Live casino solutions provider Evolution Gaming has launched a version of ancient Asian bead game Fan Tan, to be run out of its live casino studio.
Once among the most popular games played in Macau, Fan Tan is based on the repeated division of beads.
Players bet on a number between one and four, or any combination of them, with winning bets determined by the number of buttons or beads remaining after the dealer has separated them into groups of four.
The dealer starts the process by placing a metal bowl, known as “tan koi”, over a portion of the button pile to separate them. Once bets are placed, the dealer removes the bowl and uses a bamboo stick to group the revealed buttons into fours. Eventually, a single group will remain containing either one, two, three or four buttons which becomes the winning number.
“Fan Tan is an ancient and largely forgotten about game but we wanted to pay it respect with this fresh and modern version,” said Todd Haushalter, Chief Product Officer at Evolution.
“We will introduce the game to a whole new generation of players and it is a great way to entertain baccarat players when they are looking for an alternative to their main game.”
Fantan’s history in China dates back more than 2,000 years and as recently as the 1960s it remained the dominant game of chance played in Macau’s gambling parlors and early casinos.
Among those were Casino Kampek and Casino Macau Palace, whose claim to fame was the “hanging basket” game whereby players would be split between two levels of the gaming floor. On the lower level sat the common man, who would take a seat directly at the table itself to place his bets as usual.
The upper level housed the casino’s VIPs, who would sit around a large hollow that peered down to the gaming table below. Rather than place their bets directly at the table, they would instead tell the VIP dealer which numbers they wished to bet on, who would then lower their chips to the dealer below via a small basket. This became known as the “hanging basket” game.