Sevens (card game)

Sevens (card game)

Sevens is a card game. Also known as 'Laying Out Sevens'. It works well for 3-7 players. The object is to be the first player to play all of his/her cards by playing up or down in suit from seven to ace and eight to king (as in many solitaire games).

All cards are dealt to the players, the one with the 7 of hearts plays first. Play continues clockwise with each player either playing or passing. Except where there are 2 or 4 players, there will be an uneven number of cards. This is dealt with in one of two ways - either all the cards are dealt regardless (the effect of having one more card is not that great) or by placing the remaining cards face up, and they may be used by any player before the player plays a card from their hand (to enable them to make a play).

No card may be played on a seven until the eight is also played. A seven, however, can be played at any time. Once the seven and eight is played, the next card in suit (at this point, a six or a nine) may be played. If a player is unable to play, they must pass. Some variations require that the player must play a card if they are able; however on the Nintendo DS, the player can pass whenever he chooses.

The game works particularly well with mixed ages, as young children can simply follow as they can, but tactics are possible for increased interest. Tactical play involves trying to get a situation where a card is held back by the player holding it if it is the lowest or highest they hold in that suit, thereby preventing other players with higher/lower cards from getting out, and forcing them to play cards in a suit that the blocking player holds high or low cards in.

The game can be played as one round, simply first to get rid of all their cards is the winner (although with children play continuing to find a 'second winner' is possible). Alternatively, it can be played for multiple rounds, with lowest score the winner. Scoring is in one of two ways, either counting the remaining cards as one point regardless of rank, or counting pips on the remaining cards, with Jacks, Queens and Kings each counting 10. The latter has an effect on tactics, as getting rid of high scoring cards or forcing opponents to keep high scoring cards becomes part of the game.


This game was brought to America by Wilhelm Geschwendt who named it 'Laying Out Sevens'. The game is now played around the world.

The game is also known as Fan Tan, or Parliament.


The French game "Domino" is essentially the same except that the player to the dealers left leads, and may lead a card of any rank. Subsequent players may then build on that suit or start a new suit with a card of the same rank as that originally led. Also having a perfect game is referred to as being real #7. Also slang for rivers. The Greyman is credited for this terminology.


* [ Sevens]

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