A Guide To Playing Shanghai Darts

Listen to this article. Darts has several different games that are played all around the world. These games are fun to play and also great for practicing. One of these games is Shanghai darts. It is an easy-to-pick game, but it is pretty hard to master it. This variant of darts can be played with any number of people – preferably large groups. The term “Shanghai” basically refers to the scoring of this variant. Players have to score single, double, or triple of the same number in one turn. The goal is to score more points than the opponent.

The number of players:

Typically, 4-Unlimited.

Numbers in play:

1 to 20


Score highest points in 20 points, or score a shanghai once in any round.

Rules for playing shanghai darts

How to start the game?

Choose the player who will start the game by “bulling up.” To choose the starting player, all players must throw once at the bullseye. After everyone is done, determine the turns by the throwing order. The person whose dart lands closest to the bullseye gets the first turn, and the sequence goes on till the one who hits farthest from the bullseye getting the last turn.

Note: Ask someone to write down the names of the players after deciding the order of turns on the left side of the scoreboard.

Creating a grid to tally the score of each player will help avoid confusion regarding the scores at the end of the game.

How to play the game?

The game is quite simple if you and your opponents follow the rules correctly. All the players take turns in a sequence. Each player can throw three darts in every round; they have to aim for numbers 1 to 20. Every player has to start from numbers 1, 2,3, and so on. And the score is only counted when the dart hits the number in the play right now; for example, if the number 2 is in play, the highest score a player can achieve by landing all three darts on number 2 is six.

The time every round will take depends upon the number of players. The score goes higher along with the rounds. However, one can win the game in two ways. Either you score the highest score until the end of the game and win automatically. Or hit a single, double and triple of numbers in your play.

Scoring in the game

Each section of the dartboard comprises a certain amount of points. The black and cream-colored areas of the dartboard are worth 1 point. The doubles on the dartboard are worth 2 points. And lastly, the middle section of the dartboard – the triples – is worth 3 points.

If you can’t hit a number, it means you scored 0 points. Whoever scores the highest points wins the game. However, sometimes there can be a tie. For a tie, the winner is the one who scored the most triples.

Variations in Shanghai darts

There are some variants present around the world for this game. Some of these variations actually make Shanghai darts harder and help develop the skills of players. In some variations, there is a contribution to the score when the player’s last dart hits a double or a triple instead of a single. That means, if you hit in a sequence of triple, double, and single, you won’t be able to Shanghai, like it is done usually. You will need to hit one number from a wedge in other variants or lose half your scored points.

Wrapping it up

Shanghai darts is quite a fun game to play with large groups of friends. Moreover, it is more fun because playing Shanghai darts also helps in improving the darts skills of the players. The game is challenging, and you will need practice to master it.

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