6 Exciting Melding Card Games Everyone Must Try | HandleWife

Has your hustling with playing cards become stale lately? Are Poker, Go Fish, and Solitaire feeling more predictable than they used to? If so, it’s time to try something new and exciting! Melding card games require skill and strategy to win, but the twist of combining different elements makes them even more fun.

From classic melders like Rummy to games with hybrid features, including Belote, our list of six card games will take your night in for a wild ride! These will give you plenty of opportunities to enhance your card melding and matching skills to the next level!

Test Your Matching Skills with Melding Card Games


If you want to give yourself a bit of a challenge while having something to look forward to, below are competitive melding card games to try with friends:


A traditional card game with many variations is Rummy. It’s a family of melding card games that involve creating melds of sets or runs to score points or to be the first to discard all cards in the player’s hand.

Well-known Rummy variations:

  • Gin rummy
  • Indian Rummy
  • 500 rum
  • Contract rummy
  • Pool rummy

Gin Rummy is the most well-known on the list because of its compelling gameplay, where players must form melds from the cards they have dealt. However, a player has many decisions to make during their turn. It makes the game more difficult since one wrong move can result in losses.


Another game that two players traditionally play is Cribbage, but modern and online Cribbage games can now be adapted for up to four players. A player’s main objective is to win by creating combinations to form sets or runs, earning them points. It uses a Cribbage board and pegs, which is how scoring is tracked during the game. If you don’t have one, use paper and a pen instead.

Cribbage basics:

  • It uses a standard deck without the Jokers
  • Players must score 121 points or “peg out” of the board
  • Specialty combinations for more points

You can play Cribbage online if you want to play it on your PC or mobile device, which is ideal if you want to hone your skills first. Since the game can be pretty confusing for some, it’s best to master its gameplay before introducing it to your friends.


Believed to be a variant of 500 Rum, Canasta is a melding card game ideally played by four players in partnerships. Although some variations for two, three, five, or six players are also available, the game rule differences are subtle, but each has an appeal that makes them unique and thrilling in their own right.

Canasta basics:

  • Requires two full deck of cards with the Joker for a total of 108 cards
  • Outscore the opponents by forming melds with a combination of three or more cards in the same rank with or without wild cards.
  • Melds with seven cards are called Canasta.
  • Each player begins with 11 cards.
  • The first player to reach 5,000 points wins.

Since the original Canasta game is played between two teams, you can strategize with your partner to win. It’s the game that hones your ability to work with others to create a robust action plan against your opponents.


Also known as the ancestor of all Rummy games, Conquian is a classic card game with a 40-card deck with 10s, 8s, and 9s removed. Here, Kings are high, and Aces are low, and the goal is to be the first to meld 11 cards.

How to play Conquian:

  • Each player receives ten cards, and the remaining cards are placed in the middle as the stockpile
  • Melds are either three or four cards from the same rank or three cards with the same suit in sequence
  • Players will begin by getting a card from the stockpile, which can be kept if used in a meld or discarded if they can’t
  • If the stockpile runs out, the game is a tie

Plenty of free apps are available if you want to experience Conquian on your mobile device. However, browser-based platforms are also ideal if you want to enjoy it on a bigger screen!


Pinochle is a combination of two genres of card games: melding and trick-taking or “trick-and-meld.” It might seem like an intimidating game since it consists of two phases, but it’s straightforward to learn and master. The first phase is the melding, followed by the trick-taking part. Scores from both phases are combined, which determines the winner.

To get a better understanding of Pinochle, here’s a short gameplay:

  • Twelve cards are dealt to each player, with the next card placed face-up on the table, which becomes the trump card.
  • Every card with the same suit as the trump card is also a trump.
  • The melding phase begins, where players must determine the best combinations to score points.
  • Once melding is done, trick-taking begins with the player who made the contract placing the first lead card. If not, they should put a trump card.
  • Players must play a higher card than the previous card if possible.
  • The highest score at the end of the game wins.

Pinochle combines Bridge and Euchre to create a strategy-based game where players must utilize their melding and trick-taking expertise. Fortunately, the game is accessible through mobile devices so you can play it anywhere and anytime!


Finally, the last game on our list is called Belote. Like Pinochle, the game has a melding and trick-taking phase. However, what sets it apart is it also consists of bidding. If you’re familiar with these game genres, you should have no problem playing Belote.

Belote basics:

  • Deck: 32-card French deck without the deuces, threes, fours, fives and sixes
  • Ranking: Ace, 10, king (K), queen (Q), jack (J), nine, eight and seven
  • Dealing: Each player receives six cards, three cards at a time
  •  Bidding: The player chooses a trump suit, with the highest bid getting to choose the trump
  • Melding: Players must make melds or combinations of at least three cards to score points
  • Trick-taking: The player who won the bidding begins by playing the first card, and other players must follow suit if possible.

Belote is understandably confusing since cards are dealt with during the Bidding phase. However, playing the game regularly will help you develop your understanding and knowledge of Belote quickly!

Choose the Best Melding Card Game that Suits Your Preferences

Melding games are some of the most accessible competitive games out there. Once other elements are introduced, they can become quite challenging yet amusing. Whether playing with friends or family, melding card games should be fun and rewarding, which our list can successfully provide!

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