Canadian Salad is a North American compendium trick-taking game in which hands with different objectives are played in a fixed sequence. In each hand the aim is to avoid winning certain cards or tricks which bring penalty points.
Probably it is best known in Canada but essentially the same game is played in other parts of North America under other names, for example Wisconsin Scramble.
Many people have developed their own variants and house rules, often by adding more hands with other objectives to make a longer game. Some examples will be found on the Canadian Salad Variants page in the Invented Games section of pagat.com.
Players, Cards and Deal
Canadian Salad is originally a four-player game using a standard 52-card deck without jokers. As usual card cards in each suit rank from high to low A-K-Q-J-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2. All the cards are dealt out to the players, 13 to each.
For a game with more or fewer players, some cards are removed from the deck so that it can be dealt evenly.
- For three players remove the 2 of clubs and deal 17 cards each.
- For five players remove the 2 of clubs and the 2 of diamonds and deal 10 cards each.
- For six players remove the 2 and 3 of clubs and 2 and 3 of diamonds and deal 8 cards each.
Deal and play are clockwise. The first dealer is chosen by cutting cards - highest deals. After each hand the turn to deal passes to the left.
Hands and Objectives
The basic game consists of six hands, played in order, resulting in penalty points as follows.
- 1st hand. No tricks. Each trick won counts 10 points. Total 130 points.
- 2nd hand. No hearts. Each hearts taken counts 10 points. Total 130 points.
- 3rd hand. No queens. Each queen taken counts 25 points. Total 100 points.
- 4th hand. No king of spades. The player who takes the king of spades in a trick scores 100 points.
- 5th hand. No last trick. The winner of the last trick scores 100 points.
- 6th hand. Combination of all the above. All scores from hands 1-5 count. Total 560 points.
So for example in hand 6 if the last trick contains the 8, 9, queen and king of hearts, that trick alone will score 175 points for the unlucky person who played the king: 40 for the four hearts, 10 for the trick, 25 for the queen and another 100 because it is the last trick.
The player to the left of the dealer leads any card to the first trick.
Players must follow suit if possible. A player who has no card of the suit led may play any card.
The player of the highest card of the suit that was led wins the trick and leads any card to the next trick.
There is no trump suit.
At the end of each hand each player's penalty points are recorded. After all six hands have been played the points are totalled (the grand total of all players' scores should be 1120). The player with most points is the loser.