Jū Mai is a 2-player Hana-Awase-style game with no yaku, making it more or less a variant form of bakappana. It uses a different number of cards dealt to the field than most 2-player fishing games, and uses slightly different values for the different types of cards from most games. The winner is the first player to reach a cumulative score at least 30 points higher than their opponent’s at the end of a round.
Game setup involves choosing a dealer [親 - おや, oya], shuffling the deck, and distributing the initial cards. Any house rules should also be established 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.
In subsequent rounds, the dealer position may alternate between players.
The dealer shuffles the deck and passes out 10 cards face-down to each player, which will become their hands, and 10 cards face-up on the field. The remainder of the deck is placed face-down next to the field, and will act as a draw pile for the round.
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.
In each round, the dealer is the first to play, with players taking alternating turns. General gameplay is identical to that of Bakappana, though scoring differs.
On their turn, a player chooses a single card from their hand and plays it to the table.
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, pairing and capturing if possible.
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.
Each player’s score pile should be kept face-up and laid out on the table, so that its contents are visible to all players. Ideally, the cards should also be arranged by type to make assessing the game state easier.
The round ends when both players have fully exhausted all cards in their hands; at this point, every card in the deck should have been captured by one player or the other.
Note that the draw pile will run out before players have played their last card; on each player’s final turn, they only play the card from their hand since the deck has already been emptied.
Each player then calculates their socres according to the following chart.
Thus there are 290 points distributed throughout a complete deck.
If one player’s score exceeds the other’s by at least 30 points at the end of a round, that player wins the game. If this is not achieved in a single round, the difference in their scores is carried over across as many rounds as necessary until one player has met the victory condition.