In canasta. Can you meld three wild cards and two jacks to pick up a jack on the discard pile?


Yes, assuming that your total point value of the meld meets your minimum. From various sites that gives rules for Canasta:

A meld must contain at least two natural cards and not more than three wild cards.

Your meld would have 3 naturals along with 3 wilds, which meets both criteria.

It does not matter what the meld looks like not including the top of the discard. The top card of the discard is part of the meld, so you include that when seeing if the meld is legal. This is true both for determining if the meld meets the minimum points and if the meld has enough naturals.

  • I wasn't sure if laying down more wild cards than natural cards before you picked up the pile was a problem since there's a rule against having more wild than natural cards in a meld. None of the rules I saw clarified whether this particular scenario would be acceptable – Bobbie Jan 26 '16 at 0:01
  • @Bobbie I also thought that there was a rule against having more wilds than naturals, but I couldn't find such a rule; perhaps it's a common house rule. But either way, the meld includes the card from the top of the discard, which is why you can pick it up with nothing but 2 matching cards in your hand (even though that wouldn't be legal unless you include the card from the top of the discard). So it doesn't matter what the Meld looks like before you include the top of the discard. – GendoIkari Jan 26 '16 at 4:07
  • I've updated my answer to include that last bit. – GendoIkari Jan 26 '16 at 4:09

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