Korean Flower Card Game

I’m looking for the rules for one of the hwatu games that used to be popular when I lived in Seoul oh so many years ago. The current popular hwatu game is one called Go-Stop and it’s not the same game, although the mechanics of play are almost identical.

The rules I remember are:

[ul][li]Deal a set number of cards face up on the table.[/li][li]Deal a set number of cards to each player.[/li][list][li](for the two steps above, the set number is dependent on the number of players)[/ul][/li][li]Place the remaining cards in a stack facedown on the table to be used as the stock.[/li][li]The dealer begins by discarding one card on the table and then turning the top card (turn card) of the stock.[/li][ul][li]If the discard matches a card that’s face up, then the player wins both cards; if the discard doesn’t match anything, then the player leaves the discard on the table.[/li][li]If the turn card matches a card on the table, which can be the card that was just discarded, then the player wins those two cards.[/ul][/li][li]The next player does the same routine, and then the next player, and the next, until all the cards have been won.[/li][li]Each player examines his won cards to see if he’s made some set melds. All the other players have to pay him some cards for those melds. Once all the melds have been paid, then each player tallies his cards (cards have values of 0, 5, 10, or 20).[/list][/li]
That’s all I remember. I do know there’s a fixed value to the entire deck but I don’t remember what it is, nor do I remember what the real name of this game is.

If you’re interested, here’s what the cards look like.

If you know of any other games played with this deck of cards, feel free to post the rules in this thread!

To clarify: the rules I posted above are the ones for the game that used to be popular in Seoul. Those are not the rules to Go-Stop.

That sounds pretty much like Go-Stop (Godori in Korean) to me. Like most card games, there are countless variations and “house rules,” and I’m told there are some standard differences between the game as it’s played in the US and as it’s played in Korea. Most of these relate to how “melds” are scored and special rules like what happens if you get three matching-suit cards in the same turn.

Here is a site that desvribes several variations, including games played in Japan and Hawaii with hwatu cards. I haven’t tried to follow any of the rules on the site, but I think they all follow the basic pattern you outlined. Maybe one of them is more like what you’re looking for.

You can also play go-stop on Yahoo! Games. I haven’t done it in a long time, but it’s lots of fun! (I should probably go there soon and start practicing before my next visit to my stepmothers. She loves nothing more than winning money from my dad and me at Godori!)

Like I said in the OP, it’s not Go-Stop although the mechanics of the game play are identical: the deal is the same, the discarding is the same, and the turn card method is the same. Essentially, it’s a matter of scoring and melding differences. In Go-Stop, the player who reaches the set minimum can either declare Stop (meaning, “I’m too chicken to risk letting one of the other players get the points instead of me”) or Go (meaning, “I’m a greedy ol’ soul and want to get even more points instead of just taking my win right now”).

In the game I described in the OP, there’s no Go/Stop option; the players have to run all the way through the deck. There aren’t any set melds apart from the point values matching in the meld. In other words, instead of requiring three specific 20-point or specific specific 10-point cards, the melds in the game my college classmates and I used to play in Seoul merely required any three 20-point cards or any three 10-point cards.

Also in the game I described, once the deck had been gone through, the players had to pay other players cards of the point values the other players had earned. Then the points are tallied by all players to see who really won. In Go-Stop only the player who declared Stop gets points.

Oh, all those sites that say Go-Stop is popular here are understating the case. Popular just doesn’t describe how much the children here like Go-Stop. Whenever I play Go-Stop on my Palm Pilot (it’s a freeware program called Catch-a-Bird) on the subway, I get a huge crowd watching it and making comments about what I should and shouldn’t do or how silly or how good a particular discard I made was. When I make cards for use in my English classes, the students don’t play them out the way suggested in the teacher’s manuals; instead, they play them flower card style.

I’m sure there are about a million different games played with the flower card deck just as there are with the western deck of cards. It’s just driving me up a wall I can’t remember all of the rules for the game I spent a couple of years playing back in the 70s.

p.s. Thanks for the website. Another site I’d seen referred to it but had a bad link!

The funny thing about Go-Stop is that there’s really room for strategy. There’s one rule I don’t like when it happens in another player’s favor but really like when it happens in mine. When a player discards a card that matches only one card on the table and then the turn card matches those two cards, that player must leave all three cards on the table. The player who either discards the 4th card of the suit (flower cards have 12 suits of 4 cards each) or turns the 4th card of the suit then gleans the entire suit.

Found the rules (along with a website) for another game played with this deck of cards. The game’s called Hachi-Hachi (Eight-Eight). Most of the complication seems to me to be in the scoring, playing being mostly luck.

More info on flower cards.