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Starting line-up for the Koi-Koi variant
Nintendo playing cards

Hanafuda ( Japanese 花 札 , German "flower cards") are Japanese playing cards ( karuta ) with flower motifs. The cards are slightly thicker than the cards in European card games . These cards are mainly used in Japan , Korea and Hawaii .

Similar to the standard European Rummy - cards can play different with Hanafuda variations. Koi-Koi, Hachi-Hachi and Kabu are particularly popular.

Nintendo started producing such playing cards in 1889.


A Hanafuda card set consists of 48 cards, which are divided into the 12 months of the year. Each month is symbolized by a different flower.

For each month there are four different flower cards with different values ​​in the game. A typical month consists of two flower motifs (1 point), a loop map (5 points), and an earth (10 points) or light map (20 points).

month flower cards photos
January Matsu ( pine ) 2 normal (1 point), 1 poem loop (5 points) and 1 light: crane with sun (20 points) Kintengu 01c.png Kintengu 01d.png Kintengu 01h.png Kintengu 01s.png
February Ume ( plum ) 2 normal (1 point), 1 poem loop (5 points) and 1 earth: nightingale in the plum tree (10 points) Kintengu 02c.png Kintengu 02d.png Kintengu 02h.png Kintengu 02s.png
March Sakura ( cherry blossom ) 2 normal (1 point), 1 poem ribbon (5 points) and 1 light: picnic blanket and cherry blossoms (20 points) Kintengu 03c.png Kintengu 03d.png Kintengu 03h.png Kintengu 03s.png
April Fuji ( wisteria ) 2 normal (1 point), 1 red ribbon (5 points) and 1 earth: cuckoo in a tree (10 points) Kintengu 04c.png Kintengu 04d.png Kintengu 04h.png Kintengu 04s.png
May Shōbu ( Iris ) 2 normal (1 point), 1 red ribbon (5 points) and 1 earth: iris with bridge (10 points) Kintengu 05c.png Kintengu 05d.png Kintengu 05h.png Kintengu 05s.png
June Botan ( peony ) 2 normal (1 point), 1 blue ribbon (5 points) and 1 earth: butterfly (10 points) Kintengu 06c.png Kintengu 06d.png Kintengu 06h.png Kintengu 06s.png
July Hagi ( Hagi shrub ) 2 normal (1 point), 1 red ribbon (5 points) and 1 earth: boar (10 points) Kintengu 07c.png Kintengu 07d.png Kintengu 07h.png Kintengu 07s.png
August Susuki ( China reed ) 2 normal (1 point), 1 earth: flying geese (10 points), 1 light: full moon (20 points) Kintengu 08c.png Kintengu 08d.png Kintengu 08h.png Kintengu 08s.png
September Kiku ( chrysanthemum ) 2 normal (1 point), 1 blue ribbon (5 points) and 1 earth: sake bowl (10 points) Kintengu 09c.png Kintengu 09d.png Kintengu 09h.png Kintengu 09s.png
October Momiji ( maple ) 2 normal (1 point), 1 blue ribbon (5 points) and 1 earth: deer (10 points) Kintengu 10c.png Kintengu 10d.png Kintengu 10h.png Kintengu 10s.png
November Yanagi ( willow ) 1 thunderstorm (1 point), 1 red ribbon (5 points), 1 earth: swallow (10 points), 1 light: Ono no Michikaze with umbrella (20 points) Kintengu 11c.png Kintengu 11d.png Kintengu 11h.png Kintengu 11s.png
December Kiri ( Paulownie ) 3 normal (1 point, a card is usually colored differently), 1 light: Chinese phoenix (20 points) Kintengu 12c.png Kintengu 12d.png Kintengu 12h.png Kintengu 12s.png

Koi Koi

Koi-Koi is one of the most popular and easiest game variations for Hanafuda cards. The following example explains the gameplay for three players:

At the beginning eight cards are placed face up on the table, each player is dealt seven cards and the rest is laid out face down as a pile. If possible, the first player reveals a suitable card (same month) from his hand. He may pick up his card and the card that is already open. Then he reveals a card from the face-down pile. If this card matches an already open card, he may pick up both cards. If this card does not fit, the new card is placed next to the other open cards.

A player's turn remains as long as he can reveal suitable cards. Then it is the next player's turn.

The game ends when no more cards can be accepted. At the end the points of the individual players are counted.


Hachi-Hachi (8-8) is next to Koi-Koi the most popular game with Hanafuda cards. It has similarities to poker .

See also

Web links

Commons : Hanafuda  - collection of images, videos, and audio files