Shanghai Rummy

August 19, 2011 by Dan Brown in Rummy

What do you think: how many variations rummy has? It is said that it’s spread all over the world and many people play it. Maybe the names of variations tell us these things, like Shanghai rummy. Since rummy is a two thousand years old game, and it originates from eastern cultures, it is not a wonder that we meet with names like Shanghai rum.

The truth is that this game is just another variation of manipulation rummy. Like so many other types of rummy, this is played by the basic rules of rummy. There are, of course, some differences. This type can be played by up to eight players. This means a lot of players, and since there are so many players, a lot of cards are needed. This is why this game is played even with four decks. Jokers are also used as wild cards along deuces. Players get eleven cards each and the dealer is always another player in every turn, usually the one to the left from the previous dealer.

A cool thing in shanghai rum is that a player who has melded all his cards will still have to play. He will get cards from the table and will be able to manipulate his or other player’s sets or runs. In other types of rummy players want to get out as soon as possible, because after they melded all the cards, they win that round. In this game, however, the goal is to make as many points as possible.

Since there is no reason to rush with melding, players have the possibility to think things through better. This can result in better hands, but since manipulation of sets and runs already melded is also possible, this game suggests a calm play. Players have enough time to think of everything before melding, but even after they melded all their cards, they still have the possibility to correct a set or run.

Scoring is also otherwise in this game, because here the one that gets rid of all cards wins the hand, but gets zero points. The other players then have to count the value of their cards and in the end the player that has the most points will lose and the one with the least points will win. Since the game has more rounds, it will not be a great mistake to remain with many cards in hands in a round. Anyhow, there are so many cards that there is almost impossible for a player to not meld anything, especially because it is possible to change already melded hands. To remain with less points in hands, players have to meld the cards that value more first. This way even if they remain with cards in hands that will not value much.

It is obvious that rummy originates from the east, but Shanghai rum is just another variation that was made in the past century. There are small differences between the types of rummy, but even so they are big enough to make a new type of game.

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