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Canasta (Spanish for "basket"; pronounced /kəˈnæstə/ in English) is a card game of the rummy family of games believed to be a variant of 500 Rum. Although many variations exist for 2, 3, 5 or 6 players, it is most commonly played by four in two partnerships with two standard decks of cards. Players attempt to make melds of 7 cards of the same rank and "go out" by playing all cards in their hand. It is the only partnership member of the family of Rummy games to achieve the status of a classic.

The game of Canasta was devised by attorney Segundo Santos and architect Alberto Serrato in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1939.[1] In the 1940s the game quickly spread in a myriad of variations to Chile, Peru, Brazil and Argentina,[1] where its rules were further refined[2] before being introduced to the United States in 1948, where it was then referred to as the Argentine Rummy game by Ottilie H. Reilly in 1949 and Michael Scully of Coronet Magazine in 1953.[3] The game quickly became a card-craze boom in the 1950s[4] providing a sales avalanche of card sets, card trays and books about the subject.[5]


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