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How to Play Shanghai Darts

Written By: John Dart

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Are you interested in learning how to play Shanghai darts? This game is a fun and exciting way to spend time with friends and family, and it’s easy to learn. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to play Shanghai darts, including the rules, scoring, and tips for improving your game.


Shanghai is an exciting and challenging variation of darts that tests both your accuracy and strategic thinking. If you’re looking to add some variety to your dart-playing repertoire, this step-by-step guide will walk you through the rules and game play of Shanghai darts.

How to Play Shanghai Darts

In this guide, we will explore the thrilling world of Shanghai darts, where players compete against each other to score the highest points on specific target areas within each round. We will cover the basic objective of the game, the equipment needed, and the rules you must follow to play Shanghai darts successfully.

Shanghai is a game that demands precision and adaptability. It requires you to focus not only on scoring points but also on strategically targeting specific sections of the dartboard. By following the guidelines in this guide, you’ll develop the skills and strategies necessary to excel at Shanghai darts.

So, whether you’re a beginner looking to try something new or an experienced player seeking a fresh challenge, join us as we dive into the world of Shanghai darts. Get ready to aim for the highest points, strategize your throws, and enjoy the thrill of this captivating game.

Equipment Needed

To play Shanghai darts, you will need a dartboard, three darts, and a clear area to throw from. You can purchase a dartboard at most sporting goods stores, and they come in various sizes and styles. It’s important to choose a dartboard that is made of quality materials and has clear and visible markings. You should also choose darts that are comfortable to hold and have a good weight distribution.

How to Play Shanghai Darts

The Objective of the Game

The objective of Shanghai darts is to score points by hitting specific numbers on the dartboard. The game is played in rounds, and each round consists of three throws per player. The ultimate victor of the game is the player who manages to secure the highest score by the game’s conclusion.

How to Score Points

Shanghai darts are played on a standard dartboard, which has 20 numbered sections. The numbers range from 1 to 20, and each section has a corresponding point value. The bullseye, which is in the center of the board, is worth 25 points, while the outer bullseye is worth 50 points.

Scoring in Darts

To score points in Shanghai darts, you must hit specific numbers on the dartboard. In each round, the player must hit the number that corresponds to the round number. For example, in the first round, the player must hit the number 1 on the dartboard. If they hit the number 1, they score one point. If they hit a double 1, they score two points, and if they hit a triple 1, they score three points.

How to Win the Game

The game of Shanghai darts is typically played over several rounds. The number of rounds played can be determined by the players before the game begins. The individual who attains the most elevated score upon the conclusion of the game shall be declared the victorious player. However, there is a special rule called “Shanghai” that can be used to end the game early. If a player scores a triple, double, or single of the number corresponding to the round number, they win the game.

Tips for Playing Shanghai Darts

Choosing Your Strategy

When playing Shanghai darts, it’s important to choose a strategy that works best for you. Some players prefer to aim for the triple section of each number, while others prefer to aim for the doubles. Aiming for the triples can be risky because it requires a high level of accuracy, but it can also lead to high scores.

On the other hand, aiming for the doubles can be less risky because the doubles are larger than the triples, but it may result in lower scores. It is crucial to explore various tactics and discover the most suitable one that aligns with your approach.

Perfecting Your Throw

To improve your game, it’s important to perfect your throwing technique. Start by standing at the correct distance from the dartboard, which is 7 feet 9 1/4 inches (2.37 meters) from the front of the board. Keep your elbow at a 90-degree angle and hold the dart with a relaxed grip. Focus on your aim and release the dart smoothly and consistently. Practice your throwing technique regularly to improve your accuracy and consistency.

Throwing Darts

Staying Focused

When playing Shanghai darts, it’s important to stay focused on the game. Avoid distractions and maintain a positive attitude. Take deep breaths and stay calm and composed, even if you miss a shot. Focus on your aim and keep your eye on the prize.

Variations of Shanghai Darts

There are many variations of Shanghai darts that you can play, including:

  • Cutthroat Shanghai: This is a multiplayer game where players compete against each other instead of playing as a team. The goal is to score points and prevent other players from scoring points.
  • Shanghai Baseball: This is a variation of the game where the dartboard is divided into nine sections, like a baseball field. Players must score runs by hitting specific sections of the dartboard, and the game is played over nine innings.
  • Shanghai Round the Clock: This is a variation of the game where players must hit each number on the dartboard in order, starting with 1 and ending with 20. The game is played in rounds, and the player who completes the entire sequence first is the winner.


How many players can participate in Shanghai darts?

A: Shanghai darts can be played by two or more players. It is a versatile game that can accommodate different group sizes.

What Equipment Do I Need to Play Shanghai Darts?

A: To play Shanghai darts, you will need a standard dartboard and a set of three darts per player. Make sure the dartboard is securely mounted on a wall or dartboard stand.

How Does Scoring Work in Shanghai Darts?

The scoring in Shanghai darts is based on the number that is targeted in each round. Hitting the designated number on the dartboard scores points. Additionally, if a dart lands on the double or triple ring of the targeted number, it earns double or triple points, respectively.

What is the Order of the Rounds in Shanghai Darts?

Shanghai darts follows a sequential order from rounds 1 to 20. Each round corresponds to a specific number on the dartboard, starting from 1 and progressing up to 20. The final round involves aiming for the bullseye.

How Long Does a Game of Shanghai Darts Typically Last?

The duration of a game can vary depending on the number of players and the agreed-upon rules. A game of Shanghai darts usually takes around 30 minutes to an hour to complete.

Are There Any Variations or Additional Rules for Shanghai Darts?

Yes, there are variations and additional rules that can be incorporated into Shanghai darts. Some players may choose to introduce a time limit for each round, or penalties for missing the designated number. These variations can add more excitement and challenges to the game.

Is There a Specific Strategy to Excel at Shanghai Darts?

While Shanghai darts requires accuracy and skill, strategies can vary among players. Some prefer to aim for the double or triple ring right from the start, while others aim for consistent hits on the targeted number. Experiment with different techniques and find a strategy that works best for you.

Can I Play Shanghai Darts Casually or is It for Competitive Play Only?

Shanghai darts can be enjoyed both casually and competitively. Whether you want a fun game with friends or a more competitive match, Shanghai darts offers flexibility to suit different play styles and skill levels.

Remember, safety is essential when playing darts. Always follow proper dart-throwing techniques, maintain a safe distance from the dartboard, and ensure a secure playing environment. Enjoy the game of Shanghai darts and have a great time with your fellow players!


Shanghai darts is an engaging and competitive game that requires skill and precision. Played with a standard dartboard and a set of three darts per player, the objective is to score the highest total points over a series of rounds. Each round focuses on a specific number on the dartboard, starting from 1 and progressing up to 20, culminating in the final round where players aim for the bullseye.

The scoring system awards points for hitting the designated number, with additional points for hitting the double or triple ring. The player with the highest cumulative score at the end of all the rounds emerges as the winner.

Shanghai darts offers an enjoyable and challenging experience for players of all skill levels, promoting friendly competition and accuracy. It’s important to maintain safety precautions while playing and to keep track of scores accurately. Gather some friends, set up the dartboard, and embark on a thrilling game of Shanghai darts to test your dexterity and have a great time.

About the author

Written By

John Dart

John Dart

Introducing the powerhouse behind Dartboard Hub! Leading the charge is John Dart, our 54-year-old Principal Author, and a true dart virtuoso. With a string of victories in competitive dart games, John brings unparalleled expertise to the table, ensuring top-notch insights for players of all levels. John’s journey is a testament to his exceptional skill and expertise in the world of darts.

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