Fan Tan Game Rules

Fan Tan Game Rules

(Above illustrates a typical game of Fan Tan)

(Above illustrates a typical game of Fan Tan)

Card Game Rules

Fan Tan, Sevens, or Play-or-Pay is a casino type game for three to eight players. The game requires a standard 52 playing card deck and a set of poker chips for each player. In Fan Tan, Kings are high and Aces low. The objective is to be the first to play all of your cards.

For more casino type games, check out our guides for Michigan and Blackjack.

If you are looking for cards to play Fan Tan with, check out a standard deck here or one of our more recent arrivals here


Set Up

Each player places one poker chip in the middle of the gameplay area for the game’s Ante.

Before gameplay can begin, a dealer must be selected. To do so, players must choose a random card from a shuffled deck. The player with the lowest card becomes the dealer. Ties are broken with repeated drawings. The dealer shuffles the deck and passes out all of the cards face down to every player one at a time.


How to Play

The player left of the dealer begins by (if they can) placing a 7 in the center of the table. The game continues clockwise. Players either play a 7 or build upon an existing 7 pile. To do so, a card must be of the same suit as the 7 and either be a rank above or below the card they want to play on. For example, if the 7 of Clubs has been played, another player can place the 6 of Clubs on it, while another player can play the 5 of Clubs on the 6 and so on.

Players must play a card if they can. If a player cannot play any cards, they must add one poker chip to the pot. Play then continues clockwise.

The first player to get rid of all of their cards wins the pot.

For more information about Fan Tan and its rules, check out Wikipedia's article here and Pagat's article here.

Looking for more card games to play?  Check out this article:

40+ Great Card Games For All Occasions

About the author: John Taylor is a content writer and freelancer through the company You may view his freelancing profile here. He has a B. A. in English, with a specialty in technical writing, from Texas A&M University and a M. A. in English from the University of Glasgow. You may view his previous articles about card games here and his LinkedIn profile here.

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Last update date: 08/30/20

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1 comment

Bradley Drake on 2021,10,05

Thank you played a lot of poker cards etc during covid we started to run out of things to play looked some up boom new to us some very old but not to us well done

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