How to Play Shanghai Darts

how to play shanghai darts

What is Shanghai Darts?

Shanghai darts or Darts Shanghai is considered a game of accuracy. It’s relatively easy to learn and has simple rules.

It’s fun as it covers the whole board. It can be played by any number of people or teams.

The main objective of the Shanghai darts is to score as many points as possible in the 20 innings or to “Shanghai” your opponent. 

How to Score in Shanghai Darts

There are two ways of determining the order in which the players throw the darts.

The first way is for all the players to have one turn to throw a dart with an aim of hitting the bulls eye on the board. The strikes the closest goes first, the one second closest goes second and so on.

The other way of determining the order is for everyone to throw a two-dart splash. This is when one throws two darts at the dartboard at the same time.

The order of play is from the person with the highest score going first and lowest score going last. The names are then written across the top of the scoreboard in order.

The numbers 1 through 20 are written down the left side of the same board. The scoreboard is then divided into columns for each player using vertical lines.

How Shanghai Darts is Played

Each player takes a turn in which they can throw three darts in an attempt to score the highest possible score in that round.

However, one only scores if the dart lands on the wedge that’s the same number as the round. The 1’s count for the first round, 2’s for second and so on.

The thin outer ring is known as the ‘doubles’ ring and counts twice the number of the wedge that’s scored. The thin inner ring is the ‘triples’ ring and this counts three times the wedge number scored.

The ‘single’ regions are the ones between the doubles and triples rings and between bull’s eye and triples ring. Each round has different score possibilities.

For example, the first round has a minimum score of one, when you hit a single, and maximum of three when you hit the triples.

Round 8 has a minimum score of 8 and maximum score of 24.

All this is per dart hit on the board. If it so happens that the player misses to land the dart within the wedge of the round that’s being played, that score is not counted.  

The player who scores the highest number of points within the 20 rounds wins.

How to Win Shanghai Darts

​If a player throws one dart into the single, another into the double and the other into the triple, he automatically wins the game. This is called Shanghai and the game is immediately over regardless of the score of the other players.

However, if there are players remaining with a throw for that round, they may attempt to throw a Shanghai so that they end up with a draw.

For best results, practice by throwing in a single number grid as much as possible. This helps to make the player good at grouping.

Grouping is where the three darts are thrown very close to each other. If you do manage to hit a double or triple on the first throw, try and go for the Shanghai.

Nevertheless, if the player doesn’t attain Shanghai they will have a decent score.

Variations in Shanghai Darts

Some variations to Shanghai make it a harder game to win. These variations help in increasing the player’s skill level because of the challenge.

Some variations make Shanghai will contribute to your score if the last dart is a triple or a double and not a single.

So, if your first dart lands on a double, the second on a triple and last on a single, you will not have Shanghai like in other cases.  

In some cases, you must hit at least one from the wedge you’re playing or lose half your total points.

Additional rules can also include making certain numbers a must hit number. If you completely miss any of these numbers then you are automatically disqualified from the game.


Shanghai darts is a fun game for people of all ages. The fact that it can accommodate any number of players or teams makes it preferable.

The variations it has make it more fun and interesting to play. They also help to handicap highly skilled players. Moreover, it makes use of the whole dartboard testing the player’s skill in accuracy.

This is also the challenging part of the game as a player highly needs to practice on grouping the darts.

It’s a good game for practice that will increase dart skills to conquer other rules of playing darts. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to