GoCampingAmerica.com | Posted March
    4th, 2013


    Card-Game-Favorite: Shanghai


    Happy Camper Blog



    Shanghai Rummy has one of the longest rule descriptions of any of the games
    we feature on Go Camping America. However, it’s one of our favorites for a
    reason and think it’s worth the few extra minutes to get through the rules.
    Second, there are many different variations of Rummy, with Contract Rummy as
    the general name given for a whole class of Rummy games. All rummy games
    share two specific characterisitics:

    • A specfic
      number of deals comprise a game
    • In each deal a
      “contract” or a particular, predtermined pattern of melds, are
      required to lay down any cards. Melding is the act of laying down or
      declaring (a combination of cards) in order to score

    With all that, Shanghai Rummy is a
    version with more contracts and wilder scoring. Number of
    3 to 8 players, each plays for themselves. No

    • For 3 to 4
      players: use two decks of cards, 52 cards each plus one joker for a total of
      105 cards.
    • For 5 or more players: use three decks of 52
      cardseach, plus two jokers, for a total of 158


    • The cards are ranked
      (high) K-Q-J-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2 (low)
    • An ace may be
      ranked either high or low.
    • Jokers are

    Starting a
    To determine who deals first, the deck is shuffled and
    cut and each player draws a card. The player drawing the lowest card delas
    first. Thereafter, the deal passes from player to player to the left. Cards
    are dealt clockwise, starting with the player on the dealers left. After
    dealing, the top card is turned as the upcard, and the remainder of the deck
    is turned face-down to form the stock. How to

    • There are ten
    • 11 cards are dealt to each player in every
    • Each player’s turn consists of a draw, possible
      melding and a discard. Each player’s turn must end in a discard, placed face
      up on the discard pile
    • Each meld consists of either a
      set, consisting of three or more cards of the same value, or a sequence
      consisting of four or more cards of the same rank and consecutive
    • An ace may rank either high (A-K-Q) or low (3-2-A),
      but sequences may not extend “round the corner”
    • Jokers are wild and can be played for any card
    • When two or more sequences are required, they must
      be in different suits, or in the same suit. They cannot be in consecutive
      order and must be separated by at least one card.
    • The
      game uses the term “buying” for when an out-of-turn player takes an
    • There is a limit to the number of buys
    • There is a limit to the number of jokers used in
      a set or sequence.
    • If you “go out blind”
      (discard all your cards in one play), you earn a bonus of 25 points (50 if
      you haven’t used a joker). Note that a bonus subtracts points from your
      score, not adds them.
    • Number cards count as 5 points each
      for scoring, rather than the face value of the

    Each deal has a different contract, which consists of some combination of
    sets and sequences:

    • DN 1, C: Two Sets of
    • DN 2, C: One set of 3 and one sequence of
    • DN 3, C: Two sequences of 4
    • DN 4,
      C: Three sets of 3
    • DN 5, C: One set of 3 and one sequence
      of 7
    • DN 6, C: Two sets of 3 and one sequence of
    • DN 7, C: Three sequences of 4
    • DN 8,
      C: One set of 3 and one sequence of 10
    • DN 9, C: Three
      sets of 3 and one sequence of 5
    • DN 10, C: Three sequences
      of 5

    Buying: A
    “buy” is when an out-of-turn players takes the upcard. It works
    basically the same as it does in Contract Rummy. The player has to draw an
    extra card from the stock, and cannot play the cards immediately, but must
    wait for his turn. If more than one player wants it, the one closest to the
    dealer’s left has precedence. There is a limit to the number of buys allowed.
    In contracts 1 through 8, each player is only allowed 3 buys per hand. In
    contracts 9 and 10, each player is allowed 4 buys per hand.
    Jokers: There is a limit to the number of jokers
    used in a set or sequence:

    • 1 joker may be used
      in a set of 3, or a sequence of 4
    • 2 jokers may be used in
      a sequence of 5
    • 3 jokers may be used in a sequence of
    • 4 jokers may be used in a sequence of

    The Draw: The
    player in turn may draw either the top card of the discard pile, or the top
    card of the stock. If he does not want the discard, he may decline it, and
    any other player may take it. The right to take it passes to the palyer’s
    left (clockwise around the table). If an out-of-turn player takes the top of
    the discard pile, he must also draw the top card of the stock (as a penalty),
    but he may not yet meld, lay off, or discard, since it is not yet his turn. Once
    the fate of the discard has been decided, the in-turn player must take the
    top card of the stock. Since he has refused the discard, he cannot take the
    top of the discard pile, even if a new card has been revealed.
    Fulfilling the Contract: Once an in-turn player
    has drawn a card, he may fulfill the contract by laying down the appropriate
    melds. He may only lay down the precise melds as called for in the contract.
    He may not lay off any additional cards at this time. Laying
    In the subsequent turns after a player’s contract has
    been met, he may lay off additional cards to any meld on the table, whether
    his own or his opponents. However, he may not create any new melds of his
    own. A player may not lay off any cards until he himself has met the
    contract. Jokers: A joker is a wild card, an may
    be used to in place of any other card as part of a meld. When doing so, the
    player must state its suit and rank. Any player in turn (providing he’s
    already fulfilled his contract) may later trade the actual card for the
    joker, and may then either use the joker immediately, or hold it in his hand.
    Going Out: When a player has discarded his last
    card, the hand is over, and scored. If the stock is exhausted before any
    player has gone out, the discard pile is shuffled by the original dealer and
    turned face-down to form a new stock. Scoring:
    At the end of a hand, each player scores the sum of all cards in his hand.
    For purposes of scoring, the cards remaining in the players hand have the
    following values: 3-9=5 points 10-K=10 points Aces and Dueces=20 points The
    player with the fewest points at the end of the seven deals wins the