Shanghai Rummy Instructions


Player Count: 2-4 players

Age Range: ages 10+

How to Win!

  • The player at the end of the game with the lowest number of points wins!


  • At the beginning of each new round, shuffle 2 decks of cards (including the Jokers) and deal each participating player 11 cards.
  • Place the remaining stack of cards in the middle of the table.
  • Flip the top card of the remaining stack facing up next to the deck to create the discard pile.

Game Basics:

  • Jokers are wild cards.
  • Aces can be high OR low for runs
  • There are 10 rounds. These are the goals for each round:
    • Round 1: Two sets of 3 cards
    • Round 2: One set of 3 cards and one run of 4 cards
    • Round 3: Two runs of 4 cards
    • Round 4: Three sets of 3 cards
    • Round 5: Two sets of 3 cards and one run of 4 cards
    • Round 6: One set of 3 cards and two runs of 4 cards
    • Round 7: Three runs of 4 cards
    • Round 8: One set of 3 cards and one run of 10 cards
    • Round 9: Three sets of 3 cards and one run of 5 cards
    • Round 10: Three runs of 5 cards
  • Sets are cards that all the values match (all 3’s or all 7’s)
  • Runs are numbers in the SAME suit in a consecutive numerical sequence (1,2,3,4 or 7,8,9,10)

How to Play:

  • The player left of the dealer will start the game.
  • On their turn players MUST draw one card from either the discard pile or the deck.
  • At the end of their turn a player MUST discard a card from their hand.
  • IF a player, not currently taking their turn, wants the card in the discard pile they may “buy it”. If they buy it, they may take that card and must take two cards from the deck. A player may only buy THREE times throughout the entire game.
  • Players must complete the rounds in the order listed and may only complete the round they are on; they may NOT complete more than one round per round.
  • A player can NEVER have more wild cards than standard cards in a set or a run.
    • Examples: You can have 5, 5, J, or 2,3,4 but you cannot have J, J,5 and J, 3, J.

Playing a Round:

  • During your turn, if you have met all the current round requirements, you may lay the applicable cards face up in front of you. This effectively removes them from your hand.
  • Once you have laid down your round, you may do any of the following on the current turn and consecutive turns:
    • Add cards to your or another player’s existing rounds. For example, adding a 5 to a set of 5’s already played. Or adding a 6 to a run of 2, 3, 4, and 5.
    • Wild cards may be played to any set or run if wild cards do not outnumber the standard cards due to the play.

“Going Out”:

  • The way to end any round, a player must “Go out” and have 0 cards left in their hand.
  • This can only be done AFTER you have played your round on the table.
  • To “Go out” one player must be left with 0 cards in their hand after playing on rounds and using their final card to discard. This ends the round immediately.


  • End of round:
    • 2-9 is worth 5 points
    • 10 through Kings are 10 points
    • Aces are 15 points
    • Jokers are 20 points
    • The player who successfully discarded all cards that round gains 0 points, all other players must tally and mark their scores.
  • End of Game
    • Once the final round has been played, a player goes out. The game is over. Round-scoring rules apply.
    • Once scoring for the round is complete, add all player’s individual round scores.
    • Player with the lowest score wins!

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