While fan-tan is no longer as widely known as it once was, with modern gambling games replacing it by and large, it used to be one of the most popular pastimes for the Chinese settlers in the United States of America. The large section of San Francisco that the Chinese settled in, known as Chinatown, was home to many venues that provided for this game to be played during the 19th century. In 1889 there were 50 fan-tan games available in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and these further housed between one and 24 tables each, according to the room’s size. These facts were recorded for posterity by Jesse B. Cook, San Francisco’s former police commissioner.
Thanks to the Internet, a game of fan-tan is now never further away from an interested player than his or her device is, and it is very enjoyably played on a number of different types of these, including smartphones; tablets; desktop computers and laptops. Thanks to the fact that casino bonuses provide players with the opportunity of free play as well, wherein no real money risks are necessary, even those who have never heard of the game will be able to learn it at exactly the pace that suits them. The anonymity of the Internet allows players who may be intimidated by brick and mortar casino games to learn them in a totally stress-free environment, and real money betting only begins when the player decides that he or she is ready to do so.
Fan-Tan is also known at MasterCard casinos as sevens; parliament and card dominoes. It allows for between three and eight players, but is best enjoyed by four individuals.
The object of Fan-Tan is to be the first player who manages to play off all their cards, and there is a standard 52 card deck in use for the game. Aces are valued as low.
Play begins with each of the individuals taking part receiving an equal amount of chips. Cards are then dealt one at a time to each player until the entire pack has been dealt. It is not important if some players receive one card fewer than the rest.
Play begins with the individual to the left of the dealer, and each person taking part must play either a seven, or add on to cards in suit succession, either descending or ascending from the seven. Once a seven is in play, for example, both the eight and the six are possibilities for play. If the eight is put down, the nine can follow; if the six is used then playing a five becomes an option. Card sequences will ascend up to the king and descend down to the ace. Once an end card has been played the row is folded up and turned over.
When a player is unable to play a card, he or she will pass and add a chip into the kitty. Whoever manages to finish his or her cards first will be the winner of the money collected in the kitty, along with one chip for each card left in the remaining players’ hands.