This post is to let everyone know that the MWC is adding CANASTA to its roster of games. Like the MWC’s very popular regular MahJongg games, this is a social game which moves quickly, requires a reasonable level of engagement and offers the opportunity to spend some up-close and personal time with other MWC’ers. Low key, fast and fun – what could be better than that? If you do not know the game, the MWC is fortunate to have two very able teachers who already have MWC Canasta-school up and running – but if you already know the game, you’re welcome to play during the “lessons” but also to sign up for the #canasta channel on MWC-SLACK to find out when regular play will be soon scheduled/ structured. It will certainly be added to our very popular SECOND TUESDAYS!
Although often compared to Bridge, for people who know about these things (uh, not me…) it is actually a card game in the “rummy” family. There are many variations but typically it is played by four people in two partnerships with two decks of cards. Each partnership attempts to make groupings of seven groups of cards (“melds”) and “go out” (aka …win!) by playing all the cards in their hands. There are a bunch of rules, scorekeeping and conventions that make this challenging.
It’s funny – but Canasta came to the US from the South American ex-pat community in 1939. (American MahJongg was created by the ex-pat community in HongKong in the 1920’s. Hmmm…. seems like those ex-pats had a lot of time on their hands!) The point of Canasta was to create a time-efficient Bridge-like game. When those ex-pats started coming back to the US (and other places) the game started to become popular, initially as “Argentine Rummy.” But it really took off in the 1950’s – and when it commonly started to be referred to as Canasta is still a matter of debate!