OBJECTIVE OF FAN TAN: Get rid of all your cards in hand first!
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3-8 players (4-6 is optimal)
NUMBER OF CARDS: Standard 52 card deck
RANK OF CARDS: A (high), K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2
TYPE OF GAME: Shedding
AUDIENCE: All Ages
INTRODUCTION TO FAN TAN
This version of Fan Tan, also referred to as Sevens or Domino, and in the United Kingdom as Parliament, is a simple game of shedding card into a layout. There is another version of Fan Tan which employs betting, however that version will not be described and has different rules and card rankings.
Any player may act as the dealer first. After, the deal passes to the left. The dealer shuffles the deck and, if they wish, the player to their right may cut it. Then, the dealer deals each player all the cards in the deck. The deal passes out cards one at a time, beginning with the player to the left of the dealer, until all cards are dealt. Some players will have more cards than other players, this is not necessarily an advantage or disadvantage. Players with more cards get to play first.
Play consists of adding cards, face-up, to the layout spread on the table. Each row has a single suit that starts with a 7 in the middle. To the left cards build to the two and to the right it builds to the ace.
Play begins with the player to the left of the dealer and moves clockwise. During your turn, you must play (if possible) a single card to the layout. Playable cards are:
- Sevens. A seven initiates a new row for that suit.
- Any cards which can be placed in sequence with the cards on the table, following the layout described above. Eventually, the cards should create a 13×4 grid, however, the order can be compressed by piling high cards.
Players who can’t play a card must pass. Passing is indicated by knocking on the table. If you pass while holding a playable card, that is illegal, and house rules shall determine the punishment.
The first player to play all cards in their hand is the winner.