Hand and Foot is a card game similar to Canasta that requires hundreds of cards, fierce partnerships, airtight strategy and a little luck. If you need a gift for someone who loves the game, consider getting him something that feeds his obsession.
Decks of Cards
This is an obvious choice, but cards are extremely useful to avid Hand-and-Footers. Decks of cards can be expensive, and many people are reluctant to replace their old sets. If people play often enough, they can sometimes memorize the rips or folds of particularly worn cards. Consider giving your friends a set of cards they can use exclusively for playing Hand and Foot. Since a four-player game requires five decks, you can buy a special box that will hold all the decks snugly. Decorate the outside of the box like a mock board game, or simply personalize it with the individual's name.
The rules for Hand and Foot vary widely from player to player, and some people use their own special set of rules. Sometimes families disagree about the rules because they aren’t written down. Immortalize your friend’s instructions by typing them out on a sheet of paper and then laminating the sheet. Decide whether your friend would benefit from a small, foldable cheat sheet or a poster board detailing not only rules but strategy. Make sure to include any exceptions or variation of the rules to which your friend adheres.
Custom Scoring Sheet
Using desktop publishing software such as Microsoft Word, create a custom scoring sheet that your friend can use when playing the game. Tailor the scoring sheet to your friend’s rules, and consider providing a summary of the scoring rules somewhere on the page. Photocopy the sheet, hole punch the copies and place them in a slim binder. Create a custom cover sheet for the binder as well as a high-score sheet where your friend can write the number of points and the dates of his best games. As an alternative, laminate the sheet and purchase several thin, dry erase markers so your friend can use the same scoring sheet again and again.
Even though Hand and Foot isn’t commonly packaged, there are a few boxed sets on the market. If your friend plays by his own special rules, you may be better off with getting him a cardholder. A Hands and Foot cardholder keeps the draw piles and discard piles separate and organized. Search for cardholders online, at specialty game stores or at bargain stores. Another accessory that is much easier to find is an automatic card shuffler. This helps mix multiple decks thoroughly, which is essential for proper and fair dealing in Hands and Feet. A hand-held calculator is also useful when tallying scores.
Michelle Watson has been an editor and freelance writer since 2010. She has edited hospital magazines around the United States and written on a variety of health-care topics. Watson is also a licensed high school English teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a teaching credential.