Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fun Hand and Foot Card Game Directions With Pictures!!

Looking for a fun card game to play? I've got just the one for you to try. It's called Hand and Foot. Some of you may have heard of the board game, canasta rules spin-off or online version - this may be similar but we have perfected it - lol! This game can be played with 2 or more players - we usually play with 4. Now I have to warn you, it seems difficult at first but once you play a game or two it's super easy and super fun!

What You'll Need for 4 Players:

Paper and Pen - to keep score
4 Decks of regular playing cards, jokers included!

Optional Needs for 4 Players:
Healthy snacks to munch on as you’re playing - nothing sticky; you don't want your cards sticking together!
Music playing in the background for ambience

Set Up:

Have the 4 players sit down at the table 2 on one side 2 on the other :: Now the person crisscrossed from you at the table will be your card Partner - so make sure you choose your spots at the table carefully!

Divide your score keeping paper in half and pick your team names. We always use the shirts we are using, like if I am wearing a t-shirt that says shark bait and my partner is wearing a buffalo chicken t-shirt we would name our team 'Chicken Bait' or 'Buffalo Sharks' or some other variation. Put the team names at the top of their perspective columns.

On the left hand side of your paper put a 1 with a circle around it and the number 60. This indicates that you are on round 1 and the point value needed to go down for round 1. After each round you will change this to read as whatever round you are on ie; round 2 would have a 2 circled with the number 90 next to it.

Shuffle your 4 decks - including the jokers - all together really well. Once they are all shuffled each person needs to deal 2 stacks of 11 cards in front of themselves and put all the rest of the cards in the middle of the table in a big stack.

Then take the 2 stacks of 11 and give them to the person on your left. Those will become their hand and foot. Of the 2 stacks you receive, one stack is going to be for your hand and one for your foot. Without looking at the cards in each stack pick one and set the other one off to your left. The one you choose will be your hand and you will start with that stack.

Pick one person to be first and put thier first initial next to your circled 1 and number 60. This helps you keep track of who went first and who goes first next round. Once you pick that initial person to go first the next 'first person' will be to their left. (clockwise)

Now you’re ready to start the game!

First let’s go over the objective and points then we will get into the game play.


Be the team with the most points after 6 rounds of play.

A round begins with the dealing of the cards and ends when one person plays all his cards (hand and foot). Each round gets more difficult as you progress. In order for you to lay out in the first round you have to have at least 60 points worth of cards i.e.; 3 Aces or 2 Aces and a wild

Round Lay Down Points:

Round 1 = 60 points
Round 2 = 90 points
Round 3 = 120 points
Round 4 = 150 points
Round 5 = 180 points
Round 6 = 210 points


2 cards are wild (they become whatever you need them to be EXCEPT 3's) = 20 points each
4 - 9 cards = 5 points each
10 - K cards = 10 points each
Aces = 20 points each
Jokers are wild (they become whatever you need them to be EXCEPT 3's) = 50 points each
Black Sets = 300 points
Red Sets = 500 points
Black 3's = 0 points (they are worth nothing, they do not take away points or add)
Red 3's = 300 negative points (you don't want to have one of these at the end of a round!)

Red Sets:

To make a Red Set, you must have at least 7 of the same number i.e.; 7 Aces (color and suit do not matter). Once you have at least 7, close up that line-up and place a RED Ace on the top. You or your partner can always add more Aces to the pile under the red one.

Black Sets:

To make a Black Set, you must have at least 7 of the same number using the wild 2's and/or the joker cards. You must have more 'naturals' than wilds in your set though i.e.; max number of wilds to make a set would be 3 with 4 same numbered cards. Once a set has been made and closed with a card on the top you can only put cards that match the set in that pile.

Partners may play on each other’s boards to complete sets.

Partners may NOT have the same card numbers on their board as their partner has on theirs i.e.; if partner A has Queens laid down partner B cannot lay Queens down on their own board, any Queens partner B has, has to go to partner A.

Game Play:

The first player picks up 2 cards from the middle of the deck and puts them in their hand. Then they must decide what to keep and what to discard. You discard 1 card at a time. You must always have a discard unless you are 'going out' - winning a round. In that case you may play your last card onto yours or your partners’ board. After you discard the play then moves on to the person to your left.

