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Canasta Playing Cards: I am sure that everyone knows what playing cards are and would think that there is little advantage in buying a pack with 2 sets of cards rather than one, well anyone who thinks that would be wrong and has probably not played Canasta. Canasta is a card game that I was taught by my parents growing up though not until I was 13 or so as it is quite a complicated game with several different version and far too awkward to go in depth here but I will explain the basics as it is required to understand the usefulness of these cards. One form of Canasta is played with 2 packs of cards, hence why they sell it in two packs, the aim of the game is to go down and make a Canasta which effectively means you need to collect 7 of the 8 of a certain type of card (such as kings etc although some are wild cards and can be used as replacements but also decrease the points of a Canasta, confused?) anyway in order to start the game you need to be able to go down using a certain amount of points, you start at 50 and work your way up to 120 or 150 depending on the variation you are playing. The thing that a lot of people struggle with, especially when starting out is remembering how many points each card is worth, 4-7 is worth 5 points, 8-King is worth 10 points, Aces and 2s are worth 20 and Jokers are worth fifty (you can't use 3s for this purpose), as you can guess when you get up to requiring 150 points and you can't remember how much each card it worth it can be tricky to go down. As I stated this is 2 packs of card but not only is it two packs of cards it is two packs of cards that have the number of points each card is worth on them meaning that you can more easily work out what you need, this is a great help especially for beginners but also advanced players as my parents still prefer using these over a standard pack of cards. The cards are packaged really well, they come in a little cardboard board that is the perfect fit for 2 packs of cards side by side, this allows you to keep the packs separate if you want or if you just play canasta you can stick them back in the packet any old how, this is the only pack of cards I know that comes as a set of 2 with a case for 2, this makes them extremely useful for taking on holiday. These cards come with a little booklet that explains the rules for any beginner, now whilst these are useful they are far from comprehensive and I would only really recommend learning with someone who already knows how to play the game. The scores in this game can go up to 10,000 and this pack also comes with a little score sheet that gives you 2 columns in which you can put the 2 teams scores, personally I have never used these as I find them too small and tend to stick to pads of paper. The quality of the cards is also good, they don't stick too much, they also aren't too grippy and don't bend too easy and are just generally good quality and although they last it has sort of become a running Christmas present for my Dad who receives a pack of these every year. They don't cost too much either, normally coming in at between £5-£7 which isn't actually too bad for 2 packs of cards. Overall I can't complain about these cards other than to say it would be nice if they came in a pack of three for those of us who enjoy playing the Samba variation which is the one I prefer but simply put this is two packs of cards with the scores on them for Canasta. Of course if you already have 2 packs of cards and know how to play then there is no need for these but they are a great addition if you play frequently.
A set of two packs of cards with the scores for Canasta on them.