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Some friends of ours taught us "Hand and Foot" but I have never seen any official rules for it. What I have seen varies from site to site quite a bit. I am curious if someone could tell me the history of Hand and Foot and if there are some official rules, or at least a recommended set of rules.

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I'll be interested to see if anyone has answers for you. My family converted from Canasta to Hand and Foot about 10 years ago, but even they play a couple different versions. Me? I still prefer Canasta :( –  Pat Ludwig May 13 '11 at 12:29
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Try http://www.hand8foot.com/rulesandscoring/ , might be helpful for you

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those rules are not the ones I've encountered... any of the three variants... which said, boil down to number of needed canastas (always 5; v1 2clean 2 dirty; v2: 3 clean 2 dirty; v3 2 clean 3 dirty), and always black 3's are worthless, and red ones cost a clean canasta each if caught in hand; you can never pick up a black three from the discard, nor any thing below it, and you draw 3 cards, not two, total from discards and deck, and declare which before drawing. –  aramis May 14 '11 at 18:01
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Hand and foot, being subject mostly to oral transmission in a predominantly written culture, has suffered memory errors galore. Since it's origin is clouded by oral transmission, an "official" set of rules is a practical impossibility.

The basic idea is that it's "Tripled deck Canasta", and that you have the hand and the foot, you play from the hand until it's out, then play your foot until it's out. Where the original rules are, I've not seen. I know I've encountered three very similar versions, and Raja's post lead to a fourth, significantly different, version.

The important element is only to be clear in your play group what the rules are when you as a group play.

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