Shanghai Rummy is a variation of Contract Rummy. The principal differences between Shanghai Rummy and Contract Rummy are:
- There are ten rounds.
- Eleven cards are dealt to each player in every deal.
- The game uses the term “buying” for when an out-of-turn player takes an upcard.
- There is a limit to the number of buys allowed.
- 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 index value of the card.
Contracts: Each deal has a different contract, which consists of some combination of sets and sequences:
Deal Number Contract
||Two Sets of 3
||One Set of 3 and One Sequence of 4
||Two Sequences of 4
||Three Sets of 3
||One Set of 3 and One Sequence of 7
||Two Sets of 3 and One Sequence of 5
||Three Sequences of 4
||One Set of 3 and One Sequence of 10
||Three Sets of 3 and One Sequence of 5
||Three Sequences of 5
Buying: A “buy” is when an out-of-turn player takes the upcard. The 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 allowed 4 buys per hand.
Jokers: Use of jokers works the same as in Contract Rummy, except that 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 7
- 4 jokers may be used in a sequence of 10
For the remainder of the rules, refer to the Rules for Contract Rummy, which are the same as for Shanghai Rummy.