Bill's Hand and Foot Playing Instructions and Rules
Bill's Hand and Foot Card Game: Playing Instructions and Rules
According to https://bicyclecards.com/how-to-play/hand-and-foot/ "Hand and Foot is a variation of Canasta that became popular in the United States in the 1950s". You can read the rules for the classic version of the game at their website. This game is a variation of the classic game.
TEAMS 2 or 3 people play as individuals. 4 or 6 people play as either teams of 2 people or 3 people. For simplicity the rest of this document will refer to teams. If playing with 2 or 3 people, then each player is their own team.
THE DRAW PILE The game uses multiple sets of standard decks (2's thru Ace's plus Jokers). The number of decks is initially set at 1 more then the number of players.
THE DEAL Each player is dealt two sets of 11 cards each. One of them is their "hand", and the other becomes their "foot". They first play all cards from their hand, then they play all cards from their foot. One card is dealt to the DISCARD PILE. The remaining cards are placed in the DRAW PILE.
Many card games consist of "Sets" and "Runs". Sets are normally 3 or more cards with the same face value (all 4's or all 10's, etc). Runs are normally 4 or more cards in sequence (4-5-6-7, 10-J-Q-K, etc). Hand and Foot uses Sets (referred to as books, but it does NOT use Runs.
A minimum of 3 cards are required to start a new book.
Wilds can be used, but the number of wilds must be less than the number of clean/natural cards.
The total number of wilds can never exeed 3.
Any book with less then 7 cards in it is considered to be an OPEN book.
Additional cards (including wilds) can be added to an OPEN book.
Once the total number of cards in an OPEN book reaches 7 the book is considered to be a CLOSED book.
If a CLOSED book contains all natural cards (cards with the same face value), then that book is considered to be a CLEAN book.
If the CLOSED book contains any wilds, then that book is considered to be a DIRTY (or polluted) book.
Additional wild cards can be added to an OPEN book (subject to maximum number of wild cards allowed).
Wild cards can never be added to a CLOSED book.
Additional non-wild cards (4's thru Ace's) can be added to either OPEN or CLOSED books (of same face value).
Once an OPEN book has been closed, a new OPEN book for that face value may be started by adding 3 cards at the same time.
The game allows up to 3 books for any face value.
The team that has the highest score is the winner.
A Round ends when a player "goes out" (plays all their cards - first their "hand", and then their "foot").
Their final card must be discarded.
In order to go out a player must have played all cards in their hand and foot, must discard their final card, and their team must meet the going out requirements set by the Table Host - see HOUSE RULES).
See Red 3's and Black3's section under House Rules.
4's thru 7's are 5 points
8's thru King's are 10 points
Ace's are 20 points
2's are 20 points (and they are Wild)
Joker's are 50 points (and they are Wild)
There are 5 Rounds (50, 90, 120, 150, and 200).
The Round identifies the minimum number of points which must be melded (or played) in order to go down.
A 200 point Round is called a "tail", and it has special rules which are addressed at the end of this document.
HOUSE RULES (Set by Table Host)
Are we playing a single round or a series.
A series is two to five rounds of some combination of 50, 90, 120, 150, or 200 point Rounds.
Which Player will start. If playing a series then the next round will be started by the next player in line.
How many cards (2 or 3) will be drawn from the DRAW PILE each turn.
How many cards (2-9) will be drawn from the DISCARD PILE is playe is "taking the pile".
Whether or not a wild card can be used to pick up the Discard Pile.
How many Jokers (2 or 4) will be included in each deck.
Does the entire team need be in their final hand (foot or tail) to go out.
How many total closed books must a team have in order to go out, and what is the minimum number of closed Clean and Dirty books required for a team to go out.
How Red 3's and Black 3's will be handled.
Red 3's and Black 3's Hosts choose one of 3 options how Red 3's are handled:
1) Red 3's are "penalty" cards. Each Red 3 left in your hand/foot/tail when someone goes out carries a 500 point penalty.
2) Red 3's are "penalty" cards. Each Red 3 left in your hand/foot/tail when someone goes out carries a 300 point penalty.
3) Red 3's are "bonus" cards. At the start of play they may be exchanged for another card. Each Red 3 exchanged earns the team a 100 point bonus. Each Red 3 left in your hand/foot/tail when someone goes out carries a 100 point penalty.
Hosts choose one of 2 options how how Black 3's are handled:
1) Black 3's are "penalty" cards. Black 3's have no value. They carry no penalty.
2) Black 3's are "penalty" cards. Each Black 3 left in your hand/foot/tail when someone goes out carries a 5 point penalty.
THE PLAY Each player takes a turn. A turn has 3 phases:
DRAW - BEGIN TURN BY ADDING CARDS TO YOUR HAND
They start their turn by either drawing cards from the DRAW PILE or by taking cards from the DISCARD PILE. The actual number of cards drawn or taken is set by Host.
In order for a player to take cards from the DISCARD PILE their team must already be "down" and they must have two cards in their hand that match the top card in the DISCARD PILE. (See House Rules above for whether or not a wild card can be used along with a single matching card).
Sorry - you can not pick up the top cards from the DISCARD PILE if the top card is a 3 or a Wild.
PLAY - GAIN POINTS BY PLAYING CARDS FROM YOUR HAND ONTO YOUR TEAM'S BOOKS
If the team is not down yet, then the initial play must meet/satisfy the minimum points identified by the Round. For example, if you were playing a 90 point Round, then you could play two Aces and a Joker (total 90 points). If you were playing a 120 point Round, then you could play 3 Kings (30 points) followed by 2 Aces and a Joker (90 points).
Once the minimum going down points have been satisfied a player can start new books (minimum of 3 cards to start a new book), add cards to existing books, or hold the rest of their cards and end their turn with a discard.
If they play all the cards in their hand, then they will pick up their foot and begin playing it.
You can not play on another team's books.
DISCARD - END TURN BY REMOVING 1 CARD FROM YOUR HAND
A player's turn ends when they discard a single card to the DISCARD PILE.
If that was the final card in their hand, then they will pick up their foot - which they will be able to see, but will not be able to play until their next turn.
The Round ends when a player discards the final card in their foot/tail. But they can not do that unless their team has satisfied all the going out requirements (see THE GOAL and HOUSE RULES above).
The team that went out will receive a 100 point bonus for going out.
Each team will receive 100 points for every red three that was exchanged for a new card IF THE HOST CHOOSES THIS OPTION.
Each team will receive 500 points for every CLOSED CLEAN book and 300 points for every CLOSED DIRTY BOOK.
Each team will then receive points for all cards played on their books (open or closed). The point values are described above in CARD VALUES.
Finally, each team will be penalized the point values for any cards remaining in their hand or foot (cards that were not played).
The 200 Round starts off like a normal game.
There are 11 cards dealt to your hand and to your foot.
In addition, each player will have a "Tail" to play. Each time the player draws new cards from the Draw pile (or takes cards from the discard pile) they will also add an extra card to their tail.
ex: If they normally draw 2 cards from the draw pile, then a 3rd card will be placed in their tail.
ex: If they normally draw 3 cards from the draw pile, then a 4th card will be added to their tail.
ex: If they take the top 7 cards from the discard pile,then the 8th card will automatically be added to their tail.
After they have played all cards from their hand and from their foot they will then play the cards from their tail.
While they are playing their tail they will still be drawing that extra card.