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Hanafuda

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Hanafuda (花札) are playing cards of Japanese origin (karuta cards), used to play a number of games. The name literally translates as 'flower cards'.

[edit] Hanafuda in the World

Hanafuda is commonly played in the state of Hawaii in the United States and South Korea, though under different names. In Hawaii, there is Hawaiian-style Koi-koi which is called Sakura, Higobana, and sometimes Hanafura. In South Korea, the cards are called Hwatu (Korean: 화투, Hanja: 花鬪); the name literally translates as battle of flowers. One of the most common Hwatu game is Go-stop (Korean: 고스톱) or Sutda (Korean: 섯다). Hwatu is very commonly played in South Korea during special holidays such as the Lunar New Years, and also during the Korean holiday of Chuseok (추석). Playing Go-stop at holiday family gatherings has been a Korean tradition for many years. The Korean version is usually played with three players, with two-person variants. Hanafuda is also played in Micronesia, where it is known under the same name, and is a four-person game, which is often paired cross-table.

[edit] Cards

There are twelve suits, representing months. Each suit depicts its own unique flower and each suit has four cards. Typically, each suit will have two normal cards and one special card. Officially, all Hanafuda cards have a defined point value; however, these are rarely used in the most popular Hanafuda games, as these games often only concern themselves with certain combinations of taken cards. Therefore, the scores for each card can be considered arbitrary and unnecessary.

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