Nara Hana-Awase is a 4-player Hana-Awase variant played in the Daibutsu-mae in the Nara Prefecture of Japan. Some of its characteristic features are a uniformly distributed card scores between all months of the cards, and the choice between two piles which will be the hand and which will be the draw pile. Most of the yaku seen in Mushi are also used here, and the use of a wild card also has similarities with Mushi.
The game is also said to be playable with only 3 players; however, the setup is not explained.
Game setup involves distributing beans and matchsticks to all players, choosing a dealer [親 - おや, oya], shuffling the deck, and distributing the initial cards.
A decision must also be made as to how long the game will last - common options are 6 rounds, 12 rounds, or until some target score has been met by one player. Any other house rules should also be established at this point in order to keep gameplay smooth and fair.
A standard Hanafuda deck, including the blank card, is used, so there are a total of 49 cards in the deck.
For scoring calculation, beans and matchsticks are used (of course, they can be substituted with other things). Each bean is worth 10 points, while each stick is worth 10 beans (or 100 points).
Prepare a total of 80 beans and 32 matchsticks, so that each player starts with 20 beans and 8 matchsticks (1000 points).
There is no required method for selecting who is the first dealer, though a typical method in hanafuda games is to shuffle the deck and have all players draw one card each, and the months of the drawn cards determine the seating arrangement. The player who drew a suit for the earliest month becomes the dealer, the second earliest sits on the dealer’s right, etc. If both players drew from the same suit, the player drawing the higher point card becomes the dealer. In cases where there is a tie, this process can be repeated.
Two face-down piles of 5 cards each are distributed to each player, and nine cards face-up on the field.
The deal sequence is as follows:
If four cards of the same month appear on the field, a misdeal is declared. The Dealer takes all cards, re-shuffles, and re-deals.
If three cards of the same month appear on the field, the Dealer takes two of the cards; a Chaff, and a Scoring Card (see Card Values). the Dealer cannot take two Scoring cards at this time.
If the blank card appears on the field, the Dealer takes it and one card of his/her choice from the field.
The dealer must take the cards during one of the above 2 situations before players select which pile becomes their hand.
After dealing, each player chooses which one of the 2 piles in front of him/her becomes the cards in his/her hand. The other pile becomes their draw pile.
If there are no scoring cards on a player’s hand, he/she may request for a redeal. He/she loses the right to request as soon as he/she draws the first card from the draw pile. (It’s more considerate to request as soon as possible)
If there are 4 cards of the same month on a player’s hand, he/she may request for a redeal. He/she loses the right to request as soon as he/she draws the first card from the draw pile. (It’s more considerate to request as soon as possible)
Each round, the dealer is the first to play, and turn to play goes counter-clockwise.
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 Blank card serves as a wild card, and can be used to capture any other individual card regardless of month.
If it is drawn from the draw pile while the field is empty, the player who drew it takes it on its own.
If it is dealt on the field, the Dealer takes it and a card of his/her choice before players choose which pile becomes their hand.
The current round ends when all players have played 5 turns and thus exhausted their hands and draw piles.
Due to the usage of a wild card, most rounds will end with one card left on the field: a card that matches the suit of whatever card was captured by the Blank card. The player who used the Blank card takes the remaining card.
At this point, all players tally their scores for the round, as described below. The player with the highest score becomes the dealer for the next round.
What happens in the (unlikely) event of a tie here is not something the available rulesets care to mention, although it seems likely that the current dealer remains the dealer for the next round, as in Koi-Koi.
At the end of the round, players score both for the value of their captured cards, and for any yaku (scoring combinations) they managed to collect in their score piles.
The values of each card in this game are non-standard; Each month consists of one 30-point card, one 20-point card, and two “Chaffs” (0-point cards).
The blank card is worth 40 points.
The highest ranking cards of each month are worth 30 points in this game.
The Ribbon cards of each month are worth 20 points in this game. The Geese and the Yellow Paulownia Chaff also belong to this category.
The Chaff cards of each month are worth 0 points in this game. The Swallow also belongs to this category.
This means that the total value of the entire deck is 640. Since each player could conceivably capture exactly 160 points, only the points in excess of that are counted. Hence, to calculate one’s initial score for a given round, add up the points for all cards captured, and subtract 160.
Score payments are done in a way that players with negative points lose those points, while players with positive points gain those points.
If a player manages to capture all chaffs during a round, he/she receives 100 points from all other players, and becomes the Dealer for the next round. Score calculations and Yaku values are nullified.
If a player manages to capture only one 20-pt scoring card (and chaffs) during a round, he/she receives 50 points from all other players, and becomes the Dealer for the next round. Score calculations and Yaku values are nullified.
Then, the players check for any yaku they formed. If a player forms a yaku, then each of the other players must pay the yaku value to that player.
There are 7 yaku in this game; 3 of which can also be seen in Mushi.
There are no mutually exclusive yaku here; players score for every yaku they possess!
|Value (in points)
|Name of Yaku
Same as Sanko in Mushi.
Same as Akatan.
|Boar, Deer, Butterfly
|Moon-viewing with Sake
青短 [tsukimi de ippai]
NOTE: This yaku is not counted if a Willow card is also captured.
藤シマ [ふじしま, fujishima]
|All 4 Wisteria cards. Same as in Mushi.
桐シマ [きりしま, kirishima]
|All 4 Paulownia cards. Same as in Mushi.