Shanghai Rummy | Tips & Tricks to Win the Game


Shanghai Rummy is one of the most popular types of manipulation Rummy games. It gets its name from the specific move in the game.

The Shanghai move is when a player can rearrange some or all of the melds on the table so as to allow them to play cards in their hand.

The game is fun to play with 4 players. More than 5 can make the game a little less interesting. Scroll further to know more about Shanghai Rummy, how to play shanghai rummy, and all about the game.

  • Aim of Shanghai Rummy – Play all cards in hand by melding them.
  • Total no. Of players – 3-5 players
  • Number of cards – Two 52 card decks
  • The rank of cards – K (high), Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A
  • Game type – Manipulation Rummy
  • Game Audience – All Ages

How to Deal

Players can choose the dealer among themselves through whichever method they prefer.

Once the dealer is chosen, he deals each player 10 cards either in batches or as 3,3,3, and cards.

The rest of the cards are placed face down in the center and made the stockpile. The game begins and continues to the left.

How to Play?

Now that you know how to deal in Shanghai, here is how you play it –

  • The game begins to the left and continues clockwise.
  • The players play their cards on their turn from hand to the table. Below are the ways in which the players must meld their cards-

Run Meld – Set of at least 3 cards of the same suit and in sequence.

Set Meld – Set of 3 or 4 cards with the same rank but having different suits.

  • The reason why Shanghai becomes a manipulation Rummy game is that the players have the option to use some or all cards in hand so as to meld or add cards to the already existing melds at the table.
  • In case it is possible for you to meld more than 1 card then you should do so. But, this does not mean that you have to meld every card that can be melded. Once you are done melding, the next player plays.

Note that the players who are not able to meld any youtube cards have to draw 1 card from the top of the stockpile.

In case they can play that card, they should do so. However, if they cannot play the card, they can continue to draw until they get a card that can be played. Once they meld a card their turn is over.

Although the game does not have an official end, generally the game ends when a player melds their last card.

What Are the Rules?

  • In all, there are 10 rounds.
  • The term “buying” is used when an out-of-turn player takes an upcard.
  • There is a limit to the number of buys allowed and to the number of jokers used in a set or sequence.

Who Wins in Shanghai Rummy?

The player who has played all the cards in their hand wins Shanghai rummy which means he has a score of 0 points. The game has no official end. Players that have cards left have the score the same as the number of cards left with them.

How Do You Win?

  • Meld sets as early as possible.
  • Buy cards. This will help you meld quickly. We recommend buying cards as soon as possible.
  • Meld sequences at ends.


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