Koi Koi

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Koi Koi is a card game played with a Hanafuda deck. Players try to collect cards that make point earning combinations called Yaku. When a player makes a Yaku they can stop the game and collect the points. However, if keep going they have an opportunity to earn more points. The danger is if their opponent makes a Yaku, the opponent can stop the game and earn double the points while the other player earns nothing.

Players 2

Equipment
Hanafuda deck
Score keeper

How to play

Koi Koi is played with a Hanafuda deck. The deck has twelve suits( named for the flower on the card )with four cards in a suit. In the photos below the cards called the brights are in the far left column. The next column is the animal cards followed by the Ribbon cards, and the Junk cards. Notice that some suits do not contain every type of card.

Pine, Plum, and Cherry

Pine, Plum, and Cherry

Wisteria, Iris, Peony,

Wisteria, Iris,  and ,Peony

Bush clover, Pampas Grass, chrysanthemum

Bush clover, Pampas Grass, Chrysanthemum

Maple, Paulownia, Willow

Maple, Paulownia, and Willow

The first dealer of the game is decided in a random manner of the player’s choosing. The  dealers deals 8 cards 4 at a time to each player. The dealer then puts eight cards face up on the table. The remaining cards form the draw pile.

There are two ways to win the hand instantly. If a player is dealt all four cards of a suit he or she earns six points and a new hand is dealt. If a player is dealt four pairs he or she earns six points and a new hand is dealt.

The dealer begins play.

On the player’s turn, he or she may match a card from his or her hand with one on the table of the same suit and collect them into their point pile. If the card from his or her hand does  not match a card on the table, it is  left  face up on to the table with the other cards.

After matching or discarding a card, the player then draws one card from the draw pile and places it face up on the playing area. If the card matchs the suit of a card already on the table the player collects both cards. If the draw card can not match a card on the table, it is left face up on the table with the other cards.

If there are two cards that can be matched on the table the player may chose the card he or she wants to match. Three cards of the same suit on the table are formed in a stack and are collected when the player plays the fourth card.

At the end of a player’s turn the cards collected may have formed a point earning combination called a Yaku. After a player forms a  Yaku or improves an existing Yaku he or she must call “shobu”or “koi koi”. If he or she calls shobu this ends the hand. The caller adds the value of the yaku to his or her point total. Only the player who calls shobu earns any points.  The player can also choose to continue playing by calling koi koi. Calling Koi koi allows the player to collect more points but, if his or her opponent is able to call shobu before the first caller forms another Yaku or improves an existing one, the opponent gains double his or her score and the first caller earns nothing.

If a player has yaku totaling 7 or more points when the hand ends, that player earns twice that value. If a player earns  7 or more points and his opponent had called koi-koi, he gets both doubling bonuses for a total of four times his or score.

Should the players run out of cards to play without having formed a yaku on the last play, no points are awarded to either player, and the next hand begins with the same dealer.

The winner of the hand deals the next hand.

There are 12 hands to a game , but the players may agree to play for a different number of hands  at the beginning of the game. The player with most points after the agreed upon rounds wins the game.

Yaku

Gokō (五光) 10 points for collecting All five bright cards.

Gokō (五光) 10 points for collecting All five bright cards.

Shikō (四光) 8 points for collecting the four brights which exclude the Rainman (Willow's bright card).

Shikō (四光) 8 points for collecting the four brights which exclude the Rainman (Willow’s bright card).

Ame-Shikō (雨四光) 7 points for collecting any four Bright cards including the Rainman (Willow's bright card).

Ame-Shikō (雨四光) 7 points for collecting any four Bright cards including the Rainman (Willow’s bright card).

Sankō (三光) 5 points for collecting any three bright cards excluding the Rainman (Willow's bright card)

Sankō (三光) 5 points for collecting any three bright cards excluding the Rainman (Willow’s bright card)

Inoshikachō (猪鹿蝶) 5 points for collecting the Boar, the Deer, and the Butterflies (the animal cards from Clover, Maple, and Peony. One additional point is awarded for every additional animal card.

Inoshikachō (猪鹿蝶) 5 points for collecting the Boar, the Deer, and the Butterflies (the animal cards from Clover, Maple, and Peony. One extra point is awarded for every additional animal card.

Tane (タネ) 1 point for collecting any five animal cards, One additional point is awarded for every additional animal card.

Tane (タネ) 1 point for collecting any five animal cards, One extra point is awarded for every additional animal card.

Akatan (赤短) 5 points for collecting all 3 Red Poetry Ribbons (found in Pine, Ume, and Sakura). One additional point is awarded for every additional ribbon card.

Akatan (赤短) 5 points for collecting all 3 Red Poetry Ribbons (found in Pine, Ume, and Sakura). One extra point is awarded for every additional ribbon card.

Aotan (青短) 5 points for collecting all 3 Purple/Blue Ribbons (found in Peony, Chrysanthemum, and Maple). One additional point is awarded for every additional ribbon card.

Aotan (青短) 5 points for collecting all 3 Purple/Blue Ribbons (found in Peony, Chrysanthemum, and Maple). One extra point is awarded for every additional ribbon card.

Akatan, Aotan no Chōfuku (赤短・青短の重複) 10 points for collecting all 3 Red Poetry Ribbons and all 3 Purple/Blue Ribbons: the combination of Aka-tan and Ao-tan. One additional point is awarded for every additional ribbon card.

