8 Jun

Rule Variations for Canadian Salad

Canadian Salad is one of those games that really draws players in. It’s so popular that it’s played in many regions all over the world; often with its own region-specific title (i.e. Wisconsin Scramble). Like so many games do, variant rules have spread to make the game more challenging, more entertaining, more accommodating, etc.

Note that this article assumes you already know the Traditional Rules of Canadian Salad.

Rule Variations for Canadian Salad

Common Rule Variations for Canadian Salad

Originally a game for four players, alterations have been made to allow for more or less participants, sometimes utilizing double decks for larger groups. Because its popularity is so great among avid fans, it’s not uncommon to see a variety of extra rounds, making the game last longer.

Canadian Salad for 3, 5, 6+ Players

Although not recommended for just two players, the game’s dealing rules can be easily adjusted to accommodate three, five, six, or even more players. It’s a simple mater of omitting some of the lower cards to ensure that each player gets an even amount, with none left over.

For larger groups, it’s recommended to use two decks. So long as each player receives somewhere between 10 and 15 cards, it works. It will require a higher grade of memory skills for strategic players, as you’ll be watching for two of every important card.

These are the most common ways to adjust the deck for a specific number of players.

3 Players: Use a single deck of 51 cards. Remove the 2♣.

4 Players: Use one whole 52-card deck.

5 Players: Use one deck of 50 cards, or two decks of 100 cards. Remove all 2♣ and 2♦.

6 Players: Use one deck of 48 cards, or two decks of 96 cards. Remove all 2s.

Continue adjusting the deck size by removing smaller cards to allow for additional players.

An alternative deck arrangement for 3 player games is to remove all 13 clubs, dealing 13 cards to each player. The exact same arrangement can be used for 7 players with two decks; remove one set of clubs (not both), then deal 13 to each player.

Note: In multi-deck games, if the exact same high card is played twice in a single trick (i.e. two A♥), the second played wins the trick.

Extra Canadian Salad Rounds

Some people prefer a much longer game. To accomplish this, a variety of extra rounds can be added to the standard list. The following table depicts the traditional 6 rounds (short game), as well as an extra-long, 12-round edition. You can always mix things up for a medium game by eliminating a few of the extra rounds.

Round
#

No-Catch
Objective

Points Per
Capture

Standard
Game

Extended
Game

1

No Red Cards

5

2

No Even Cards

5

3

No Tricks

10

4

No Hearts

10

5

No Faces

10

6

No Sevens

30

7

No Aces

30

8

No Queens

30

9

No One-Eyed Faces

40

10

No King of Spades

75

11

No Last Trick

75

12

All of the Above (same points)

See above

Note: One-Eyed Faces are J♥, J♠, K♦

Capture All Points

This last rule variation is probably the most common of all. It states that any player who manages to capture all possible point cards in a single round will not be penalized. Instead, this player scores 0, and all other players score 100.

This method of scoring does not apply to any round in which only a single point can be captured (No Last Trick, and No King of Spades).

Be sure to check out our additional Canadian Salad pages to learn even more about the game:

Canadian Salad History
Canadian Salad Strategy

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