Fan-Tan, or fantan game originated in China. It is a game of pure chance which has similarities to roulette. The name fantan dates back only to the mid-nineteenth century. Before that time, fantan was known as yanqian (literally meaning “covering coins”, tanxi tanqian, yiqian. It was prominent during the Late Qing and Republican period in Canton and the Pearl River Delta region.
After 1850, fantan spread overseas as a side effect of the massive Cantonese emigration. Fan-tan is no longer as popular as it once was, having been replaced by modern casino games like Baccarat, and other traditional Chinese games such as Mah Jong and Pai Gow. Fan-tan is still played at some Macau casinos.
Fan Tan game
A square is marked in the center of an ordinary table, or a square piece of metal is laid on it, the sides being marked 1, 2, 3 and 4. The banker puts on the table a double handful of small buttons, beads, coins, dried beans, or similar articles, which he covers with a metal bowl. When all bets are placed, the bowl is removed and the “tan kun”, or croupier, uses a small bamboo stick to remove the buttons from the heap, four at a time, until the final batch is reached. If it contains four buttons, the backer of No. 4 wins; if three, the backer of No. 3 wins; if two, the backer of No. 2 wins and if one the backer of No. 1 wins.
All winning wagers are paid true odds less a house commission, which ranges from 5% to 25% depending on the time and place. Nowadays, in Macau casinos, the house commission is uniformly set at 5%. For example, assume a bettor has $100 wagered on a 3 to 1 wager; if the bet wins, the bettor is paid $285 ($300 less 5%).
How to play Fan Tan online?
Whether you want to play the fan tan online casino game played using beads, or you want information about the fan tan card game which is also known as Sevens.
The interesting thing about fan tan is it that the term covers several substantially different variants of the game. Fan tan at casinos online is usually played with a dealer flipping over a cup full of beads, with players placing predictions on the outcome. But there’s also a whole other version of fan tan, played with three to eight players using a deck of cards.
If you’re playing fan tan online, it’s much more likely you’ll come across the version using beads. It’s a classic game of chance which was invented in China. Many players have noticed its similarities with online roulette, though it’s not as easy to find fan tan at casinos outside of the continent.
How to play Fan Tan at online casinos?
Before you learn how to play fan tan, make sure you’re looking at the right game. As mentioned, there are two different games named fan tan, both coming from China but vastly different in terms of gameplay.
Online fan tan is a traditional player versus the house game. The layout isn’t very different from the sic bo online table game – you’ll have a number of betting options in front of you and you can simply place chips on them to declare your bet or bets.
First, the dealer will grab two handfuls of beads and place them in a cup which is then covered from view. Once you’ve placed your bets, the dealer will reveal the beads and begin counting them out, using a special wand to arrange them into groups of four.
It’s worth noting that some online casinos use playing cards instead of beads. It’s sometimes referred to as Super Fan Tan, based on the Gameplay Interactive title. In this version, dealers deal six or 12 cards. Each has a value – ace is worth one point, 2-10 are worth their face value, while jacks, queens and kings are worth 11, 12 and 13 points respectively.
In the card version of online fan tan against the dealer, the total from the six or 12 cards is divided by four and the remainder is used to determine the winning number.
Fan Tan Rules of the Game
Another version of fan tan is played with between three and eight players using a standard deck of cards. All cards are dealt out, which means some players may have one card fewer than the rest.
This game is often called Sevens (7s) because the seven is the key card in the game. Players take it in turns to lay down a card, face-up. Sevens can be played at any time. Other than sevens, you must lay down cards in sequence, based on their number and suit. For example, when the seven of hearts is laid down you can then lay down the six or eight of hearts – the cards which are one place below and above the seven of hearts, respectively.
The winner is the player who gets rid of their cards first.
When playing against a dealer, you can place several different online fan tan bet types. You’ll bet on how many beads remain after the final group of four.
For example, if there were 42 beads, the winning number would be two. That’s because there are 10 groups of four beads, leaving two beads behind.
If there were 56 beads, the winning number would be four (sometimes referred to as zero). That’s because there are 14 groups of four beads, leaving none behind – i.e. a perfect group of four.
Here are five of the most common fan tan online bets:
- Fan: With the fan bet, you’ll need to back the precise number of beads remaining. Fan bets are from 1-4 (or, at some casinos, 0-3). Odds: 3/1
- Nim: Like a fan bet, but with two numbers instead of one. One number will count as a win, and the other as a push. Odds: 2/1
- Kwok: Like a nim bet but both numbers count as a win. Odds: Evens
- Nga tan: Like a nim bet but with three numbers instead of two. Two numbers will count as a win, and the other as a push. Odds: 1/2
- Sheh-sam-hong: Like a nga tan bet, but all three numbers count as a win. Odds: 1/3
- To play fan tan first find an online casino in Philippines that offers this game.
- Sign up to any of such online casinos
- Now add real funds to your account using a credit card, e-wallet or other payment type.
- Choose which numbers to bet on.
- Flip those beads!: Once your bets are on, it’s time for the dealer to reveal the beads and get counting – so hope for the best!
How to win a Fan Tan or Sevens card game?
Fan tan at online casinos is a game of chance which means there’s not a lot of strategy involved. However, if you’re playing the card version of fan tan – or Sevens – then here have some top tips for you.
Here’s our winning strategy for playing the Fan Tan game online:
Release your end cards Aces and kings – known as ‘end cards’, as they’re the last in the sequence – can be a pain. In order to make sure you can get rid of them, you want to play that suit as early as possible. If you happen to have the seven of that suit, lay it down as soon as you can. This will increase the odds of you getting rid of your end card.
Hold back special sevens: If you have a seven, you hold a lot of power. You need to decide when is a good time to release it. For example, if you have the 7 and 9 of hearts, you only need the 8 of hearts to be laid down to get rid of both. That won’t take long, so it might be a good idea to hold onto your 7 for as long as possible.
Practice your poker face: Unlike fan tan’s online casino version, you’re not playing against the house – you’re taking on other players. With this in mind, you need to try not to give away any useful information on your cards. In fact, you should try to feed other players false information on your cards, if you spot an opportunity to do so.
Play Fan Tan Online for Free and Real Money
It can feel a bit unfamiliar playing a new game for the first time, so many players opt to play for free while learning how to play fan tan. The thing is, it’s one of the easiest games around!
If you do feel unsure, it’s not a bad idea to play free fan tan online before you make the step up to real money. This will help you get familiar with bets like nim and nga tan, where certain numbers pay out as a ‘win’ and others are returned as a ‘push’. But, within a few rolls, there’s every chance you’ll want to play for real money. Free fan tan online will always serve a purpose to help build your confidence at the tables.