Fan-Tan is an easy-to-learn card game for ages eight to adult, three to six players. It uses a deck of regular poker cards, minus Jokers. Since it is so simple, the basic game can be learned in just a few minutes, or even as a game progresses. Once a player becomes more comfortable with the basics, however, he will begin to realize Fan-Tan’s potential as an exercise in the formation of strategies and the advantage of thinking and planning ahead, as well as the importance of tracking the activities of other players during the game.
The object of Fan-Tan is to play all the cards in one’s hand, one at a time, against cards laid onto the table by other players. The first player with no remaining cards wins.
Begin by choosing the dealer for hand one, and by dividing chips or pennies evenly among all players. The dealer should deal out the entire deck in the normal clockwise fashion, beginning with the player to his left. Players should form hands of their cards, and keep them concealed from other players.
In a 4-player game, each player must contribute two chips to the “pot” before play begins on the hand. If there are 3, 5, or 6 players, not all of them will have the same number of cards at the end of the deal, and so will make different opening contributions to the pot. In this case, all players should count their cards at the end of the deal. Those players who have fewer cards should contribute two chips, while those who have more cards will contribute one chip. This helps to minimizing the risk of players with more cards to play who are thus at a disadvantage in the hand.
Play begins with the player to the dealer’s left. The first card to be played must be a Seven. Suit does not matter. If player #1 holds one or multiple Sevens, he should choose one and place it face up in the center of the table. If player #1 holds no Sevens, …