Hanafuda or “flower cards” is a traditional Japanese card game. It is played by 2 players who are 8 years old or over. The goal is to obtain the highest score possible by matching cards from the same suit and forming combinations called “yaku”.
- 48 cards divided into 12 suits
- A suit represents a month of the Japanese calendar
- 1 suit corresponds to a floral theme and has 4 cards.
What You Need to Play
- 1 deck of 48 hanafuda cards
- 2 players
Object of the Game
- Score as many points as possible during the different rounds.
- To score a point, the player must collect cards and form combinations (match cards of a suit or form a yaku).
- Each player draws a card.
- Whoever draws the card corresponding to the first month of the calendar plays first.
- Determine a number of rounds to play.
- Shuffle the cards again.
- Deal cards 2 to the 2 players until each player has 8 cards in hand or until 8 cards are placed face up on the table.
- Important note: if 4 of the cards placed on the table belong to the same suit, the cards must be redealt.
- If a player has 4 cards from the same suit or 4 pairs of cards from different suits in their hand, they earn 6 points and the round is over.
Course of the Game
A round takes place over 3 stages.
Step 1: Make a pair with a card from the hand and a card from the table
- Make a pair with 1 card from your hand and 1 card from the table.
- Put the card from your hand on the card of the same suit.
- Form a four-of-a-kind with 1 card from your hand and 3 cards of the same suit from the table.
- If no combination can be created, discard any card from your hand onto the table.
|Month||Name of the suit||Illustration||The cards||The points|
|January||Pine||Crane and sunPoetry tanzakuPlainPlain||20 5 1 1|
|February||Plum blossom||Bush warblerPoetry tanzakuPlainPlain||10 5 1 1|
|March||Cherry blossom||CurtainPoetry tanzakuPlainPlain||20511|
|May||Iris||Eight-plank bridgePlain tanzakuPlainPlain||10511|
|July||Bush clover||BoarPlain tanzakuPlainPlain||10511|
|August||Susuki grass||Full moonGeesePlainPlain||201011|
|September||Chrysanthemum||Sake cupBlue tanzakuPlainPlain||10511|
|October||Maple||DeerBlue tanzakuPlain Plain||10511|
|November||Willow||Ono no MichikazeSwallowPlain tanzakuLightning||201051|
|December||Paulownia||Chinese phoenixPlain PlainPlain||20111|
Step 2: draw and make a new combination
- Draw a card.
- Proceed as before to form a combination.
Step 3: collect the combinations and make a yaku
- Collect the combinations you have created.
- If you are not able to form a yaku, the turn passes to the next player.
- If you can form a yaku you have the possibility to:
- End the round and count the points. (This can be done by announcing “shoubu.”)
- Continue and form new yaku by announcing “koi-koi”.
Different Types of Yaku
|Yaku||Illustration||Points earned||Number and type of cards||Additional points|
|Kasu||1 point||10 Plain cards||1 point per additional card|
|Tan||1 point||5 tanzaku cards||1 point per additional card|
|Akatan||5 points||3 poetry tanzaku cards||1 point per additional card|
|Aotan||5 points||3 blue tanzaku cards||1 point per additional card|
|Akatan aotan no choufuku||10 points||3 poetry tanzaku cards and3 blue tanzaku cards||1 point per additional card|
|Tane||1 point||5 cards worth 10 points each||1 point per additional card|
|Inoshikachou||5 points||Boar, deer and butterflies||1 point per additional card|
|Tsukimi from ippai||5 points||Full moon cards and sake cup||1 point per additional card|
|Hanami from ippai||5 points||Curtain cards and sake cup||1 point per additional card|
|Sankou||5 points||3 cards of 20 points||1 point per additional card|
|Ame shikou||7 points||4 cards of 20 points with the Ono no Michikaze card||1 point per additional card|
|Shikou||8 points||4 cards of 20 points without the Ono no Michikaze card||1 point per additional|
|Gokou||10 points||5 cards of 20 points||1 point per additional card|
Multiplying the Points
- If you score more than 7 points, your score is doubled.
- If you score points after your opponent has announced “koi-koi”, your score is doubled.
- If you score more than 7 points after your opponent has announced “koi-koi”, your score is quadrupled.
End of the Game
At the end of the rounds, the player who has scored the most points is declared the winner.