What Is a Meld in Card Games?

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By Monica Bates

In card games, a meld refers to a combination of cards that a player can lay down on the table to score points. It is an essential strategy in many popular card games such as Rummy, Canasta, and Bridge. A meld can consist of different sets of cards, depending on the game being played.

Types of Melds

Sequence Meld

A sequence meld is a group of three or more consecutive cards that belong to the same suit. For instance, 4-5-6 of hearts is an example of a sequence meld. In some games like Rummy, players can create more than one sequence meld in one turn.

Set Meld

A set meld is a group of three or more cards that have the same rank but different suits. For example, 8 of spades, 8 of hearts and 8 of diamonds make up a set meld.


Canasta is a popular game that features both sequence and set melds. In this game, players aim to create seven-card melds known as Canastas. They can create Canastas by combining at least three natural cards with up to four wildcards.

How to Create Melds

To create a meld in card games, players must obtain the necessary cards from their hand or draw pile. Once they have enough cards to form a valid meld, they can lay them down on the table for other players to see.

When creating sets or runs in some games like Rummy or Gin Rummy, players may need to rearrange their existing sets and runs on the table as they draw new cards and discard unwanted ones.

Scoring with Melds

The scoring system for card games varies depending on the game being played. However, in most games, melds earn players points. The more cards in a meld, the higher the points earned.

In Rummy, for instance, each card in a sequence or set meld earns the player ten points. In Canasta, players earn different points for different types of melds and Canastas.


Melds are an essential strategy in many card games. They add an element of excitement and challenge to the game and can help players earn more points. By understanding the different types of melds and how to create them, players can improve their chances of winning and enjoy the game even more.