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1. A Chinese betting game in which the players lay wagers on the number of counters that will remain when a hidden pile of them has been divided by four.
2. A card game in which sequentially higher and lower cards are played starting with the sevens, the first player to run out of cards being the winner.
[Mandarin fān tān : fān, turn (from Middle Chinese fa⋮n) + tān, to spread out (from Middle Chinese than).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. (Gambling, except Cards) a Chinese gambling game in which a random number of counters are placed under a bowl and wagers laid on how many will remain after they have been divided by four
2. (Card Games) a card game played in sequence, the winner being the first to use up all his or her cards
[C19: from Chinese (Cantonese) fan t'an repeated divisions, from fan times + t'an division]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
1. a game in which cards are played in sequences based upon the sevens, the winner being the first to run out of cards.
2. a Chinese gambling game in which bets are made on what the remainder will be after a pile of coins has been counted off in fours.
[1875–80; < Chinese fān tān literally, repeated divisions]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.