How To Play Shanghai Darts – A Complete Guide For Newbies

How To Play Shanghai Darts – A Complete Guide For Newbies

7 minutes read
Sep 9th, 2022

Shanghai darts is a popular game for darts enthusiasts, as it can be both fun and competitive. If you are interested in learning how to play Shanghai darts, keep reading to find out!



  • What Is Shanghai Darts?
  • Shanghai Darts Rules
  • Variations to Shanghai Darts Rules
  • Conclusion

What Is Shanghai Darts?

Shanghai darts is a relatively simple and fun darts game to pick up. That’s why this game is immensely common for large groups of players and darts newbies. If you have already known the rules for the Around the World Darts, then Shanghai Darts is the next level.

The players will take turns throwing darts (3 darts per turn) at a specific target for each round and the one who stacks up the highest score, in the end, will be the winner. Easy, right? But there’s a good twist to the game. Continue reading, we’ll reveal it in no time.

Shanghai Darts Rules

Number of players

According to Shanghai darts game rules, there is no limit on the number of players allowed. However, the more players you get, the more exciting the game becomes.


There are two standard options for the number of rounds for Shanghai darts: 20 rounds (round 1 to 20) or 7 rounds (round 1 to 7). The number of each round is also the number that the players need to hit in the round to score.

For example, in round 1, you’ll need to hit number 1 on the dartboard to score. In round 2, you’ll need to throw at number 2, and so forth all way to round 7 or 20.

Aim for the option of 20 rounds if you and your friends want a long fun game. If you play in a large group, then 7 rounds seem like a better option. Or you can choose any number of rounds you want to play, as long as all players agree.


The scoring is similar to the typical 301 darts game. In case you don’t know it yet, see the image below first and continue reading.


The double ring gives you double points. The triple ring gives triple points. The bullseye is out of play in the game of Shanghai darts. The remaining areas (except the black ring containing the number as it doesn’t count) are the singles and they give single points.

For example, in round 1, you hit single 1, double 1, and double 1, then your total score will be 5. Next, in round 2, you hit double 2, double 2, and triple 2, then your total score will be 19 (5 + 14).

Note: only when you hit the right number specified for a round can you score. For example, in round 1, if you hit single 20, triple 18, and single 1, your total score will be 1.

To easily keep track of the players’ scores, you should make a dartboard scoresheet or scoreboard. No worries as it’s very easy to draw. It will have one column (on the very left) for the round numbers and other columns for the players’ scores. It would look something like this:

Round Name A Name B
1 1 5
2 5 7


There are two main objectives to win the game. You can be the one with the highest score at the end of the game (after round 7 or 20). You will need to focus on scoring as many points as possible in each round.

But that’s not the only way. Here’s a twist to the game! You can get a “Shanghai” and win the game immediately.

So, what is Shanghai? It’s when you hit all the single, double, and triple of the same number in one round. For example, in round 3, if you hit all the single 3, double 3, and triple 3 with all 3 darts, you’ll get a “Shanghai”. You’ll be announced as the winner immediately. This is also known as the “Shanghai finish”. It makes the game fun and unpredictable as it can end anytime.


Variations to Shanghai Darts Rules

Given the level of ease while playing Shanghai darts, feel free to adjust the rules and create as many variations as you like.

One common variation of the game rules is to set up minimum points for each round. For instance, each player must gain at least 3 points during a round. If they fail, then they will have 3 points removed from the scoreboard.

Or you can add a rule that a player’s total score will be cut in half if they miss all 3 darts in a round. This will make the game become more fun and unpredictable.


Learning how to play Shanghai darts is simple enough. Whether you are a newbie or a veteran in this game, Shanghai darts guarantee to bring about lots of fun and entertainment for you. Make sure to shake things up by creating several variations and you are good to go!

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