Canadian Salad is an amalgamation of anti-trick-catching games all rolled into one, and played over six rounds. In each round, players have a new set of tasks, or rather, tricks/cards to avoid catching.
This game is quite popular in Canada (if the name didn’t give it away). It’s also played in other regions of the world, but under different names, and often with variant rules or additional rounds in the mix.
How to Play Canadian Salad
The game is generally played with four players, no set partnerships, and a standard 52-card deck (no jokers). The deck can be adjusted by removing certain low cards to accommodate for 3, 5 or 6 player games. See our Canadian Salad Rule Variations for more info on that. Note that it cannot be played with only 2 players.
Object of Canadian Salad
The object of this game is to not catch any tricks, or at least any tricks that contain points (depending on the round of play). Whoever has the score closest to zero (0) at the end of all rounds wins the game.
There is no bidding in this game, nor are there any trump suits, or partners to fall back on. It’s every man for himself!
Dealing the Cards
A dealer is chosen by having each player cut the deck. The highest card signifies the dealer. The cards are dealt, one a time in clockwise order, starting with the player to the dealer’s left. All the cards should be dealt out, so that each player has 13 cards, with no cards remaining.
Order of Hand Objectives
There are six rounds of play in a standard game of Canadian Salad. Each round has a different objective, with the primary goal being not to catch tricks and/or points.
Round 1 – Don’t Catch Tricks: Every trick captured is worth 10 points, for a total of 130 points.
Round 2 – Don’t Catch Hearts: Every Heart is worth 10 points, for a total of 130 points.
Round 3 – Don’t Catch Queens: Every Queen is worth 25 points, for a total of 100 points.
Round 4 – Don’t Catch King of Spades: The King of Spades is the only negative card in this round. He who catches it earns 100 points.
Round 5 – Don’t Catch the Last Trick: Catch anything you want, but do not catch the last trick of the game. He who does will receive 100 points.
Round 6 – All of the Above: In this sixth and final round, all of the above rules come into play at once. Catching any trick, any Hearts, any Queens, the King of Spades, and/or the last trick will generate the same amount of points detailed above; a grand total of 560 points.
Playing the Game
The player left of the dealer will lead the first trick with each new round of play. There are no trumps. The suit led is the suit that must be followed, if able. If unable to follow suit, any card may be played.
Cards rank as usual, highest to lowest: A-K-Q-J-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2
The highest card played of the suit that is led wins the trick. These cards must be kept, face down, next to the player who won them. Whoever catches the trick will lead to the next trick, and so forth, until all cards are played, and all tricks captured.
After each round of play, everyone counts up any points they’ve captured. The score is recorded on a note pad. Score is generally added up in positive numbers, with the player closest to zero (0) after all 6 rounds winning the game. Alternatively, score can be taken as negative points, but the end result is the same; closest to 0 wins.
Now that you know how to play Canadian Salad, why not take an opportunity to learn more about this exciting, multi-hand game by viewing some of the additional link below.
Rule Variations for Canadian Salad
Canadian Salad History
Canadian Salad Strategy
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