Shanghai rum is one of the most popular rummy card games based on gin rummy. It is also a variation of Contract rummy that is played by 3 to 8 players. Shanghai rum is also known as California rummy in the circuit of this card game.
The Gameplay of Shanghai Rummy
One of the unique aspects of Shanghai rummy is that it can be played with several standard 52 cards that include a Joker. Six or five players need 3 decks, and 2 decks are required for 4 players playing the game. Aces have a higher value than a King or lower than the card 2. Every game has 10 hands, as well as the rules of every hand are different. A player starts as a dealer for first hand and starts dealing from the player on the left. After that, the dealer changes with every new round of the game. Every player is dealt 11 cards in every round of the tournament. The rest of the cards is kept in the center of the table in a face-down position. This set of cards is referred to as a set of decks. A single card is picked from the top of the deck and kept face-up beside it. The card is referred to as the upcard and regarded as the start of the discard pile.
In this rummy card game, every player gets a choice at the start of their turn. They may either take one new card from the top of the deck or pick the upcard. Simultaneously, the other players of the game have the choice to get the upcard. When the player draws the card from the deck or the upcard, he should select any card in his hand to discard. After that, the player puts the card face-up on the discard stack of cards. This card is regarded as the new upcard where the following player can pick, or the rest can buy. When taking a not yours card, the player needs to say 'BUY' right before the following player draws their next card, or else it is regarded as already dead.' After a player casts off a card, the card below that card is now considered a 'dead' card as it is no longer in the game.
When you are playing online rummy and playing this variant, remember that jokers are wild cards that can be placed in any card position. A player is not given the scope to have more jokers instead of face-cards in a set or run. The best example is when one player is trying to get a set, the person must have 3 or more cards of similar rank (8/8/8). However, when a player has a joker or more, the person can play in an 8 (8/8/joker) position. Furthermore, a player cannot lay more than jokers than face cards (8/8/joker/joker). A similar logic applies to runs too. When a player has laid down and has a joker in a run or set, it can be substituted by any player's right card. On the other hand, if a player has already laid down the meld, he can pick the joker and decide to utilize it at any time.
Overall, Shanghai rummy is an exciting game that needs practice to play seamlessly and win matches.