Table of Contents
What is Hand and Foot?
Hand and Foot is a matching and melding card game that is a variation of Rummy and Canasta. Hand and Foot is typically played with four players in partnerships of two, but it can also be adapted for two to six players. The game involves skill, strategy, and a bit of luck.
Players begin with the 11 cards from their Hand, and once all Hand cards are played, players pick up and play their second set of 11 cards called their Foot. Players are looking to form melds, and on their turn, a player can play a meld face up and then their partner, the player across from them, can also play on the meld as well. A player can add more cards to their team melds until there are seven cards in the meld, called a book. Teams gain points for melds and lose points for cards left in their hand when the round is over. The goal is to be the team with the most points when the first player in out of cards.
Hand and Foot is typically played with four players in partnerships of two, but it can also be adapted for two to six players.
Hand and Foot requires 5 decks of cards with Jokers.
The goal is to form melds, 3 or more cards with the same rank, and accumulate points. The game is typically played over multiple rounds, and the team with the most points at the end of the agreed-upon number of rounds wins.
The Cards and their Values
In Hand and Foot, 3s, Deuces and Jokers are treated differently. Also, cards have assigned values that are mostly different from what is on the card.
Red 3s (a 3 of hearts or diamonds) are worth 100 points and are played individually. Anytime a player draws a red 3, the player immediately places the red 3 face up by their melds and then draws another card.
Black 3s (3s of clubs or spades) cannot be played in melds and can only be discarded. If a player discards a black 3, the next player is forced to draw 2 cards as they are blocked from taking from the discard pile.
Jokers and Deuces (2s) are used in melds, however, there must be more rank cards than wild cards.
Jokers = 50 points
Deuces = 20 Points
Aces = 20 Points
8 through K = 10 Points
4 through 7 = 5 Points
Red 3s = 100 points
Shuffle the decks of cards thoroughly. The dealer deals each player 2 set of 11 cards. This first set of 11 cards is called the “Hand”. The Hand can be picked up and examined by each player.
This second set of dealt cards is called the “Foot” and remains face down until the Hand has been played.
The dealer places the remaining cards in the middle of the table face down, forming the stock pile, and turns over the top card and discards it creating a discard pile.
If the discard is a wild (a Deuce or Joker) or a 3, then this card goes back into the pile, and another card is drawn from the top to discard.
Play begins with the player left of the dealer and continues clockwise. On each turn, players draw cards in attempt to improve their hand and make melds. A player’s turn begins by either:
- drawing two cards from the stock pile and playing meld(s) if possible
- picking up the last 7 cards from the discard pile if the top card is not a black 3. The player must have at least 2 cards in hand of the same rank at the top card and is required to make a meld with the top card. The player must play the meld in the same turn.
A player’s turn ends when the player discards a single card.
A game typically consists of 4 rounds. For each round, a player cannot play their first meld(s) until the total value of the meld(s) is at least the minimum value required for that round. The starting melds by round are:
- Round 1 - points must total at least 50 to lay down a meld(s)
- Round 2 - points must total at least 90 to lay down a meld(s)
- Round 3 - points must total at least 120 to lay down a meld(s)
- Round 4 - points must total at least 150 to lay down a meld(s)
Once a player has laid down their first meld(s), their partner is free to play and is not required to meet the minimum meld requirement for the round.
When there are seven cards in a meld, it is called a book. There are three types of books:
- A clean book is when there are no wild cards in the book, also called a red book, and is worth 500 points.
- A dirty book is when there are wild cards in the book, also called a black book and is worth 300 points.
- A wild card book is when there is any combination of only Jokers and Deuces and is worth 1,500 points.
Once a book is complete, the player moves the book to a single stack, with the top card being red if a clean book or black if a dirty book.
To finish a round for all players, one player must get at least 1 clean book, 1 dirty book, and must discard their final card from their Foot.
At the end of the round, teams calculate their scores by awarding points for:
- Wild Card Book = 1,500
- Clean Book = 500
- Dirty Book = 300
- Red 3 = 100
- Melds with less than 7 cards = calculate using Cards Values.
- The team of the player who ended the round = 100 points
And subtracting points for the cards remaining in their Hand and Foot using Cards Values.
The team with the highest score wins.