The name of the game may sound Chinese to you! Maybe this is because the game was originally a Chinese gambling game. The ancient game is played with small objects like buttons or beads. This is a pure chance gambling and guessing game similar to the Roulette game. However, this article will discuss another gambling game called Fan-Tan, Sevens, Domino, or Parliament.
What Is Fan-Tan Card Game?
This card game is primarily played at home settings for fun. However, you can find the game in larger land-based and some online casinos. App Store and Google Play also offer Fan-Tan card games where you can play for fun, not for real money.
|Fan Tan Card Game|
|Alternate Names||Sevens(US), Parliament(UK), Spoof, Card Dominoes, Domino|
|Objective||Be the first person to get rid of all your cards|
|Number of players||3-8, but 4-6 is optimal|
|Age range||Over 6|
|Cards||32 or 52|
|Deck||French or German|
|Rank||High➡Low, Natural(Kings are high and aces are low)|
The gameplay at home setting differs from the casino and gambling setting. Some rules are added to the casino version of the game, which we will cover later in this article.
Fan-Tan Card Game: Non-Gambling Version
This version of the game is suitable for children who learned card values, and this is one main reason for Sevens popularity at home and in family settings.
Any player may act as the dealer first, but after each round, the position rotates clockwise to the left. The dealer shuffles the deck and deals all the cards to players. Some players may get more cards than others(depending on how many players are playing the game), which is fine. When all the cards are dealt, the game begins.
The player immediately to the dealer’s left gets to play first and continues clockwise. The game should initiate with card 7 of any suite. If the first player has a 7, they place it face-up in the center of the table. If they don’t, they pass the turn to the next player. If the first player starts the game with a 7 card, the next player has the following possible movement options:
👉They can play another 7 of another suit. To do that, they should place their 7 directly above or below the first 7.
👉They can build up or down on any 7. For example, if they have an 8 or a 6 of the same suit(same suit as the 7), they can put it face-up on the right or left of the 7.
👉If they cannot do any of the above, they pass the turn.
The following players continue the same as above. Remember, you should be the first player to get rid of all your cards and use your cards to close up the pile of cards. For this reason, get rid of your cards wisely.
Fan-Tan Card Game: Gambling Version Rules
This version involves betting, and for this reason, it used to be called Play or Pay. The game setting and objective are the same as the previous version except for the Play or Pay part, which I will explain shortly.
For playing this version, a deck of 52 cards, three to eight players, and a set of poker chips for every player are required. To choose the dealer, each player draws a random card from a shuffled deck, and the player with the lowest card becomes the dealer. If there is a tie, it breaks with repeated drawings. The dealer shuffles cards and deals them face-down to all players. Everyone must place an ante(one poker chip) into the pot before the game starts. The winner, in the end, will win the entire pot.
How To Play Fan-Tan Casino Card Game
The player immediately to the dealer’s left should act first by playing their 7 if they have one; if not, they must put a chip into the pot. There are rules regarding this:
👉If you pass while you could have played, you must put three chips into the pot.
👉If you pass while you could have played a 7, you should give an additional five chips to the players who hold 6 and 8 of the same suit.
Alright. We assume the player puts down a 7 of hearts face-up at the center of the table. Then, the game continues clockwise, where the following players play a 7 or build up/down an existing 7 pile. A card must be of the same suit as the 7 and be a rank above or below the card to build up/down an existing 7 pile. In our example, 7 of hearts has been played. The next player can put down an 8 of hearts, while the next player places 9 of hearts on 8, and it goes on until the pile closes up with a King. As mentioned earlier, if players cannot play any card, they put one poker chip into the pot, and the game continues clockwise to the left. In the end, the first player who gets rid of all cards wins the game and the entire pot.
Sure Win Fan-Tan Strategy
The game is a pure chance, so there is no definite sure-win formula. However, there are strategies and tricks to help you play better and increase your chances of winning.
1️⃣Try to hold onto your middle cards. In other words, do not rush to play your 5,6,8, and 9 cards because these cards can block your opponents from playing while not affecting your play. However, be careful because if you don’t play on purpose while you could have played, you will get a forfeit of chips, as explained above.
2️⃣Play the 7 early of any suit where you hold a high or low card.
3️⃣Don’t bet big.
4️⃣Manage your time and don’t rush to play your cards.
5️⃣Try to encourage other players(with your cards, not words!) to play on the suits, where you hold the high or low cards.
6️⃣And as I always suggest, never gamble what you cannot afford!
To Sum It Up
Fan-Tan or Sevens is a fast and fun game that allows you to play for real money or just for fun. The shedding nature of the game makes it a game of chance. However, you definitely can improve your chances of winning by wisely playing your cards. Make sure to familiarize yourself with card values and suits, as being unfamiliar with suiting and ranking can get you in trouble and prevent you from being the first to get rid of your cards. Free mobile apps allow you to play, practice, and have fun before playing for real money.