Card games in Korea

Mighty is a game with the 52 card pack (with one joker), that is said to be popular among students.

Hoola is a rummy game, in which seven cards are dealt to each player.

Hwa-tu is the Korean name for flower cards (similar to the Japanese Hanafuda). The most popular game played with them is Go-Stop. There is also an older game called Min hwa-tu, and maybe other games.

Golpae is the Korean name for Chinese dominoes. In his book "Korean Games, with notes on the corresponding games of China and Japan" (published by the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia in 1895) Stewart Culin described several games with these tiles, including Jjak-mat-chu-gi (making pairs).

Culin also described some games played with a type of long narrow cards characteristic of Korea. These Korean cards, known as Tu-jeon, had ten-card suits, each consisting of numerals one to nine and a general. There were four, six or eight suits, making a pack of 40, 60 or 80 cards. Yishin Cho tells me that the only survivor of these games is Gopsae-chigi (곱새치기) which uses a deck of just 24 or 27 numbered cards. It was played throughout Gyeonggi-do and Gangwon-do in the 1980's but now survives only in Gyodong-do - an island near Incheon and the DMZ border.

This page is maintained by John McLeod (   © John McLeod, 2001, 2005, 2020. Last updated: 15th September 2020