Hana-Awase - 花合わせ [はなあわせ, lit. “joining together flowers”] may refer to a number of related but differing games, depending on the time period of the reference. It may be considered the basis on which the many other Hanafuda fishing games are built; indeed, the name “Hana-Awase” sometimes appears as a catch-all term to denote any game in which players capture cards on the table by matching them.
The game described here is a basic fishing game for two to four players, with three being the typical amount. Points are scored mainly from the values of captured cards, with bonus points awarded for forming certain combinations - making it, in essence, Bakappana with yaku. It is typical of those given in more recent books under the title of ‘Hana-Awase’, or sometimes ‘Matching Flowers’. While it is no doubt representative of the many games to which the label of Hana-Awase has been applied, it is far from definitive.
Game setup involves choosing a dealer [親 - おや, oya], shuffling the deck, and distributing the initial cards. Like many hanafuda games, a decision must also be made as to how many rounds to play - 12 rounds is traditional, though 6 and 3 are options for shorter games. Any other house rules should also be established at this point in order to keep gameplay smooth and fair.
No method is stipulated for choosing the dealer. A hanafuda-specific method involves each player drawing a card from the deck, and the player with the earliest month becomes the dealer. In the event of a tie, the highest-ranked card within the month is considered the earliest. If there is still a tie, then the players re-draw.
After shuffling the deck, the cards are distributed.
In the three-player version of the game, 7 cards are dealt to each player, and 6 cards face-up to the table.
In the two-player version, 8 cards are dealt to each player, and a further 8 cards face-up to the table.
With four players, 5 cards are dealt to each player, and 8 cards to the field.
The remainder of the deck is placed face-down to form the draw pile.
There is no required order for dealing the cards, though certain traditional conventions exist. With two players, the dealer typically deals 4 cards to the opponent, 4 to the table, 4 to themselves, then repeats. Sometimes this is done in packets of two instead of four.
With three players, the usual process is for the dealer to give 4 cards to each player in an anti-clockwise order, 3 to the table, 3 to each player, then 3 to the table again.
If 4 cards of the same month are dealt to the table, then a misdeal is declared (since these 4 cards are impossible to capture). In this case, the cards are thrown in, shuffled again, and re-dealt.
Whether or not 4 cards of the same month in a player’s hand constitutes a misdeal appears to vary by source - the specific answer to this question should probably be agreed upon as a house rule.
In each round, the dealer is the first to play, and turn to play passes anti-clockwise around the table. The core gameplay and turn structure of Hana-Awase is utterly typical of hanafuda fishing games; if you’re already familiar with Koi-Koi and its ilk, then this section will be nothing new.
On their turn, a player chooses a single card from their hand and plays it to the table.
If a card is played that matches something on the table, then the player must capture, as described above. However, there is no obligation to play a card that matches something, even if the player has one in their hand; they may, if they wish, elect to play a card that matches nothing on the table.
As is typical of hanafuda games, each player’s score pile should be kept face-up and laid out on the table, so that its contents are fully visible to all players. Ideally, the cards should also be arranged by type (Brights, Animals, Ribbons, and Chaff) to make detecting yaku easier.
After a card has been played from their hand, the player takes the top card of the draw pile, turns it face-up, and immediately plays it to the table in the same fashion.
After both cards have been played- one from the player’s hand, and one from the draw pile- the turn ends, and the next player takes their turn.
The round ends when all players run out of cards in their hand and when the draw pile is exhausted. In a three- or four-player game, these events should occur together. In a two-player game, there will be 8 cards remaining in the draw pile, and the players continue to take turns playing a card from it until the draw pile is exhausted.
Traditionally, the game uses a zero-sum scoring system common to many other such hanafuda games - all the better to facilitate gambling. First, each player adds up the total points of all their captured cards. The values of the cards are completely standard, as follows:
|Card Type||Value||Number in Deck|
The total point value of the entire deck is 264.
With three players, each player could conceivably earn exactly 88 points (one third of 264), the actual score each player earns is their total number of card points, minus the par value of 88.
With four players, each one could potentially earn exactly 66 points. So again, the actual points earned is the total of the player’s card points, minus the par value of 66.
Likewise, with two players, each could earn exactly 132 points, and so here the par value is 132.
Then, yaku are handled. Each player adds up the total value of their captured yaku, and they recieve this value from each of the other players. For example, if player A has 40 points’ worth of yaku, then they score 80 points in total- 40 from player B, and 40 from player C- while players B and C will each lose 40 points.
In short, the total amount of points gained or lost by each player at the end of the round will be given by the following:
Player's Score = (Player's Total Card Points - Par Value) + (Total Value of Player's Yaku x (Number of Players - 1)) - Total Value of All Opponents' Yaku,
where the par value is equal to 264 divided by the number of players - 66 for four players, 88 for three, and 132 for two.
When using this zero-sum scoring method in a two-player game, it is important to empty the draw pile as described above. The scores will not remain zero-sum unless all cards are played and captured!
