How to Play Shanghai Darts – Rules You Should Know

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If you want to change things and save your game sessions from withering away, or if you’re looking for a simple dart game that doesn’t involve complicated rules or math, Shanghai darts is one of those games.

Shanghai darts is great fun and perfect for playing with any number of people or groups.

It’s a remarkable exercising tool that can be used to enhance the accuracy of both novices and pros.

Although Shanghai is reasonably simple with the target number changing every round and the total points available for the round, depending on that number, Shanghai is susceptible to nerve-racking comebacks.

The ubiquitous possibility of the “Shanghai” ensures that the weaker party is not out of the race, and a toppling can be achieved at any time.

No other darts variant offers as many opportunities for excitement in the first round and turnarounds in the last minute as the Shanghai.

In Shanghai darts, the main objective is to win as many points possible in the 20 rounds or to “Shanghai” your opponent.

Let’s look at how to play Shanghai darts.

Requirements to Play Shanghai Darts

The requirement for playing this game is another player, a dartboard, a set of darts (at least three darts), and a way to keep score.

The game is straightforward and requires no special equipment or accessories.

First Player of Shanghai Darts Game

There are no pre-determined guidelines to know which player goes first.

For this reason, the order of the players is determined by each player throwing a single dart at the bull’s eye.

The person whose dart lands closest to the bulls-eye throws first, while the player with the farthest dart from the bulls-eye throws last.

Shanghai Darts Rules

The game of Shanghai is a board game variant. The target number for every inning is equivalent to the round number you’re on.

For example: In round 1, you shoot for 1s; in round 2, you should shoot for 2s, up to around 20.

Every dart you throw gives its actual point value — the importance of hitting the target increases throughout the round.

For example, if you hit three triples in round 1, you get 9 points.

In round 10, three triples are worth 90 points. Each dart that lands outside the number currently being played is worth zero points.

What’s fun about this game is that regardless of your score, a player can win any time by hitting a “Shanghai.”

A Shanghai entails landing a dart in the single, double, and triple sections of the active number in the game. If a player lands a Shanghai, the game is over, and he/she wins.

How to Score in Shanghai Darts

Each round’s length depends on the number of players. Since the standard game is designed for 20 rounds, it’s essential to get accurate results after each move of a player.

Highlight each player’s name or initials at the top of the scoreboard. Write the numbers of the rounds, 1 to 20, in a column at the bottom left.

The order of play can be decided by a coin toss, closest to the bull or in any other way, so long the entire group accepts it.

When a player has thrown his three darts, his score is counted and then added to the points already on the board.

It’s essential to get a running total instead of adding everything at the end. This way, the current scores can be visible to the players.

When the game is over, the player that has the highest score wins, but keep in mind that if at any point during the game, a player rolls a single, double or triple of the active number, they win immediately.

How Shanghai Darts Is Played

Each player may alternately throw three darts to get the highest possible number of points in this round.

You only score if the dart hits the target with the same number as the round.

The thin external ring is called a “doubles ring” and counts twice as many wedges as the wedge that is hit.

The thin internal ring is called the “triples ring” and counts three times the number of the wedge achieved.

The regions in-between the doubles and triples ring and between bull’s eye and triples ring are the “singles.” There are different scoring options for each round.

For example, the first inning has the smallest score of one, if you hit a single, and highest point of three if you hit the triples.

Round 8 has the lowest score of 8 and the highest score of 24.

If the player fails to land the dart within the range of the round played, the score is not added. 

The player with the highest score during the 20 rounds wins.

How to Win Shanghai Darts

If a player lands a dart into a single, a double and a triple, automatically, he wins the game. This is known as Shanghai, and the game ends immediately, regardless of the other players’ score.

However, if there are still players left with a throw for this round, they can try throwing a Shanghai roll so that it results in a tie.

Practice by throwing in as many as possible of a single number grid for best results. This helps the player at grouping.

When grouping, the three darts are tossed very close together. If you succeed in scoring a double or triple hit on the first throw, try the Shanghai throw.

If the player doesn’t reach shanghai, he still has a decent result.

Frequently Asked Questions about How to Play Shanghai Darts

What Are Some Variations of Shanghai Darts?

Shanghai darts is one of those dart games that can be played in a lot of different ways. Here are some different ways.

  • First, you can change up the rules for getting a Shanghai.

For example, to score a Shanghai, the areas must be hit in a specific order: double first, single next, and triple last.

  • Another means to modify a little is to initiate certain numbers as must-hits. For example, you can introduce any odd or even number as a must-hit.

For instance, if all odd number is a must-hit and a player doesn’t hit it with darts, he can lose points or even halve their points.

  • You can set a precise area of each number compulsory, such as triple or double. If a player doesn’t hit them, he can be penalized.
  • You can set the bulls-eye to be around 21.
  • You can modify the rules of getting a Shanghai, for example, hitting the double, triple, and double bull.

This way, anyone who chooses to go for a Shanghai and a quick win must take the risk of not getting points with one of his darts.

  • Finally, if you play with a lot of people or if you don’t have enough time, you can always choose to play fewer innings.

Rather than 20, you can play ten rounds up to number 10.

What’s the Duration of the Game of Shanghai Darts?

A Shanghai darts game can take between 15 to 60 minutes. The time rests on the number of players incorporated and mainly if all 20 rounds are being played.

The game can last up to 20 or 30 secs if Shanghai is hit in the first round based on the player’s skill and accuracy.

What Is the Throwing Distance of Shanghai Darts?

A Shanghai darts game is played with a dartboard, which is hung according to the following standard throw dimensions:

  • For a dartboard with steel tip: 7′ 9 1/4″
  • For a dartboard with soft tip: 8′

Can a Game of Shanghai Darts End in a Tie?

It’s certainly possible, but very improbable that a game of Shanghai darts will end in a draw.

A game of Shanghai darts can only end in a draw if all players score an equal number of points in all 20 rounds, which is very unlikely.

Then, the game can be continued over several rounds.

What Kind of Dartboard Can Shanghai Darts Be Played on?

The game can be played on any dartboard with the standard numbering 1 – 20. These include all of the following standards:

  • Dartboards with soft tip;
  • Dartboards made of steel tip; and
  • Magnetic dartboards.

All these dartboards play a little bit differently. The dartboard type also influences the throw stretch and the type of darts used.

If you are going to play in a local darts league, it is recommended that you use a similar dartboard and train on one.

Final Thoughts

Shanghai darts is an entertaining game for all ages. Since the game can take any number of players or teams, this makes it the right choice for you.

Due to the variations, the game is more exciting and entertaining. Also, the entire dartboard is used to test the skill of the player for accuracy.

Apart from that, this part of the game makes it challenging since a player does some practice on grouping the darts.


Related Topics:

How to Become Good at Darts

How to Play around The Clock Darts

How to Set up Your Dartboard at Home