Hanafuda - The Japanese Flower Card Game
Various Cards


Since Hanafuda's core audience is still in its home country of Japan, many of the most common terms used in Hanafuda games have yet to be anglicized. In our Hanafuda glossary we translate the most common Japanese terms and also explain a handful of the most important English terms.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Biki

The player to the left of the dealer, also called the third player; this player is in charge of shuffling the deck.

Dealer's Hand Exchange

When a player chooses to trade their starting hand for the dealer's

Dekiyaku

Multi-card bonus combinations

Doni

The player to the right of the dealer, also called the second player; this player is in charge of cutting the deck and giving it to the dealer

Dropout

The equivalent of folding in other card games; to drop out is to decline to play a round

Five Bright

A dekiyaku that includes all five of the 20-point cards

Four Bright

A dekiyaku that includes four of the 20-point cards excluding the Rain and Poet card

Hanafuda

The name of the 48-card deck; it translates as “flower cards”

Hiki

If several cards of one suit are on the table, and a player is holding the remainder of that suit, then they must take the whole suit

Kabu

A Hanafuda game that literally translated means “nine”.

Koi Koi

A Hanafuda game whose name roughly translates to Come On; this game is also very popular in Korea, where it is called Go-Stop

Low Man Out

A rule in the Matching Flowers game whereby a player with a truly bad hand can negate the points scored by his opponents by achieving a final hand worth less than 20 points

Mushi

Also called Honeymoon Hanafuda, a popular two-person Hanafuda game

Oicho Kabu

A popular Japanese card game frequently played with a Hanafuda deck; the name means “eight nine”

Oya Gachi

A rule that dictates that the dealer or the player closest to the dealer wins in case of a tie

Paulownia

A native Japanese plant that also serves as the suit that represents the month of December

Points

A value assigned to each card and/or combination of cards; at the end of a complete Hanafuda game, the player with the most points wins

Prohibitions

Special rules against certain plays

Shibari

A rule that mandates that at least three players must participate in a hand, regardless of the quality of their cards

Stock

A shuffled deck

Tanzaku

A page of poetry; in Hanafuda, the appearance of a tanzaku in any card gives it a higher value

Trick

Any winning combination of cards

Yakuza

An organized crime family in Japan that derives its name from the losing combination of eight-nine-three (ya-ku-za) in their favored game of Oicho Kabu

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