How to Play Hand and Foot Card Game? – Objective, Rules, and the Play

How to Play Hand and Foot Card Game? – Objective, Rules, and the Play

Looking for an interesting card game for friends or a family get together? If yes, then a hand and foot card game is the best choice for you. We all love playing cards during vacations, free times, or family gatherings as they are fun and never fails to entertain. Here is an article all about hand and foot card game so that you can enjoy them with your friends and family.

How to Play Hand and Foot Card Game?

One best thing about card games is that they can provide you hours of entertainment. They are perfect and offer some best ways to have fun with family and friends. Hand and foot card game is one of the best fun card games. Continue reading the article to find out about hand and foot card game rules. 

The Pack

To play a hand and foot game, you need five to six decks of cards that have Jokers. 

Object of the Game

In order to understand how to play hand and foot card game rules, it is better to understand the object of the game. The main object of the game is to get rid of all your cards, first ‘hand’ and then ‘foot’ by melding them. 

Card Values

Here is the scoring of the hand and foot card game. 

  • Jokers (Wild Cards) – 50 points
  • Aces – 20 points
  • Deuces (Wild Cards) – 20 points
  • Eight through Kings – 10 points
  • Three though Sevens – 5 points 

Pile Values

  • Read Pile – 500 points
  • Black Pile – 300 points 
  • The player who goes out gets 100 points as a bonus
  • Black three hold minus 5 points, and red threes hold minus 500 points.

What is Meld?

Meld is a set of three to seven cards that are of equal rank. They are placed on the table.

  • A meld should not have less than three cards.
  • Melds are of partnership, and they do not belong to individual players. 
  • After starting the meld, each partner is allowed to play further cards on melds of any partner until there are seven. After that, it becomes a “closed pile.”
  • A meld should not have more than seven cards. 
  • After completing a pile, you can begin another meld belonging to the same rank. 
  • You are allowed to meld cards belonging to any rank from A, K, Q,…. and are allowed to go down to 4.
  • Jokers, deuces (2’s) are wild cards. You can use them in melds as long as there are at least double as many real cards of the rank present in the meld as that of wild cards. 
  • You can not use black and red three cards in the melds. 
  • A meld can have a maximum of two wild cards. 
  • You are not allowed to meld the cards alone. 
  • A complete meld contains seven cards, and it is known as Pile. 
  • Two types of melds. First is Clean or Natural meld, which has no wild cards, and it may become a Red Pile. The other one is Dirty of Wild Meld, which has wild cards. It may become a Black Pile. 
  • Melds are laid out by keeping them face up so that everyone can see. The card present on the top shows the type of meld. A red card represents Red Pile, and a black one represents Black Pile. 
  • You can not play wild cards on Piles.

Starting the Game

  • First of all, decide which partnership will deal first. After shuffling all the cards, one partner has to take half of the cards and deal 11 cards to all the players by facing the cards down. These cards are the hand stack. Now the second partner takes the other half of the cards and provides eleven cards to each player. These cards are the foot stack. 
  • Decide which player begins the game. After shuffling all the cards, place them in the middle in two stacks and make sure to face the cards down. The first player has to randomly select a stack of cards from the stock with counting. He or she has to try to get close to 22 cards.
  • Now the player counts the cards in two stacks of 11. Out of the two, one is for the hand stack, and the other is for the foot stack. In case the player has pulled too few or too many cards, pull additional or replace cards from the stack present in the middle of the table so that there are 11 cards each in foot and hand stack. Rotate in the left in order to allow the remaining players to choose their stacks. 
  • After completion of each round, the turn to deal moves to the left. 

The Play

  • The remaining cards are kept face down on the table in order to create a stock.
  • The foot cards of the players are kept face and set aside. The players can not look at these cards until they have played the cards present in their hands. 
  • Each player has to pick up their hand. The game starts with the player present on the left of the person who dealt with the current round.
  • You need to take turns to play the passes in a clockwise way around the table until a player goes out. 
  • At each turn, a player has the option to
    • Draw the two cards present on the top of the stock.
    • Meld some cards assuming that the round minimum can be met. Or the players can also add cards to the meld of their partners. 
    • End their turn by discarding one card present on the discard pile. 
  • Rather than taking two cards from the stock in the hand and foot card game, you can also pick the five cards present on the top of the discard pile. If the pile has less than five cards, then you can take the complete pile. In order to take cards from the discard pile, you should:
    • You need to hold two cards of the same rank as the card present on the top.
    • You should immediately meld three cards, along with the other card that you want to play. 
  • After picking cards from the discard pile, you have to complete your turn by discarding one card.

Rounds in Hand and Foot Card Game

There are four rounds in each hand and foot game. Each round consists of a minimum meld requirement, which increases after the completion of each round. 

You need to put down the cards with similar face values that add up to the minimum requirement or more before your team is “in the game.” You are allowed to put down various melds at one time in order to achieve this. 

In case you are picking up the pile, you are allowed to meld additional cards present in your hand along with the top discard. You can also discard the two that match in order to make the minimum count. 

  • Round 1: The total of card points must be at least 50 to begin play.
  • Round 2: The total of card points should be at least 90.
  • Round 3: The total should be at least 120. 
  • Round 4: The sum should be at least 150 to begin the play. 

Picking Up Feet

After playing all the cards present in your hand, either by discarding or melding them, you have to pick from the foot and then start playing from it. 

If you get rid of the card without discarding it, then you can continue playing the game into your foot while playing that hand. In case you have to discard the last card you have in order to get into the foot, you should hold your play until your turn. 

Red and Black Threes

In the hand and foot card game, red and black threes have no actual use, and they are exception cards. Red threes are not needed and if you have them, then try to discard them as soon as possible. In case you have a red three in your foot or hand at the end of the round, then your team gets minus three points for each red three. 

Black three also do not have any use excite blacking the next player from picking a card from the discard pile. If you have black threes at the end of the round, then you get minus five against your total score. The only way to get rid of black threes is by discarding them into the discard pile. 

Ending the Play in Hand and Foot Game

In the hand and foot card game, the play comes to an end when one partner is eliminated. In order to go out, your partnership should:

  • Complete a minimum of two Black Piles and two Red Piles. 
  • Your partners pick up the foot and play a turn from it.
  • You need to take permission from your partner to go out. If your partner is okay, then you need to meld all the remaining cards. 

It is not essential to discard the cards to go out. You can meld all the cards in order to finish the game. 


You can get two scores per hand. The score points are the combined face value of all the cards that you have melded. In case your team does not go out and you have cards in your hand or foot, then you lose points for the cards you have. The round ends when a team gets rid of all the cards present in its Hand and Foot. Moreover, the team with the highest points wins the game.

Final Words

The hand and foot card game is an amazing game to play with your friends and family. It is a fun and lighter game with simple rules, which makes it the perfect choice for everyone. The game is full of suspense and entertainment. Now that you know how to play hand and foot game, what are you waiting for? Play this amazing game and share your experience with us by dropping a comment. 

rashmi saini

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