Fan-tan

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Fan-tan A Chinese gambling game in which coins or other small objects are placed upon a table, usually under a cup, and the players bet as to what remainder will be left when the sum of the counters is divided by four.
    • Fan-tan A game with playing cards in which the cards are played in sequences upon the table, the one who first gets rid of his cards being the winner.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n fan-tan A Chinese game indulged in by gamblers, in which (in its simplest form) a pile of copper or bronze coins, called cash, is covered with a bowl, the players betting or staking money on what the remainder will be when the heap has been divided by 4. From the winnings of each player a certain percentage, usually 8 per cent., is deducted for the benefit of the croupier or the good of the house: often abbreviated tan.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Chinese (of Canton) in an-tan-kun, gambling house

Usage

In literature:

He had all the Oriental passion for fan-tan.
"The Window-Gazer" by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay
Fan-tan was in progress at one of the tables, the four players being apparently the only strictly sober people in the room.
"Tales of Chinatown" by Sax Rohmer
Oriental goods, Scraggs, is silks an' satins, rice, chop suey, punk, an' idols an' fan tan layouts.
"Captain Scraggs" by Peter B. Kyne
There, from a small quadrangular gallery, he could look down on the "well" of the fan-tan lay out below.
"Never-Fail Blake" by Arthur Stringer
A colored stable-boy stood at Fan Tan's wicked-looking head and addressed in varied tone and temper a pair of flattened ears.
"Blister Jones" by John Taintor Foote
Because fan-tan is the passion of Asiatics, the popular idea is that it must be the wickedest of all games, if not the most complicated.
"East of Suez" by Frederic Courtland Penfield
It's all a game of bluff, as I told you years ago in that fan-tan shop in Shanghai.
"People of Position" by Stanley Portal Hyatt
Mercury seems like a great place to tan, But it might be too hot if I don't pack a fan.
"FreeChildrenStories.com Collection" by Daniel Errico
He'll be wanting to teach Lee how to play fan-tan some day, so the boys say.
"The Orphan" by Clarence E. Mulford
There's a fan-tan joint on the third floor.
"The Bradys After a Chinese Princess" by Francis Worcester Doughty
They played fan tan and other games: Chinese and Europeans, both men and women.
"Lord John in New York" by C. N. Williamson
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In poetry:

Midons sui om et amics e servire,
e no.lh en quer mais autras amistatz
mas c'a celat los seus bels olhs me vire,
que gran be.m fan ades can sui iratz;
e ren lor en laus e merces e gratz,
qu'el mon non ai amic que tan me valha.
"Per mels cobrir lo mal pes (Anne)" by Bernard De Ventadorn

In news:

JWOWW Is a Fan of Self-Tanning Lotion.
Jay-Z has a famous fan in New Jersey and it's the Tanning Mom.
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