Canasta - Rules For Original Canasta - The Play - Initial Melds

Initial Melds

When a player/team has not yet made any melds in a hand, that player must meet an additional point score requirement to make their first meld(s). The sum of the values of the cards played in the player's turn must equal or exceed the minimum initial meld requirement according to the player/team's total score:

Team score Minimum initial meld
Negative 15
0–1495 50
1500–2995 90
3000 and above 120

Example: If a player/team has a score of 1,600 and has not yet made any melds in a hand, an initial meld of 6-6-6, K-K-K-2 cannot be made as it scores only 65 points and the requirement is 90. A meld of 6-6-6, A-A-A-2 would score 95 points and can be played. Note that both initial melds can be played if the team's total score is below 1500, and that neither can be played if the team's total score is 3000 or higher.

Read more about this topic:  Canasta, Rules For Original Canasta, The Play

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