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Guan Dan


Guan Dan (??), or "Throwing Eggs", is a 4-player, fixed-partnership climbing card game. It is played with two standard decks and each player starts with a hand of 27 cards; these are typically held in a jagged 2-dimensional array with each rank grouped together--vertically--and then arranged in ascending rank order--horizontally.

The game is related to Zheng Shangyou and other climbing games. Its main distinguishing feature is its scoring system: Each team's score is expressed as a card rank, starting at 2 and progressing up to Ace. This is similar to the trump promotion system in Chinese trick-taking games like Da Bai Fen. In Guan Dan, however, instead of determining trump, the highest card rank score determines the rank that beats an Ace, and two cards of that rank (the Hearts) become wild cards. The first team to win a hand 1-2 or 1-3, when their score has reached Ace, wins.

Like many climbing games, Guan Dan's playable combinations include Singles, Pairs, Triples, Full Houses, and Straights. There are also Plates and Tubes, which are consecutive pairs or consecutive triples, respectively. Finally, there are a variety of bombs ranging from 4-of-a-kinds to 10-of-a-kinds as well as straight flushes and the 4-Joker bomb. Given each player's hand size, the variety of combinations available, and the inclusion of wild cards (which can be used to form bombs), the options presented to players at the outset of a given hand are particularly numerous.

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