Hachi-Hachi is a game for three players using the Japanese hanafuda (flower cards) pack. The name Hachi-Hachi comes from the par value of 88 - a third of 264, the number of card points available in a pack. The two objectives are to capture as many card points as possible, and to capture high-scoring combinations. Most of this page is based on Shiragiku Site's game Shiragiku Hanafuda, which features several hanafuda and kabufuda games, as well as on Hironori Takahashi's traditional games site.


The Hanafuda pack has 48 cards, divided into 12 months of 4 cards each. Unevenly distributed across the months are 24 Junk cards (1 point each), 10 Ribbon cards (5 points each), 9 Animal cards (10 points each) and 5 Light cards (20 points each). Each month has an associated flower, which is depicted on almost all cards (except for the Junk card in November, which depicts a bolt of lightning). More detailed descriptions of the pack are available on Wikipedia, on Pagat.com, and on Sloperama.

In addition to a pack, scoring chips are recommended. Score is kept in two denominations, kan and points; 1 kan is 12 points. Initially, each player usually gets 4 white chips (worth 1 kan each) and 12 black chips (worth 1 point each). There should also be chips worth larger amounts of kan which can be borrowed from the "bank" when necessary, and cards to represent debt when borrowing. Additionally, a month chart with 12 spaces is also necessary, with small dice to mark the deals where points are doubled or quadrupled.

Preliminaries and deal

As in many East Asian games, the deal and play go counterclockwise around the table, with the dealer also being the first to receive cards and to play.

After ensuring that all players have the same amount of chips, each player draws a card; the earliest month becomes the first dealer. In the case of a tie, the card with the higher value decides; if there's still a tie, redraw.

Shuffling procedure is as follows: The third player to the left of the dealer (who, in three-player games, is the dealer) gathers the cards used in the previous deal and mixes them up well. Second player to the left of the dealer takes the shuffled pack and cuts it several times, and the player to dealer's left cuts it once and hands it to the dealer.

The dealer takes the pack and deals a packet of four cards to himself, four cards to each opponent, three cards face up to the table, then three cards to each player and another three to the table; so that each player has seven cards, there are six on the table, and there are 21 remaining in the talon. If there's a four-of-a-kind on the table, the dealer immediately captures it; alternately, the hand may be redealt. If there are any Lights on the table, all payments for the deal are doubled or quadrupled, like so:


Each player in turn then checks for teyaku, which are special combinations based on the cards in one's dealt hand. If there are any, the teyaku is declared, the player exposing the appropriate cards. Each player with a teyaku is paid their value in kan chips by each opponent, doubling or quadrupling as necessary. A player can even have two teyaku in one hand, one from the below Group A and one from Group B, in which case their values are added together.

For example, if Akiko has a Toichi and no other players have teyaku, and the points are doubled for the round, she receives 12 kan - 6 from each player. If Akiko has an Aka, Iori a Tatesanbon, Uzuki nothing, and points are not doubled, Akiko gets 1 kan (2 from each for the Aka, minus 3 for Iori's Tatesanbon), Iori gets 4 kan (3 from each for the Tatesanbon, minus 2 for Akiko's Aka), and Uzuki loses 5 kan (2 for the Aka and 3 for the Tatesanbon).

Name Description Value (in kan)
Group A - Teyaku based on pairs, triplets, and quads of month cards
Only the highest scoring teyaku in this group is counted.
When declaring, only the cards involved in the teyaku are exposed.
三本 Sanbon Triplet 2
立三本 Tatesanbon Triplet of April (Wisteria), May (Iris), July (Clover), or the three Junk of December (Paulownia) 3
二三本 Futasanbon Two Sanbon 6
三本立三本 Sanbontatesanbon A Sanbon and a Tatesanbon 7
二立三本 Futatatesanbon Two Tatesanbon 8
喰付 Kuttsuki Three pairs 4
手四 Teshi Four of a kind 6
はねけん Haneken A triplet and two pairs 7
一二四 Ichinishi A four-of-a-kind, a pair, and a singleton (all cards are exposed) 8
四三 Shisou A four-of-a-kind and a triplet 20
Group B - Teyaku based on combinations of scoring cards
Note that for these teyaku, November (Willow) cards count as Junk, not as their face value.
When declaring, only the Junk/November cards are exposed.
赤 Aka Two or more Ribbons, the rest Junk 2
短一 Tan'ichi One Ribbon and six Junk 3
十一 Toichi One Animal and six Junk 3
光一 Pikaichi One Light and six Junk 4
からす Karasu Seven Junk 4


A player begins their turn by playing any card from their hand. If this card is of the same month as a card on the table, it is laid on top of it, capturing it. Whether or not a match was made, the player turns the top card of the stock and, if possible, matches it to an uncaptured card on the table. The captured pairs are then removed from the table, and the turn ends.

If a played card matches two of the same month on the table, the player may choose which is captured. If a player matches three of the same month on the table, they're all captured in one go.

Play continues, turn by turn, until all cards have been played or a player achieves a dekiyaku - a special combination of captured cards.


When a player achieves any of the below dekiyaku, she is immediately paid its value by each opponent. If it is one of the five "dekiyaku that stop play", and players still have cards left in their hands, she has the option of ending the hand prematurely (cancelling the usual end-of-hand payments). If she sees an opportunity to capture another dekiyaku, she calls "sage!" (sah-geh), continuing the hand.


