OBJECTIVE OF PAN: Get rid of all cards in hand.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2-4 players

NUMBER OF CARDS: 24-card French deck

RANK OF CARDS: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9

TYPE OF GAME: Shedding

AUDIENCE: Teens and Adults


Pan is a Polish card game, not to be confused with the rummy game Panguingue, which often goes by the name Pan as well. The goal of Pan is to get rid of all your cards, the last player with cards in hand is the loser of the deal and given one letter of the name of the game (pan). The first player to spell pan is the loser, or the first player to lose three times.

The word pan is Polish for “gentleman.” In theory, any three letter word can be used. The game also is known as Historycznt Upadek Japonii, which the acronym for is a vulgar word in Polish. The first player to collect the first three letters of each word is the loser (and insulted).


The game traditionally uses a 24-card French suited deck. However, suits are irrelevant, so a standard Anglo card deck can be used with cards 2-8 removed. Note, the 9 of Hearts is a special card used at the start of the game.


Any of the players may deal first. The deal and the play moves clockwise or to the left. The cards are shuffled and dealt out evenly among the active players. For example, in a 2 player game, each player gets 12 cards, 8 cards in a 3 player game, and so on.


The player with the 9 of Hearts starts the game by playing it to the table and starting the play pile. If they happen to have the other three nines in hand those can be played on top of the 9 of Hearts immediately after.

Play passes to the left. Each player takes turns playing cards to the play pile or picking them up based on the following rules:

  • Play 1 card of higher of equal ranking to the one on top of the play pile.
  • Play 3 cards of equal value as the top card of the play pile at one time.
  • Play four cards of equal value that are higher ranking than the top card of the play pile.
  • Pick up the top cards from the play pile. The nine of hearts must remain on the table.


As players play their cards and they drop out of play, they are skipped as they no longer have cards in hand. When two players remain and one of them runs out of cards the other player has 1 turn left. If the other player is able to finish their hand off, the round is a draw. If not, they lose and earn 1 letter.

The player to earn the three letters first (P-A-N) is the loser of the game.

Nakoa Davis

2 thoughts on “PAN”

    • Hi Susan, a foul in Pan is just any way a player breaks the rules. This can be done in many ways. Some examples include drawing from the discard after touching the stack or playing invalid melds, really anything that breaks the rules. the penalty is the same for any foul though. A player who fouls their hand must remain in play but cannot make any paying combinations, or if not playing for bets then the player would automatically take the next letter in PAN. I hope this helps.

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