Semmes Senior Center
September 3, 2014
Shanghai Rummy is played with multiple decks of 54 standard playing cards, including the Jokers. Two decks are required for game of up to four players. Five or six players require three decks, and seven or eight require four. The number of decks can be increased beyond four to allow more than 8 players. Aces are high (above a King) or low, (below 2 for a 1), and Jokers are wild cards. Each game has 7 hands, and the rules for each hand are unique. One person begins as dealer for the first hand, and then the person to the dealer’s left becomes dealer for the next hand, and so on. Each player is dealt eleven cards. The rest of the deck is then placed face down in the middle of the players; this is referred to as the deck. One card is taken from the top of the deck and placed face up next to it. This card is called the upcard and becomes the beginning of the discard pile, otherwise known as “dead”, or no longer in the game.
Each player has a choice at the beginning of their turn. They may either pick up one new card from the top of the deck or take the upcard. (Also, the other players in the game have the ability to buy the up card.) After the player draws his card, either from the deck or the upcard, he must then choose any card in his hand to discard, and he then places this card face up on the discard pile. That card then becomes the new upcard, which the next player in turn can take or other players can buy. To buy a player must say, “buy”, before the next player draws their card, or else it is already considered “dead”. Once a player discards their card the card underneath that card is now considered a “dead” card because it is no longer in the game. Players may not take these cards.
Wikipedia contributors, “Shanghai rum,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Shanghai_rum&oldid=611022852(accessed September 2, 2014).