A player who calls "sage" is obligated to achieve another dekiyaku. If she does so, she is paid for the new dekiyaku. (For example, if it's a Shikou upgraded into a Gokou, she is paid 12 kan in addition to the original 10 kan from each.) If a "sage" fails, either because the hand ended without any more dekiyaku being made or because someone else achieved a dekiyaku before her, she is forced to pay back half the value of her dekiyaku to each opponent.


If a player captures two of the cards for an Akatan or Aotan, and another player has the third in his hand, he may not discard it before his last turn. If he does, and the dekiyaku is achieved, he must pay for both players to the achiever. The same applies to Shikou, if a player has captured three of the cards and another player has the fourth. However, this rule does not apply to Gokou, not even one upgraded from a Shikou.

Payment cancellation

If, at the end of a round, a player has achieved Futahachi, Sujiroku, or Souhachi, all standard end-of-hand payments (card points, catching the Sanbon, pulling the points) are cancelled. In addition, if any players had teyaku, all teyaku payments are reversed.

Name Description Value (in kan)
Dekiyaku that stop play
These are achieved as soon as the relevant cards are captured.
赤短 Akatan Three red Ribbons with writing 7
青短 Aotan Three blue Ribbons 7
七短 Nanatan Any seven Ribbons, except November 10
四光 Shikou Four Lights, except the Rainman 10
五光 Gokou Five Lights 12
Dekiyaku that DO NOT stop play
These are only achieved at the end of a round, and cancel end-of-hand payments when achieved.
二八 Futahachi 168 or more card points 10 (+1 for each above 168)
素十六 Sujiroku 16 or more Junk and November (Willow) 12 (+2 for each above 16)
総八 Souhachi All players took 88 points 10 (to dealer)

End of hand

When all cards have been played without Futahachi, Sujiroku, or Souhachi being achieved, each player counts their card points, subtracts the par value 88, and converts to kan and points. Players with a negative score pay to players with a positive score.

For example, if Akiko has 106 points, Iori has 116 points, and Uzuki has 42 points, in a round with quadrupled payments:

So Uzuki pays 6 kan to Akiko and 9 kan 4 points to Iori.

After a round is over, whether or not the standard payments were issued, the winner of the hand (i.e. the player with most card points, using table position as a tiebreaker) puts one point chip on the month chart, to show that the month (deal) has been played.

Catching the Sanbon bonus

A player who declared a Sanbon or Tatesanbon (or combination thereof), then managed to capture the remaining fourth card in that month, is paid 1 kan by each opponent. The "responsibility" rule applies, as with dekiyaku; a player who had the fourth on his hand and didn't make it his last discard pays for both.

Pulling the points bonus

If a player with Aka, Tan'ichi, Toichi or Karasu manages to score above par, he gets a bonus of 2 kan, 1 from each opponent.


In a 12-deal game, after the sixth deal, each player is given a "10 kan debt" card; this represents them paying their original 5 kan back to the bank, and paying 5 kan to a pot that goes to the overall winner.

End of game

Depending on the players' preference, a game may end after 6 deals (half year) or 12 deals (full year). The one left with most points after the set amount of deals is the winner, and wins the half-time pot (the number of players times 5 kan) if any. The one with least points gets the 12 chips on the month chart, as a consolation prize. The points are then rounded to even kan (rounding down with 5 or less points, rounding up with 6 or more points) and, if you're gambling, converted to money.

Hachi-Hachi for 2 players

When playing with two, each player gets seven cards and the board gets six, as in the three-handed game; the fourteen cards which will remain in the talon after all cards have been played are not used.

Most payments are as in standard Hachi-Hachi. However, the value of teyaku and dekiyaku is halved in practice, since there's only one player to receive points from. For instance, a player will get 4 kan for an Aka in three-player Hachi-Hachi (2 kan from each opponent), but only 2 kan in two-player Hachi-Hachi.

At the end of a deal, each player counts their card points as usual - but instead of subtracting 88 from them, they calculate the difference between the hand points, with the loser paying the winner.

Souhachi comes into play if the players take the same amount of card points. As a variation, players might choose to ignore Futahachi, Sujiroku, and Souhachi completely.

Hachi-Hachi for 4-6 players

Seven cards are dealt to each player, and six to the table. Before declaring teyaku, each player in turn starting with the dealer decides whether to play, or to fold. When three players have chosen to play, the remaining players are forced to fold; when all but three have folded, the remaining players are forced to play. The hands of the folded players are then shuffled into the deck, and play continues as at three-handed Hachi-Hachi, with the first to play taking the role as dealer.

Payments and compensations for folding

The first player to voluntarily fold pays 1 kan to a pot, the second pays 1 kan 6 points, and the third pays 2 kan; this pot goes to the winner of the round. A player forced to fold with good cards is compensated: the three active players each pay half the value of any teyaku, plus 3 points for each card towards Akatan, Aotan or Gokou in the hand. These payments and compensations are, of course, doubled or quadrupled if necessary.

If possible, a compensated player doesn't show his cards to the active players, preferably by having another inactive player confirm.

Mizuten (optional rule)

Before the cards are dealt out, the dealer may declare "mizuten". A dealer in mizuten may not fold, even with bad cards. However, if a dealer in mizuten scores 89 points or more, all players at the table pay 1 kan each to the dealer (except, in 7-player games, for the player dealt the blank card).

Hachi-Hachi for 7 players

49 cards are used, including the blank card included with most hanafuda decks. Seven cards are dealt to each player. The player dealt the blank card is forced to fold (without fee or compensation), putting aside the blank and discarding the remaining six face up, so that they become table cards. Declarations then proceed as in six-handed Hachi-Hachi.


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This page was last updated 2017-09-08.