In the first round you must have at least 60 points to lay down on your board. This can be accomplished simply - like with 3 Aces - or it could be something like 4 nines, 4 sixes and 4 twos, or any combination of point cards that equal 60. Strategy Hint: You don't want to lay too many different things down before your partner does especially if they haven't gotten down yet. It makes it harder for them and takes longer to save up enough points. Remember they can't lay down the same numbers as you. After your down you have to wait till your next turn to play on your partners’ board.

After the Discard pile has 5 or more cards in it you may start to take cards from the discard pile. You have to take the top 5 cards and you have to be able to use the very top card from the pile. For example say the person before you discards a 6 and you want it, you pick up the 6 AND the next 4 cards from the pile. You have to play the 6 on your or your partners’ board before the end of your turn. The extra 4 cards you took can be played on either board or kept in your hand, and then you discard 1 as usual. *You may not pick up the pile if a 3 is on the top of the discard pile! 3's cannot be made into sets or placed on your boards!! Do not collect them! Discard red 3's as soon as possible, they are negative points!!

During game play you are working towards getting all your cards down on either your board or your partners. Once you play your whole hand you can then pick up your foot. If you discard the last card in your hand you cannot play from your foot until your next turn, if you play your last hand card on your or your partners’ boards you may start playing from your foot right away. Your turn does not end till you discard or play the last card you have from your foot.

Doing it this way will allow you to 'set' the other team. You could get through your hand and foot pretty quickly and go out leaving the other team with them not having been able to play from their foot. This is great for you because any cards left from their hand and foot are negative points for them.

*You may not want to go out if your partner still has a lot of cards still. I would not recommend going out if your partner has not either started their board or played from their foot still. Also you must ask permission to go out from your partner. You never know if they might have a red 3 or two in their hand still. This does not mean table talk!! Your partner should not know what you have in your hand and vice versa. You cannot ask if they are saving Aces for example because you want to lay them down on your board. They can only respond with answers like 'yes you can go out' or 'not yet'.

As you are playing you need to keep track of your board. Once you hit 7 cards of the same you must pull it into a set. A Black set has some combination of jokers and face cards. If you have this type put the cards in a pile with a black card of your number on top. You may still add as many more cards of that number as you can get, just put them under the top card. For example if I had 5 Aces and 2 wilds, I would pull them into a stack with a black Ace on top and every Ace me, or my partner, got would go in that pile but under the top card. At this point you can no longer put wilds in that set. There is a maximum of 3 wilds for each black set on your boards.

Try not to ever discard a wild!! If you have to discard something discard a play card that plays on your partners’ board! As the rounds get harder you will find that when your partner goes down before you, you have to save those play cards for his board but still save others to make the point mark so you can go down!

All rounds are played in the same manner; the only thing that changes is the point value to get down on your board.

At the end of each round you first add up any sets you and your partner have and put that number on the score board - so if you end the round with 3 black sets and 1 red set you would have a total of 1400 points). Then you take any remaining cards you and your partner have and subtract that from the cards on your boards. After that you take all the cards left remaining on your and your partners boards and add them together (including all the cards in your sets! Those are points as sets and as regular card points! For example the 3 black sets from above were Aces, 4's and 7's - each with 1 wild and only 7 cards - you would have 240 points there). Put the card total under your set total and add the 2 numbers together. That is your score for that round!

Reshuffle and deal again to begin the next round. At the end of all 6 rounds whichever team has the most points is the winner!

Like I said, it seems pretty complicated but once you start playing it is a blast! Gameplay gets much easier after you play a time or two!

I would LOVE to know what you think of this game! Did you try it? Did you love it? Did you find the directions above confusing? Have you played this game with different rules? If so what was the difference? What were some of the team names you came up with and how did you come up with them?

***Disclaimer*** These are NOT the official Hand and Foot rules. This post is directions for how me and my friends play! It is just for fun.


  1. Looks like a fun game! gonna try it this weekend, thank you so much for the post!

  2. Me & my friends play where you have to get 2 red books 2 black books & 1 book of 7's. The book of 7's can be clean or dirty, red or black. It takes more decks of cards, we play 3or4 decks to every person added over 2. Ex. 3 players, 5 decks, 4 players, 6 decks Or you can just add as many decks as you want. You may think this is easier to make your books but I tell you, Not so. The more cards, the other players will be laying cards down in their own books, therefore discarding less likely of what you are trying to get yourself. WAY more challenging & fun. A MUST TRY!!