand and then pick up his foot and continue playing. At least one card must be held in a player's hand prior to going out. If necessary, the discard pile may be shuffled and replayed.

The End Of The Round/Hand:

A Round/Hand is ended when -

  • a player goes out, having asked the partner for permission and received agreement.
  • that player has played his hand and foot and can discard or play his last card.
  • the team has accumulated the minimum or more books required, three Clean books and four Dirty books.
  • the other partner has picked up his foot and played at least one turn from it.

When the Round/Hand is ended, the book values are counted and recorded on the score sheet, any cards left in the partner's hand are counted and deducted from cards on the table in play or from cards in the books. If one or both partners on the opposing team have not played their foot when an opponent goes out, the partners count both the cards in their unplayed foot and cards in their hand and deduct them from the cards in play or cards in their books.

All cards remaining, those in play on the table and those in books are then counted according to their values and recorded on the score sheet.

Card Values:

Each completed Clean book500 points
Each completed Dirty book300 points
Going Out100 points
Jokers50 points
Twos and Aces20 points
Eights through Kings 10 points
Four through Sevens 5 points
Black Threes5 pointsagainst the player
Red Threes100 pointsagainst the player

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