Besides taking the discard pile, players should strive to make the first
canasta. Doing so will put pressure on the opponents, who will begin to
worry that your side may soon go out. The opponents are then likely to meld
everything they can, but this will reduce the size of their hands and make
it even harder for them to compete for the discard pile.
In hands where both sides have melded, it's best to try to keep up with the
number of canastas the opponents have, using wild cards to complete your
own canastas when necessary to keep from falling behind. Otherwise, it pays
to wait and try to form a natural canasta when you have a reasonable chance
to make one, since the difference in scoring value is significant.