Hachi-Hachi

Hachi-Hachi (88) is probably the most representative of the Japanese games played with the 48-card pack of flower cards (hanafuda). Like most games with these cards, it is a fishing game in which cards from hand are used to capture matching cards from the centre of the table.

In each deal there are just three active players, but up to seven people can take part in a game. When there are more than three players at the table, players drop out after the cards are dealt until just three remain.

The total value of the cards in the pack is 264 points, so when all the cards have been played the par score for each of the three active players is 88, one third of the total. Each active player will pay or receive according to the difference of their score from 88, and this gives rise to the name of the game.

There are several special combinations (yaku) that allow a player who collects them to stop the play before the end and claim payment. Also, there are several initial hands (teyaku) which can be declared before play begins to obtain a compensation payment.

Detailed rules are available on Ola Sassersson's Hachi-Hachi page.

There is another description in English on this archive copy of Graham Leonard's Hachi-Hachi page.