The truth is that most people think that the Canasta game that they are playing is actually Classic Canasta when, in fact, it is Modern American Canasta.
Let us think about the rules that are associated with this canasta variations so that you would know exactly what you are playing. Even if you do not play Modern American Canasta you might find this game to be highly attractive.
In modern American canasta we always have 4 players that are divided in two teams. The members of each team are to be seated facing each other. While the target score that has to be reached by a team might vary, in most situations it will be 8500. When playing Modern American Canasta you will use 4 jokers and 2 regular decks of cards.
At the start of each turn players receive 13 cards each. The other cards are going to be placed in the middle of a table, faced down and will make up a drawing pile except for 7 cards, which are going to be arranged in 2 piles, one of 4 cards and one of 3 cards. The extra piles are bonus piles. At the beginning of the game there will not be a discard.
A natural meld has to include 7 cards tops and 3 cards minimum. There is the possibility of using wild cards although players are just allowed to use a maximum of 2 in a single meld. A canasta must thus have 5 natural cards minimum. Regular melds need 2 natural cards in order to be placed on the table.
You can never use a wild card in the event that you are melding a set of 7s. The team that melds sevens will gain a bonus. Also, when the meld is not completed they are to be faced with a penalty. Melds that are made out of aces will only be allowed to be formed with the use of wild cards when we are seeing the first meld done by a team. You can never have 2 melds that show the same card values.
Turns start with a draw that comes from the discard pile or by taking up all cards that are placed in the discard pile. The end of the turn will come when you discard a card. Keep in mind that you will only be allowed to pick up the discard pile in the event that you will use 2 natural cards of the exact same value as card number one in the pile. You are then forced to create a new meld with the use of those cards and the one that was on top of the pile.
Another interesting rule in Modern American Canasta stands in the fact that you need to have a minimum of 2 complete canasta if you want to go out. Also, you will need to get rid of all cards except one when doing so. The last card is always discarded. Besides the rules mentioned above all the other rules are identical to classic canasta, thus known by most canasta players. Choose your game based on what attracts you more.