Fan Tan is a unique Chinese game of chance which uses neither cards nor dice. In past times, fan tan was played in large gambling dens with many handfuls of beads made of ivory or bone. When played in more intimate settings, people would often use beans or coins, or buttons. In modern versions of fan tan, the game is played with plastic beads and a plastic wand, instead of a bamboo one.
This was a game that the Chinese would transport along with them, for instance when they worked building the Trans-Continental railroad or settled in New York and San Francisco in the 1800s. Fast forward to the modern age, we now have BBin Fan Tan played online with a live dealer. The game retains its mysterious attributes as the croupier presents a splash of beads on the table. The confusion is short-lived, as a specific number of beads are separated by the dealer (tan kun) with a cup.