How To Play Hand And Foot Card Game

hand and foot card game

Hand and foot card game is more related to Canasta, but with slight differences that make it unique. Note that there is a wide variety of Hand and Foot rules published on various sites on the internet.

In this game, each player is served with 2 sets of cards: the hand, which must be used first, and the foot that is only used once the hand has been depleted.

There is a wide range of ways to play this game and it does not have any standard rules. We have discussed more details about the game below.

Deal, Cards, and Players

While playing the game, an extra deck of cards is used over the number of players. For instance, four decks will be used if there are three players.

Once they are properly shuffled, the first player to start is picked through high card selection. The other participants will deal two face-down with stacks of eleven each.

Out of the two stacks, one becomes the foot, while the other is the hand. The stock is placed on the table, and it comprises of the untouched cards. These are the basic hand and foot card game rules.

Next steps in the game

The first card of the stock will not be placed face-up and must be placed close to it to begin a discard stack. The foot piles are put aside, facing down, and the participants must not see or touch them until they are done using the hand cards.

Each participant draws their hands. The play begins after the first round with the participant that picked the most cards. That player will pick two cards from the stock and finish their round by placing one card on the discard stack.

A whole game comprises of a total of four rounds.

What is the goal of the game?

The main aim of this game is to remove all cards from your foot and in your hands through melding. A meld is comprised of a set of between three and seven cards placed while facing up.

Note that a collection will never have below three cards and cannot exceed seven cards. Each individual player must have a meld. Once a collection of three cards has been commenced, a player can add more until there is a total of seven, to make a book.

Players are free to make a collection of any rank.

More About Melding

jokers in hand and foot card game

Three cards have specific uses and you can not meld them in the usual way. In the game, jokers and twos are considered “wild cards” that can only be used as alternatives in collections as long as you have at least one more real card.

To be precise, a meld with two natural cards can only have a maximum of one wild card, while one with three natural cards must only have a maximum of one wild card. Once a meld has attained a maximum of up to seven cards, it is considered complete and is referred to as a book.

The Red Threes

The red threes can be placed on a separate pile, but this can only be done after the initial meld has been played. The red three can never be used for counts to attain the recommended 50, 90, 120, or 150 previous meld.

The red three will give you 100 if placed down and less 500 points if in your hands or foot when someone goes out. Therefore, to win the game, you need to ensure that the house rules are well understood and adhered to at all times to enhance the chances of winning.

End of Hand

The game is set to end once one of the players has removed all the cards in their hands and foot by discarding or melding them. The process can be referred to as”going out.”

At the end of the play, you score points for the cards you have managed to meld and lose some for the cards you have left in your hand and foot. Note that individual cards have values, so you have to be sure to play smart.

The game also has some bonus points to be earned, but they have conditions.

Once the stock is depleted, the game will be over if someone wants to draw more cards from there, but there is nothing left. You can modify this game and come up with unique rules to make it more enjoyable when you play with your friends.

However, some rules cannot be changed since they define the game and make it different from the rest. Hand and foot card game has been providing entertainment to people for decades and can be played by individuals of all ages, so grab a few packs of cards and give it a go.


How many decks of cards do you use in Hand and Foot card game?

Usually you use 5 or no 6 decks and the game is played by around 2 – 6 persons.

Is Canasta the same as Hand and Foot card game?

The Hand and Food card game is North American and is related to Canasta.

How do you play Hand and Food with two players?

The player behind picks the first hand and starts playing. Both players play their Hand until it’s exhausted and then pick up the Foot and continues playing until that one is exchausted or the deck runs out of cards.

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