How to Play Shanghai Darts
Beginners,  Games

How to Play Shanghai Darts

Shanghai Darts is a darts practice game that can also be played in a semi-competitive format. Shanghai Darts is tons of fun and is uniquely suited to play with large groups of people. It is also a great training tool that can be used by beginners and pros alike to improve their accuracy.

The game is pretty straight forward because the target number changes each round. The total possible score for the round is dependent on that number. Therefore, the game is left wide open for potential comebacks.

The possibility of the hitting the “Shanghai” is there at all levels of the game. Therefore, a fun surprise victory can be claimed at any moment.


  • The game is loosely based on Around the Board in that the game progressed each round from 1 through to the 20 segments.
  • In this game you score the actual value of your dart provided it lands in the given target.
  • The added challenge to this game however is that if a player hits a treble, single and double in one throw on the given target aka a “Shanghai” then they have instantly won the game!

Shanghai Darts Scoring

The standard game will last 20 rounds, one for each number on the board.

The player order can be decided in any way you feel fit. As a group some may opt to throw for the bullseye some may choose a coin toss, but as long as all players are happy this is really unimportant.

After every three darts a player throws it is added to their score. It is important to keep a running total throughout the whole game. This makes it easier for a player to gauge their competition rather than waiting right until the end although this can lead to a few tense moments.


If you are playing in a particularly large group, then getting all the way round to 20 in one sitting may be a daunting task. Therefore, it is entirely possible just to play the game for seven rounds or perhaps even less.

If you are looking for even more of a challenge you can try and make certain targets Mandatory Targets. This means that if a player misses them then their entire score is wiped out.

If you are still looking for more of a variation, you can try and apply this to all rounds. When doing this the player must hit at least the big segment of every target.


Aim for the treble segment first as it is the smallest and therefore hardest segment to hit. If it lands, then move on to the double.

If you are a more confident player then you should be attempting to hit a shanghai from the very beginning. However, as the game progresses and your opponent’s chances dwindling it may be more advised to begin going for the trebles and just trying to ensure yourself a points win. Otherwise, one good score could be all it takes for your winning position to go to a losing one.

Shanghai Darts Final Thoughts

This is one of, if not the best darts games for larger groups. You can practice for it on your own with other easy dart games. Win or lose, if you’re having a bunch of fun with a group of friends playing darts it doesn’t get much better than that!