Kekoro [けころ] is a 2-player fishing-type game played with Hanafuda. Its yaku inventory has significant overlap with Tensho and Hachi, and its card values are the same as those used in Sudaoshi. The game is played for an indeterminate amount of time - generally as many rounds as it takes for one player to exceed their opponent’s cumulative score by 90 points.
If gambling, the two players come to an agreement over how much to wager on the game. Each player puts up the same amount; the winner will take both shares.
Any other house rules should also be established at this point, in order to keep gameplay smooth and fair.
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 both players draw one card each. The player who drew a suit for the earliest month becomes the dealer. 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.
The winner of each round becomes the dealer for the next round.
Eight cards are distributed to each player, and eight to the table. While there is no required method for this distribution, it is common for the dealer to give four to their opponent, four to the table, four to themselves, and then repeat. Sometimes this is done in packets of two instead of four.
Note that there are no Lucky Hands - 手役 [てやく, teyaku] in Kekoro.
Each round, the dealer is the first to play, with players taking alternate turns.
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.
The round ends when each player’s hand has run out of cards. At this point, each player adds up and records the total value of all their captured cards and yaku for the round. The scores for the round are added to the each player’s total scores for the game.
If neither player’s cumulative total score is at least 90 points greater than the opponents, the player with the greater score for the round becomes the dealer for the next round, and the competition continues.
There is one other condition that ends the round: If at any point in a round one player has scored 3 more yaku than the other, they may declare an instant victory, ending not just the round but the whole game.
Under normal circumstances, the game continues until the cumulative score of one player is greater than the other’s by at least 90 points, at which point the player with the greater score is declared the winner.
The game also ends immediately when a player claims victory by scoring 3 more yaku than the opponent in a given round, as stated above.
At this point, the victor claims the sum of money wagered at setup.
The card values in this game are the same as those used in Sudaoshi, which as in many hanafuda games, have varied over time.
|Card Type||Value||Number in Deck|
|Curtain and Phoenix||10||2|
|Crane, Moon, and Rain Man||5||3|
The total number of points doled out will be different each round due to each round ending before the draw pile has been exhausted.
Each yaku scored in a round is worth 30 points. The same card may be used in as many yaku as possible.
Most yaku in this game come in pairs of Ribbon and non-Ribbon variants; however, Four Seven Eight and Ten Seven Eight only have Ribbon forms.
|Name of Yaku||Composition|
霧島 [きりしま, kirishima]
|Mist Island Ribbons
短の霧島 [たんのきりしま, tan no kirishima]
グンダリ [ぐんだり, gundari]
短のグンダリ [たんのぐんだり, tan no gundari]
The Kekoro rules in the 1921 Teikei Aru Hanzai No Chōsa replace the Maple Ribbon with the Wisteria Ribbon in this yaku, making it an imperfect pair with its non-Ribbon version.
御老中 [ごろうじゅう, gorōjū]
短の御老中 [たんのごろうじゅう, tan no gorōjū]
|Three Five Six
三五六 [さんごろう, sangorō]
|Three Five Six Ribbons
短の三五六 [たんのさんごろう, tan no sangorō]
|Five Four Six
五四六 [ごしろく, go-shi-roku]
|Five Four Six Ribbons
短の五四六 [たんのごしろく, tan no go-shi-roku]
|Seven Five Three
七五三 [しちごさん, shichi-go-san]
|Seven Five Three Ribbons
短の七五三 [たんのしちごさん, tan no shichi-go-san]
熊野サン [くまのさん, kumano-san]
|Kumano Shrines’ Ribbons
短の熊野サン [たんのくまのさん, tan no kumano-san]
八島 [やしま, yashima]
In Teikei Aru Hanzai No Chōsa, the Rain Man replaces the Bush Warbler in this yaku, making it an imperfect pair with its Ribbon version.
|Eight Islands’ Ribbons
短の八島 [たんのやしま, tan no yashima]
仲蔵 [なかぞう, nakazō]
短の仲蔵 [たんのなかぞう, tan no nakazō]
|Four Seven Eight [Ribbons]
四七八 [しんしちはち, shin-shichi-hachi]
|Ten Seven Eight [Ribbons]
十七八 [じうしちはち, jūshichihachi]
海老 [えび, ebi]
短の海老 [たんのえび,tan no ebi]
下三 [しもざん, shimozan]
|Low Three Ribbons
短の下三 [たんのしもざん, tan no shimozan]
出雨 [でう, de-u]
短の出雨 [たんのでう, tan no de-u]