Just finished my series of Canasta lessons with Helaine. Her no nonsense detailed explanation of the game has left me feeling ready to jump into a game with players of any level. She was very informative with both rules and strategy, not to mention being a gracious host. Strongly recommended

Englewood, NJ

Helaine taught  me the proper way to play canasta so that I feel confident that I can play with anyone (without embarrassing myself). Her worksheets, visual card-aids, tips, strategies and mostly her  ease and comfort in teaching canasta truly made it so much fun. I highly recommend her course to anyone wanting to learn canasta and have been telling all my friends that they also need to learn! It’s really a fun thinking game.

I loved learning Canasta and know I will be playing for years to come. Helaine made a game that initially seemed quite confusing and overwhelming easy to understand.  She handled our large group with ease and I thank her for her patience, wisdom and guidance. Now if only I could remember how many 7s are in the pack…… :)

Thanks and I hope to see you again,

Helaine is such an amazing teacher! She was thorough, organized and most importantly PATIENT!! She teaches in such an easy to understand way and all of her worksheets were extremely helpful. I don't really want the classes to end but I know I have to try to play on my own.
Thanks again,
Lori A
Closter, NJ

Helaine was the MOST patient teacher I could have imagined! Canasta was overwhelming at 1st...so many rules! But Helaine broke it down week to week into manageable chunks of information. By the end of her lessons, I felt less intimidated and more excited about playing on my own! Knowing that she is always there, whether via phone or email, offers reassurance as I continue on my journey to master canasta! 

Thanks again Helaine; you truly inspired me to play something other than mahjong! 


Helaine, you have changed my world.  I have been obsessed with Mah Jong for the past two years.  However, since you have taught us canasta, I can't stop playing canasta both in person and on line.  Mah Jong has taken a back seat because I just love it!  

You had a very tough task....to teach 13 women all of whom were different levels of card players.  Your ability to handle the different levels surpassed my expectations.  You arrived each week with visual materials and presented the game in a very logical, organized manner and even managed to teach us a lot of strategy of the game.  I found you extremely patient and you were always available to us in person before and after our sessions and via email.  You left the door open to ask questions and didn't judge anyone when they asked you the same question multiple times.  

Thank you so much for sharing canasta with us.  I enjoyed getting to know you.  We will miss you!


It’s been a pleasure having Helaine guide us through the canasta learning journey. She is enthusiastic, kind, fun and very generous with her time. She taught us the rules and basics of the game the first week and built on that subsequent weeks by emphasizing strategy, communication and patience. Her weekly email summaries of the lessons are like an instruction manual for the game and will be a great reference going forward.

Helaine is truly a Masta at teaching Canasta!


If you have any interest in learning Canasta, you have come to the right place.  Helaine's teaching style is simple and easy to understand.  She builds on concepts each week so you are not overwhelmed with too much information at once.  Strategy comes next, and then play away.  Patient, kind and diplomatic, Helaine is your CanastaMasta.


Thank you Helaine!
Your love of the game shines through your teaching. You made this person who was not sure she could ever understand all the rules, into loving the game.
We were a large group, and you took the time and patience to teach us the rules, strategy, and how to be a good partner in the game. 
Our classes were filled with your knowledge, and the follow up e-mails were so helpful. You are extremely generous with your time, you came early for “extra hand holding help” and stayed late.
Helaine also did not disappear between lessons, she offered to play the online game and always encouraged us to e-mail, call or text her with questions
Canasta is a great game, but Helaine makes it exciting. 
Thank you Helaine for making me confident and ready to play.
Joyce O.

Helaine is not only a master canasta player, she is also an excellent teacher.  Our sessions were not always easy, but somehow she was able to break this game down into manageable bites and make it available to us all. I have never been a card player, and only started learning mahjong a few weeks before taking on canasta.  My brain was simply not geared to this type of activity.  But after a few sessions with Helaine, I am now officially addicted to canasta!  I can't seem to get enough!  The game is challenging, fast paced, and fun.  Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but you almost always learn something.

If you are thinking of taking classes with Helaine, do not hesitate any longer.  You will not find a more dedicated, patient teacher on the East coast. You will come away confident in the knowledge that you have learned from the best, and if you ever goof up (and who doesn't?) it will not be because you learned it wrong, it will be because you simply goofed up.  

Cindy S.