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And in particular, when you play with 2 players do you deal out all the cards the from the deck? Or is there some undealt part that players draw from during the game? I mean, if you deal them all then you'll just know what's in your opponent's hand?

This is going to sound trivial, but actually it's part of this theory/hypothesis I have for this anime/manga series The Quintessential Quintuplets, where I think the game Sevens(/Fan Tan/Domino) is symbolic of something in the series (namely something to do with the number 7). My thought is that the card game Sevens (and thus the number 7) is so important that it even leads to a mistake like this. So if this were a mistake, then it's possible that Sevens is really important. Or something.

From S02E12 of The Quintessential Quintuplets

enter image description here

The 2 kids pictured above, a young Nakano and the young Fuutarou, are playing

  • in the English dub version: 'Sevens'. (This is also in the English subtitles for the Japanese version.)

  • in the original Japanese version: 'Shichi Narabe (7並べ)', which is what Wikipedia calls a(/the?) Japanese variation of Sevens. In the upper right part of the Wikipedia page, you can see that it says 3-8 players, so I guess that includes the Japanese Sevens.

You can even see how the cards are laid out that they really are playing (some variation of) Sevens.

Other notes:

  1. I've read only a bit of the manga, but I'm pretty sure no other kids were playing with the 2.

  2. Additionally, Sevens has been played earlier in the series (S01E09 where it's still Shichi Narabe [7並べ], but it's translated as 'Fan Tan' instead of 'Sevens', again by both the English dub and the subtitles for the original Japanese), but there were at least 3 players then.

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  • This question has little to no bearing to the the series in question and since you already posted this on boardgame.se, I'm closing this question.
    – кяαzєя
    May 15 at 8:07
  • Cross-posted to BoardGame.SE: boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/57425/…
    – Aki Tanaka
    May 15 at 8:37
  • @кяαzєя Are you sure? Devil's proof. That depends on the theory/hypothesis I have maybe. My thought is that the card game Sevens (and thus the number 7) is so important that it even leads to a mistake like this. So if this were a mistake, then it's possible that Sevens is really important. Or something. For all we know in the future negi haruba could say 'I chose the game sevens to foreshadow this thing in this sequel/spin-off series'
    – BCLC
    May 15 at 20:33
  • 1
    @BCLC looks like you're thinking too much about symbolism in anime/manga when there's usually none. I have to agree with the meta post that this is to the point of "over-analyzing".
    – Aki Tanaka
    May 21 at 17:18
  • 2
    You're grasping at straws here. Whether or not the game has relevance to the plot and if a game can be played with two people are separate matters. Please do not use the comments for this sort of back and forth. If you wish to dispute something take it to meta.
    – кяαzєя
    May 21 at 22:31

2 Answers 2

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Yes, it is possible to play Shichi Narabe with only 2 players.

First of all, there is no exact requirement for the number of players, though most sites recommend at least 3 or 4 players:

(Emphasis added)

Japanese Wikipedia also mentioned an optional rule for games with 2-3 players called combo, so it acknowledged that there is also a variation for 2 players.

Thus, while it is still possible to play with only 2 players, there are a few reasons why it is not really recommended. Magic Door mentioned in short that it is because both players know each other cards (because all the cards are dealt). A more thorough discussion on Yahoo! Chiebukuro (Japanese) explained further that since both players know each other cards, it is a perfect information game and the winner can already be decided since the beginning, given both players play perfectly. In the end, it becomes a game to play without mistakes instead of a game of strategy.

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  • Btw re 'First of all, there is no exact requirement for the number of players, though most sites recommend at least 3 or 4 players' Actually to clarify, my issue is just mainly 2 players vs at least 3. basically 'is the minimum 2 or 3?' as our preceding discussion hopefully shows
    – BCLC
    May 15 at 20:32
  • @BCLC this answer is specifically about Shichi Narabe which is the only variant that Japanese people are familiar with, not about Fan-Tan, Sevens, Domino, or other variants. And theoretically, it's also possible to play with only 1 player, which is basically a solitaire game; perhaps a boring one because it always guarantees a win, but still a game.
    – Aki Tanaka
    May 21 at 16:18
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This game may be played with two players. It becomes less of a strategic battle and more of a time-killer.

If you trust Wikipedia as a source, the Japanese Wikipedia article says it could even be played by one player.

I can imagine playing this game alone requires the highest level of patience, strategy, tactic, and most of all a strong mentality, compared to playing against three or more players.

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