Akatan, Aotan no Chōfuku (赤短・青短の重複) 10 points for collecting all 3 Red Poetry Ribbons and all 3 Purple/Blue Ribbons: the combination of Aka-tan and Ao-tan. One extra point is awarded for every additional ribbon card.

Tanzaku (短冊) 1 point for collecting any five ribbon cards. One extra point is awarded for every additional ribbon card

Tanzaku (短冊) 1 point for collecting any five ribbon cards. One extra point is awarded for every additional ribbon card

Hanami-zake (花見酒) 5 points for collecting the Sakura Curtain and the Sake Cup (Sakura's bright card and Chrysanthemums' animal card ). Cumulative with Tsukimi-bake

Hanami-zake (花見酒) 5 points for collecting the Sakura Curtain and the Sake Cup (Sakura’s bright card and Chrysanthemums’ animal card ). Cumulative with Tsukimi-bake

Tsukimi-zake (月見酒) 5 points for collecting the Moon and the Sake Cup (Pampas' bright card and Chrysanthemums' animal . Cumulative with Hanami-zake

Tsukimi-zake (月見酒) 5 points for collecting the Moon and the Sake Cup (Pampas’ bright card and Chrysanthemums’ animal . Cumulative with Hanami-zake

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Did I Forget To Mention That Rule?

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When some one is teaching you a new game there can be a great deal of information to remember. This is when a players memory aid can be very useful. Simply write down a condensed version of the rules that the players can refer to while playing the game. I try to keep it to the rules I am confident will need to be looked up during play. For example the players aid for Schnapsen shown above has the ranks and values of the cards and how to score the hand. For a game like chess you might chose to put the moves of the piecs on your memory aid.

If you have some ideas on what make a good memory aid for a game please share them in the comments.

Schnapsen

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This Austrian card game will test your brains and your nerve. You try to the first player to announce that you have 66 points in your collected tricks. But be carefull, because your opponent wins extra points if you do not have the points you think you do.

Players 2
Equipment
A deck of cards with 2-9 removed
A marriage counter for each suit

How to play

The cards are ranked in the order shown below and score the following points
Ace…11
10….10
King….4
Queen…3
Jack….2

Each player is dealt 5 cards and the next card is turned face-up to determine the trump suit. The remaining stock is placed across the trump card.

The non-dealer leads to the first trick. A trick is taken by the highest card of the suit led or the highest trump card in the trick.

Until the stock is gone, players do not have to follow suit or to trump. The trick is collected by the winner and turned face down. In informal games the players may agree to allow looking at the tricks he or she have won, but not their opponent’s tricks.

The winner scores the value of the two cards in the trick. After the trick is collected, the winner of the takes the top card of the stock followed the loser of the trick.
The winner of the trick leads to the next trick.

A player with the jack of trumps can exchange it for the turned up trump. This can be done when it is that players turn to lead the trick. The exchange happens after the players have taken a new card from the stock, but before a card has been led to the new trick.

A player may claim a marriage when it is his or her turn to lead a trick. A mariage is Queen-King couple of the same suit. To claim a mariage the player leads the king or queen to the trick and shows the remaining card to his or her opponent. Regular marriages are worth 20 card points and trump marriages are worth 40. A marriage is usually announced by saying the number of points made and taking the marriage counter of the appropriate suit. The points do not count towards the player’s total until after he or she has taken a trick.

The rules change after all the cards have been taken from the stock. Players now must follow the suit led and must trump if they have no cards of the suit led.

On the player’s lead he or she may close the deck. Closing the deck means that the closer believes that he or she has a good enough hand to reach the 66 points while playing as if all the cards have been taken from the stock. The player turns over the face-up trump card after taking cards to make the hands back up to 5 cards. The stock is now closed and players do not take a card after the trick is collected. The players also can not exchange the Jack of trumps for the turned up trump card If the closer reaches 66 card-points first, he or she scores the following game points
1 game point if the opponent has 33 or more card points.
2 game points if the opponent won at least one trick and has under 33 card points.
3 game points if the opponent won no tricks at all.
If he or she fails to reach 66 card-points or the opponent reaches 66 card-points first, his opponent scores 2 game points, or 3 if that opponent has no tricks.

A player who thinks that the points in the tricks he or she has taken together with those from any marriages add up to 66 or more, stops the game and begins counting card points. If the player who stopped the game does not have 66 card and marriage points, then the opponent wins 2 game points, or 3 if that opponent has taken no tricks. If the player does have 66 points, then he or she wins game points as follows.

1 game point if the opponent has 33 or more card points.
2 game points if the opponent won at least one trick and has under 33 card points.
3 game points if the opponent won no tricks at all.

If neither player closed the stock and neither went out, the player who takes the last trick wins one game point.

The first player to get 7 game points Wins the game.

Tips
Some players make marriage counters by folding the eights of each suit in half like a tent.

Close But No Cigar…part 2

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Here are two improvements to the cigar box dice box. Try inserting a piece of felt or upholstery fabric inside the box to muffle the sound of the dice being rolled. You can also turn the inside lid in a score board by painting it with chalk board paint.

If you have any suggestions how to make this dice box even better please share them in the comments.