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Shichi Narabe

Shichi Narabe is a fairly simple Japanese card game for 4 players. It is played with the international 52-card deck. There appears to be several versions of this game, so these rules are rather generic.

Aces are low.

How to play:

Shuffle the deck and deal 13 cards to each player. (There is a version of this game using jokers, but I don't know the details.) Decide who goes first somehow.

The players set up the layout by removing the sevens from their hands and placing them in a column on the table, making sure that there is enough room on each side of the column to eventually turn this into an array of cards with 13 columns and 4 rows.

On your turn, you can either (a) place a card from your hand onto the table or (b) no action. You may choose (b) a maximum of three times per game.

You can play a card only if there is a card on the table which matches it in suit and is adjacent to it in rank. For instance, at the beginning of the game, since all the 7s are on the table, the first card played can be any 6 or any 8. If it is 6♥, the second card played can be any of the 8 cards (5♥ 6♣ 6♦ 6♠ 8♥ 8♣ 8♦ 8♠). The cards on the table are arranged in rows, one row to a suit, to make this rule easy to follow.

The game ends either when one player runs out of cards (in which case, the remaining players receive penalty scoring for cards left in their hands) or when all players run out of cards (in which case, the players are ranked as first, second, third and fourth place, in the order in which they ran out of cards).

This game is also sometimes referred to as "Fan Tan". (Is it? Is Fan Tan the same game as this Shichi Narabe?)