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Game Type:
Age: Teens, Adults
Players: 4
Deck: Three Standard, Jumbo index 52 card deck including Jokers

As with the original Canasta game, Samba became a fad for a number of years. Its big novelty is that three packs of cards are used; when the game's popularity was at its height, a number of card manufacturers sold triple decks of cards in one package expressly for playing Samba.

Number of Players. Four people play in two partnerships as in Canasta.

The Pack. Three standard 52-card packs plus six jokers for a total of 162 cards.

The Deal. The dealer distributes 15 cards to each player. When drawing from the stock, a player takes two cards and discards one. The discard pile may be taken only with a natural matching pair or, when it is not frozen,the top card can be added to a meld that is less than a canasta (including a "sequence meld" see next section). The top card may not be taken to start a sequence meld or combine with a card from the hand in adding to a sequence meld.

Sequence Meld. Three or more cards of the same suit in sequence (ace high, four low) may be melded. Cards may be added until there are seven cards, at which point the meld becomes a "samba," or sequence canasta, ranking as a canasta but receiving a bonus of 1,500.

Wild Cards. Wild cards may not be melded separately, and no regular meld may contain more than two wild cards, and no sequence meld may contain any wild card.

Canastas. A side needs two canastas (mixed, natural, or samba) to go out. A side may have two canastas in the same rank and may combine its melds in the same rank at any time.

Scoring. Initial meld requirements are as follows: 15 with a minus score; 50 with a score of 0 to 1,495; 90 with 1,500 to 2,995; 120 with 3,000 to 6,995; 160 over 7,000. Game is 10,000, and there is a 200-point bonus for going out. No bonus is awarded for a concealed hand. Red threes are 100 each unless one side holds all six, in which case they count 1,000 for all, plus or minus. (Red threes count 100 minus against a side that has not completed two canastas.)