Fan-Tan, or fantan (simplified Chinese: 番摊; traditional Chinese: 番攤; pinyin: fāntān, literally "repeated divisions") is a form of gambling long played in China. Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use China ( Wade-Giles ( Mandarin) Chung¹kuo² is a cultural region, an ancient Civilization, and depending on perspective a National
Fan-tan is no longer as popular as it once was, having been replaced by modern casino games, and other traditional Chinese games such as Mah Jong and Pai Gow. A casino is in the modern sense of the word a facility that houses and accommodates certain types of Gambling activities Mahjong (also called mah-jongg by the American association Traditional Chinese 麻將 Pinyin: májiàng is a Game for four players that originated in Pai gow (牌九 Pinyin: pái jiǔ Jyutping: paai4 gau2 is a Chinese Gambling Game, played with a set of Chinese dominoes However, it was once a favorite pastime of the Chinese in America. Jacob Riis, in his famous book about the underbelly of New York, How the Other Half Lives (1890), wrote of entering a Chinatown fan-tan parlor: "At the first foot-fall of leather soles on the steps the hum of talk ceases, and the group of celestials, crouching over their game of fan tan, stop playing and watch the comer with ugly looks. Jacob August Riis (May 3 1849 - May 26 1914 a Danish -American Muckraker Journalist, Photographer, and social reformer was born in New York ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous How the Other Half Lives Studies Among the Tenements of New York (1890 was a pioneering work of Photojournalism by Jacob Riis, documenting the squalid ||-||-||-||}The Chinatown neighborhood of Manhattan &mdash (紐約華埠 a borough of New York City &mdash is an Ethnic enclave with a large Fan tan is their ruling passion. "
San Francisco's large Chinatown was also home to dozens of fan-tan houses in the 19th century. The City and County of San Francisco is the fourth most populous city San Francisco 's Chinatown is the oldest Chinatown in North America. The city's former police commissioner Jesse B. Cook wrote that in 1889 Chinatown had 50 fan-tan games, and that "in the 50 fan tan gambling houses the tables numbered from one to 24, according to the size of the room. "
Fan-tan is still played at Macau casinos, where play goes on day and night, every day of the week, and bets can be made from 5 cents to 500 dollars. Gambling in Macau has been legal since the 1850s when the Portuguese government legalized the activity in the colony
The game is simple. A square is marked in the centre 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, or "tan koi".
The players then bet on the numbers, setting their stakes on the side of the square which bears the number selected. (Players can also bet on the corners, for example between No. 2 and No. 3). 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. A croupier or dealer is a Casino employee who takes and pays out bets or otherwise assists at a gaming table Bamboo is a group of Woody perennial Evergreen Plants in the True grass family Poaceae, subfamily If it contains four buttons, the backer of No. 4 wins; if three, the backer of No. 3 wins, and so on.
A 5% commission is deducted from the stake by the banker, and the winner wins three times the amount of his stake thus reduced.
Fantan is also the name of a card game, played with an ordinary pack, by any number of players up to eight. A card game is any Game using Playing cards either traditional or game-specific Once the deal has been decided, the cards are dealt singly, and any that are left over form a stock, which is placed face downwards on the table. Each player contributes a fixed stake or ante. The first player can enter if he has an ace; if he has not he pays an ante and takes a card from the stock; the second player is then called upon and acts similarly till an ace is played. This (and the other aces when played) is put face upwards on the table, and the piles are built up from the ace to the king. The pool goes to the player who first gets rid of all his cards. If a player fails to play, having a playable card, he is fined the amount of the ante for every card in the other players hands.
The card game Sevens is also sometimes called 'Fan Tan'