I understand that you can pick up the top discard (and then the whole discard pile) if the pile is not frozen, and the top card matches a meld you have on the table.

I have some friends who play that you cannot do this if the meld is already a canasta. That makes a matching card a much safer discard - the opponent could conceivably still take the pile with matching cards from their hand, but if they already have a canasta of the same cards on the table, this is much less likely.

Any opinions, or definitive rules on this?


Yes, you can add to a Canasta just like you can add to any other meld.


Additional cards may be added to a canasta to score their point values, but these do not affect the bonus - except that a wild card added to a natural canasta reduces it to a mixed canasta.

Other rules sources aren't as straight-forwardly clear on that point, but they say you can add to a meld on the table, and a Canasta is defined as a meld of 7 or more cards.

  • Thanks. And thanks for posting the source of your answer - can I ask where that comes from? I'd like to read the whole thing. Jul 5 '18 at 9:23
  • 1
    The word “source” is a link to the page. :)
    – GendoIkari
    Jul 5 '18 at 13:05
  • @RichardPrestage another resource is pagat.com/rummy/canasta.html Jul 5 '18 at 23:13

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