If the Stock is Empty, it's my turn, I have one card in my hand and there is one card in the discard pile, can I take it if I can add the discard pile card to an existing meld and discard my remaining card or add it to a meld also, then "Go Out", or is taking the last card in the discard pile never allowed when I have only one card in my hand? Thanks!

  • Why wouldn't you be able to draw the only card on the discard pile in that case when you can do it if the deck still has cards?
    – Joe W
    Jan 8 '19 at 17:52
  • @JoeW Because of a somewhat confusing statement in one of the rules that can sound like it's implying that it's different in this case.
    – GendoIkari
    Jan 8 '19 at 17:57

No, you cannot.

Whether the stock is exhausted or not, a player with only one card in hand cannot take a discard pile that only has one card in it.

Quoting from multiple rules since with Canasta, like many card games, certain rules can vary depending on the source.

Rule source 1:

A player with only one card left in his hand may not take the discard pile if there is only one card in it.

And they also clarify that this doesn't change when the stock is exhausted:

If the last card of the stock is not a red three, play continues as long as each player in turn takes the discard, and he must do so if it matches a meld on his side and the pack is not frozen. (The only exception is that a one-card hand may not take a one-card discard pile).

Rule source 2:

You may not take the up card if there are no other cards in the discard pile, and you have only one card in your hand.

Rule source 3:

Taking a discard pile that only contains one card is never allowed if you only have one card in your hand.

If playing Viennese Canasta, you can do this but only if you could legally go out otherwise.

A player with only one card in his hand may take a one card discard pile under the same conditions which would entitle him to take a discard pile of two or more cards. (Since the player will necessarily have no cards in hand at the end of the turn, this can only be done if the team has a canasta and is therefore entitled to go out.)

  • As a side note, I've played Canasta for years, and never noticed or knew about this rule!
    – GendoIkari
    Jan 8 '19 at 17:57
  • Interesting rule, never knew that was there.
    – Joe W
    Jan 8 '19 at 18:14
  • Thanks so much for the detailed and helpful answer. I'm a beginner and don't want to develop any bad habits while I'm learning. Thanks again! Jan 9 '19 at 20:26
  • So if the stock is exhausted, I have one card in my hand and there is one card in the discard pile, can I go out if I can meld my card? If I can't meld my card, does play end at that point with no one going out? Thanks! Jan 9 '19 at 20:30
  • If the stock is exhausted, and you cannot pick up the discard pile (possibly because it only has 1 card, and you only have 1 card in hand; possibly just because you can't use the top card), then the round ends immediately with no one going out.
    – GendoIkari
    Jan 9 '19 at 20:53

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