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Shanghai Rummy

Shanghai Rummy, also called California Rummy, is a great variant of rummy that you can enjoy with your family and friends. You can learn how to play Shanghai Rummy on JungleeRummy.com! Here are the detailed game rules to help you learn the game in quick and easy steps!

Gameplay of Shanghai Rummy

Shanghai Rummy is played with two standard decks of 54 cards each by two to four players. When more than five players join in, three decks of cards are used. The Jokers used in the game are the 2s in black suit along with wild Jokers.

Each game has ten hands and the rules to play each hand are different. Once the dealing starts, the person to the left of the dealer deals cards in the next hand. Every player is dealt 11 cards and the remaining cards are placed face down on the table as a closed pile. Just like in other rummy games, one card is placed face up to form the discard pile.

When the game starts, each player has to pick a card from either the discard pile or the closed pile. If a player wants to get a card that doesn’t belong to him, he has to say ‘buy’ before the next player’s turn. If the player fails to do so, he is considered dead during the game and cannot pick any cards. A player can buy two cards in each hand. When a player takes a card with two additional cards, the buyer gets a total of three cards.

Melding in Shanghai Rummy

Every player has to form the correct groups of cards or ‘lay out’ the cards to win the game. Melding is different in different hands, usually in the combination of sets or sequences. The concepts of sets and sequences are similar to the concepts in Indian Rummy games where three cards of the same rank but different suits (for example, 3 Kings) form a set and three consecutive cards like 5, 6, and 7 form a sequence. Each player picks and discards cards during the game to form the right set of sets and sequences.

Types of Sequences in Shanghai Rummy

The different types of sequences used in Shanghai Rummy are as follows:

  • • Three of a kind: two aces and a set of three cards
  • • Two sets of three cards each
  • • One set of three cards and a sequence of four cards
  • • Two sequences of four cards each
  • • Three sets of three cards each
  • • Two sets of three cards each and one sequence of four cards
  • • One set of three cards and two sequences of four cards each
  • • Three sequences of four cards
  • • One sequence of seven cards and one set of three cards
  • • One sequence of five cards and one sequence of six cards

How to Win in Shanghai Rummy

The game goes on till a player “goes out” or plays the last card. The game gets over when a player, on his/her turn, draws a card and goes out without discarding and wins the final hand. The winner gets no points and the other players count the points of the cards in their hand. The player whose cumulative score in the seven hands is the least wins the game.

Card Points

All the different cards carry different points in Shanghai Rummy. The individual points of different cards are given below:

  • • Cards 2 to 10 carry 10 points each.
  • • All the face cards carry 10 points each.
  • • Aces carry 15 points each.
  • • Jokers carry 25 points each.
  • • 2 of Spades and Clubs carry 50 points each.

Shanghai Rummy is a great game to play! Try your luck in this exciting variation and have great fun! To learn to play other variations of rummy, visit our “Rummy Variation” section.