13 cards each
Black 3 freezes until picked up
Pick up wild 2 with two of same color in hand - why? Adds to the risk of playing a wild to lock the deck. Also, to pick up, the wild twos in hand must be shown, which reveals something about your hand.
Reclaim wilds in a black canasta once enough naturals changing it red. Why? Games were ending quickly (two hands sometimes) when someone got a quick red. This encourages players to expose their wilds and allows players to put up more points keeping the game closer.
Two canastas to go out, one must be red. Why? This extends the hand allowing others to compile points which keeps the game closer.
A super canasta is a canasta that contains all 12 cards of one kind. It is worth 1000 points.
Perfect deal gets 100 bonus points. Each card extra or short gets 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 0, -10, -20, -30, -40, -50 points. More than 11 short or extra is just -50. Why? This is just a fun thing. The points don't amount to much. We found we were trying to deal a perfect deal and decided to put points on it.
Play stops at 5000 if the leader has more points than the other two players combined, otherwise, play continues to 7500. Why? See below.
At 5000 points a player is required to have 150 to meld. Why? If the game has not been decided by this time, this rule allows the other players to catch up, increasing the competition level.
A player may pick up the discard stack to add to an existing black canasta if they have two natural cards in their hand.
A player may create a new meld with a natural card for which they already have a red canasta.
If a player has a black and red canasta based on the same natural card, the black is worth 500 points.