Alternatively, groups less inclined to gambling (and mental arithmetic) may prefer the following, much simpler additive scoring system:
Player's Score = Player's Total Card Points + Total Value of Player's Yaku.
This system works strightforwardly for any number of players. In particular, there is no requirement for every card to be played, and two-player games with this scoring system may sometimes specify that the round ends when both players empty their hands, leaving the 8 cards in the draw pile untouched.
The player with the highest score at the end of the round becomes the dealer for the next round. In the event of a tie, the player who was earliest in the turn order becomes the dealer.
After the desired number of rounds have been played, the player with the highest total score at the end of all the rounds is the winner of the game.
As with all hanafuda games, there is variation in the set of allowed yaku. However, while point allotments differ, the modern sources used for this page are remarkably consistent in the following list. Many of these are classic yaku, found in several other games. Nevertheless, it is likely that older games of the Hana-Awase name varied greatly in their yaku.
Points from multiple yaku stack, with the following exceptions:
In these cases, the player claims the most valuable of the mutually exclusive yaku.
|Value||Name of Yaku||Composition|
¶ Bright Yaku
五光 [ごこう, gokou]
四光 [しこう, shikou]
表菅原 [おもてすがわら, omote sugawara]
Note the inclusion of the Bush Warbler here as a pseudo-Bright.
|20||Pine, Paulownia, Moon
松桐坊主 [まつきりぼうず, matsu kiri bouzu]
¶ Ribbon Yaku
七短 [ななたん, nanatan]
|Any 7 Ribbon cards, excluding the Willow Ribbon.|
六短 [ろくたん, rokutan]
|Any 6 Ribbon cards, excluding the Willow Ribbon.|
赤短 [あかたん, akatan]
|The three Poetry Ribbons:
青短 [あおたん, aotan]
|The three Blue Ribbons:
草短 [くさたん, kusatan]
|The three Plain Ribbons, excluding the Willow Ribbon:
¶ Animal Yaku
|20||Boar, Deer, Butterflies
猪鹿蝶 [いのしかちょう, inoshikachou]
¶ Viewing Yaku
飲み [のみ, nomi]
花見 [はなみ, hanami]
月見 [つきみ, tsukimi]
¶ Four-of-a-Kind Yaku
These yaku are likely included to give some value to cards that do not often contribute to other yaku.
柳島 [やなぎしま, yanagishima]
藤島 [ふじしま, fujishima]
桐島 [きりしま, kirishima]
This yaku is missing in the version of the game from the IndianWolf book.
Like all card games - and especially hanafuda games - Hana-Awase exists in many variations. Some of these are described below. Consider them optional rules, to add or remove as you please.
A ‘Low Man Out’ rule is commonly used in scoring; if the total value of any player’s card points is 20 or less, then the round is considered a draw, and no players score any points.
Some versions require a player to announce at the beginning of the round that they intend to go for ‘Low Man Out’ in order for it to apply.
This rule allows players with an extremely poor hand to attempt to force a draw, and prevent their opponents from scoring.
In Japanese, this cancellation of scoring is known as fuke [頭垢 - ふけ], literally ‘dandruff’.
At the end of the round, compensation for poor performance is given, as follows:
These rules are only given in accounts describing the three-player version of the game; I’m unsure how they’d work with other numbers of players.
In Japanese, the term for this rule is oya naka hatchou biki jutchou [親仲八丁ビキ十丁 - おやなかはっちょうびきじゅっちょう], roughly ‘eight for dealer and second, ten for third’.
Some additional rules for yaku are sometimes given:
In some descriptions, the Chaff cards are worth 0 points, as opposed to 1 point. With this change, the total point value of the deck is 240 points. The par values then become 60 for four players, 80 for three players, and 120 for two players, which simplifies the arithmetic for zero-sum scoring.
For two players, the option exists to deal 10 cards to each player at the beginning of the round. This way, the draw pile will be fully exhausted once the players run out of cards, eliminating the need to empty it manually.
In some versions of the game, two special teyaku or ‘hand combinations’ [手役 - てやく, teyaku] are given. These are both fairly simple - if a player has 6 Chaff cards in their opening hand, they are paid 20 points by each other player; and if they have 7 Chaff, they are paid 30 points by each other player.
To declare these combinations and receive points for them, the player must place all the relevant Chaff cards face-up on the table in front of them. Curiously, they remain on the table for the duration of the round, though they are still considered part of that player’s hand and can be played on their turn as normal. Other players, on their turn, may capture these face-up cards in the usual manner. A player cannot, however, capture their own face-up hand cards in this way.
When playing with this rule, it is possible that one player may run out of cards before the others. If this is the case, they continue to play, but only using cards played from the draw pile.
Whether or not a player must declare these teyaku if they have them is unspecified - more scope for house rules.
These strange, capture-able teyaku- unlike those found in any other game- are only attested in one source (Graham Leonard’s archived hanafuda page). So we know very little about them, other than that they’re most likely some weird local variant.
(section needs reworking)