- Shanghai is a variation of Rummy, or Contract Rummy. Sometimes known as Carousel or Manipulation Rummy, it requires two full decks of cards and can accommodate three to five players. There is also a tile version called Rummikub available online and as tile sets. According to "The Everything Card Games Book," it was created in the 1930s and is one of the best-selling games worldwide. The object of Shanghai Rummy is to get all the cards out of your hand by "melding" or putting them in collections categorized by suits or numbers.
Setting Up the Game
- The dealer deals 10 cards to each player, keeping them face down at all times, and places the rest of the two decks face down to form the stock pile for the game. The game begins with the player on the dealer's left.
Playing by the Rules
- During your turn, you should first check your hand for any cards you can meld. Also consider what you can add to your previous melds and even your opponents' melds. If you have nothing, resort to the stock pile and continue drawing until you can meld something; which must be a minimum of three cards in sequence and the same suit or three cards of different suits but the same number.
Keep on Playing
- The game continues to the left, with each player creating or manipulating melds in an attempt to empty his hand. Any time melds on the table are rearranged, the players must be sure every card is still in a valid meld.
Scoring and Winning
- The game is played in "hands" which end when a player runs out of cards. At the end of each hand, penalty points are calculated for all the cards still held by each player: Cards numbered two through nine get five points each, aces get 15 points, and the 10, Jack, Queen, and King get 10 points each. New hands are continuously played until one player reaches the predetermined cut-off number of points, which is usually 200 to 300, as selected by the players. Once that number is reached, the player with the lowest score wins.