Shanghai Rummy is a card game that is a variation on another card game, Contract Rummy, and is played with 3-5 players using 7, 8 or 10 contracts depending on the variation of the game. It differs from Contract Rummy in both terminology and rules.

Shanghai Rummy has ten rounds and during each round, eleven cards are dealt in every deal. When an out-of-turn player takes an upcard, Shanghai Rummy calls this "buying" and does not limit the number of buys that are allowed throughout the game. There is, however, a limit to the number of jokers that can be used in every set or sequence. Shanghai Rummy gives each card a count of 5 for scoring rather than using the index card value as done in Contract Rummy.

Another important facet of Shanghai Rummy is that the deal numbers have different sets of contracts. This is important for those who wish to play the game. In standard Shanghai Rummy (there are several variations), there are 10 deal numbers (though variations include 7 or 8 deal numbers). For the first deal number, the contract is two sets of 3. For the second deal number, the contract is one set of 3 and one sequence of 4. For the third deal number, the contract is two sequences of 4. For the fourth deal number, the contract is three sets of 3. For the fifth deal number, the contract is one set of 3 and one sequence of 7. For the sixth deal number, the contract is two sets of 3 and one sequence of 5. For the seventh deal number, the contract is three sequences of 4. For the eighth deal number, the contract is one set of 3 and one sequence of 10. For the ninth deal number, the contract is three sets of 3 and one sequence of 5. For the tenth deal number, the contract is three sequences of 5.