Fan Tan used to be a gambling game that you could play mainly in Asian land-based casinos but now it’s as close as your computer or mobile phone. Evolution Fan Tan with live dealers is now available in many online casinos, to make this old classic even more fun.
Brief History of Fan Tan
Fan Tan has an ancient history, dating back at least two thousand years in China. Both its popularity and longevity are due to its simplicity. It can be played anywhere with only a pocketful of beans or beads.
In its most basic form, it’s a simple guessing game of remainders. A large handful or cup of beads is scooped up, placed on the gaming board, and covered. Players bet on numbers 1 through 4. The cover is removed, and the Tan Kun (Dealer) quickly orders the pile into neat lines of Four. However many beads are left is the winner.
During the great Cantonese migration in the middle of the 19th century, Fan Tan spread quickly to many parts of the world but was especially popular amongst the many Chinese immigrants to California. By 1900 many estimates put the number of fan-tan parlours just in San Francisco’s China town at more than 100, with some parlours having dozens of individual games.
Fan Tan found its popularity waning with the advent of Baccarat and migration by Asian players to slightly more skilled games of chance like Pai Gow or Mah Jong. It is now seldom found in Casinos outside of Macau.
New Life for Fan Tan
Online casino gambling breathed new life into many of these niche games that had all but disappeared. Especially Asian games as the demand for online casino gaming boomed across South Asia.
There were some early Fan Tan variations where you could play against the computer and its randomly generated number of beads. But the game really found new life with the addition of Live Dealer Gaming.
A live dealer who scoops up the beads in real-time and then allowed players to make their bets on computer screens from all over the world was always going to be a much better draw. Plus, one dealer now could service hundreds of players at a time, making the game very cost-effective.
When online casinos began adding more bets and lower commissions, Fan Tan quickly regained its status as one of South Asia’s favourite gambling games.
How to Play Live Fan Tan
You can find Fan Tan in live casinos with Evolution Games under the Live Baccarat& Sic Bo section. Despite the fact that this is not a Baccarat game, its popularity with Asian players and the fact that usually players who like Baccarat also like Fan Tan has led to Evolution placing it under that game category.
The evolution variation of Fan Tan is easy to play. Especially in the default view. The dealer will round all the beads up into a large container, then scoop up a random number of them to be placed on the table. The betting round begins. Once bets are placed, the Croupier will use the Tan Pong (bamboo stick) to quickly make lines of four beads.
Live Fan Tan Bets in Default View
In the default view, you can bet fan bets, which is to pick a number between 1 through 4. Once the dealer lines all the beads up in groups of four, you want to have guessed how many beads will remain.
You are paid true odds of 3 to 1 minus a 5% house commission if you guess right. For example, if you bet £10 on 3, and three beads remained at the end, you would win £30, minus the £1.50 commission. So you would win £28.50.
Evolution has already deducted this house commission on its layout, listing payouts with the commission already taken, but other software providers may list the true odds of 3 to 1, with a 5% commission on every win. Regardless, they all pay the same.
In the default game, you can also bet on even/odd or large/small. As you would expect, 1 or 3 wins on odd, 2 or 4 wins on even. Small covers 1 or 2 remaining beads, large covers 3 or 4 leftover beads. This bet pays 0.95:1 ( or even money, minus the commission). So a £10 bet here gets £9.50
Live Fan Tan Bets in Advanced View
if you change the view to advanced you can place even more bets like Nim, Knowk and SSH ( Sheh Sam Hong ). Let’s have a look at these Fan Tan bets in more detail.
Nim is a bet that lets us choose two numbers, one we want to win and one that will give us a push or tie as a hedge. This bet pays 1.90:1. So if we make a £10 bet and our primary number wins, we win £19. If the secondary number comes up, we push, and anything else loses.
Kwok allows you to pick two primary numbers. If either comes up, you win. Kwok means wall, so traditionally, the bet was placed on adjacent numbers, but you can pick any two in most games today. This will pay even 1.90:1, like odd/even did, so a £10 bet wins £9.50.
The SSH or Sheh Sam Hong is betting three primary numbers to win. If the remaining beads are equal to any of your three chosen numbers, you win. The payout may seem disappointingly low ( 0.316667:1), but the odds are heavily in your favour. £10 wins £3.16
Other traditional Fan Tan Bets
Nga Tan and Hong are other common bets not used on Evolution’s Live Dealer version of Fan Tan, but which you may come across in land-based casinos as these are traditional Fan Tan Bets. These are both three number bets as well.
Nga Tan allows you to pick two primary numbers to win, and 1 as a push, while Hong will enable you to pick two numbers that push and one that wins. Nga Tan pays 1 to 2. A £10 bet pays £4.75 after commission. Hong pays 1:1. A £10 bet wins £9.50 after the commission is taken.
The highest payout on Fan Tan is only 3 to 1 minus the commission which makes it 2.85:1. But it’s a quick, fun game with a low house advantage. Now that you can play Live Fan Tan at some of your favourite online casinos, why not give it a whirl.