Wolnam-ppong [월남뽕] is an adaptation of the western card game In Between into Hwatu, and is said to have originated from Korean soldiers who were dispatched into the Vietnam War.
The game can technically be played by 2 to 16 players, although it is best played with 4 to 8 players.
All 48 cards of a Hanafuda/Hwatu deck are used. No jokers are included.
You must be familiar with the Korean month sequence to play the game.
Chips are also necessary for keeping track of a player’s score.
- Before starting the game, decide first the amount of chips of the ante.
- Choose who is the dealer using whatever method you prefer.
- All players then ante a fixed amount into the pot, and the dealer deals 2 cards to each player, and the rest is put on the table face-down as the draw pile.
- Starting with the player to the dealer’s right, each player must either place a bet of a desired amount (maximum amount of the bet is the current amount of the pot; betting the pot amount is called ado [아도].) to participate in the game, or fold without betting.
- If the player bets, they reveal their hand by placing it face-up on the table, and then they draw a card from the draw pile. If the drawn card’s month number is in between the range of the month numbers of the two cards in hand, the player wins the bet and takes the bet amount from the pot. However, if it is outside the range or is matching one of the two cards in hand, the player loses the bet and places the bet into the pot. Turn then goes to the next player.
Example: If the two cards are 2 and 10, then you win if the third card is 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9; you lose if the third card is 1, 2, 10, 11, or 12.
- If the player folds, then the turn automatically goes to the next player.
- If all players have used their turns, then the cards are reshuffled and redealt, and play continues starting with the player to the dealer’s right.
- Play continues until the pot is exhausted. At this point, if players want to continue playing, then all players must place the ante amount into the pot to replenish it.
¶ Special rules and terms
One-Twelve [일비, ilbi] – if the two cards in hand are 1 and 12, which gives the highest probability of winning the bet. However, if you lose (by having either 1 or 12 as the third card), then you must pay 1.5x the bet amount into the pot (2x in some regions).
Betting the Pot [아도, ado] - if a player bets an amount equal to the current amount in the pot. This is the maximum amount a player can bet, and as the pot increases, the maximum amount a player can bet increases as well.
Death by Rain [비를 들면 죽는다, bileul deulmyeon jugneunda] (optional Regional rule) – if one of the cards in your hand is Rain (12), then you automatically lose and must place a certain amount of chips into the pot. (If this rule is in place, then the best possible hand is 1 and 11.) However, if you have two Rain (12) cards in hand, then you automatically win and take the entire pot!
If your hand consists of a pair, then it is a ‘push’ (your bet is returned to you).
If the difference between the two cards in your hand is 1, then you lose.