Tokotoko (written in Japanese as トコトコ or 床々) is a quick gambling game played with the 6 “dead cards” set aside during the deal in Tensho. In this form, it is a game for 2 players, though it is easily modified to include more. It bears a slight resemblance to Texas Hold’em, but with the goal of making the best 3-card kabu hand rather than one of poker’s many 5-card combinations.
First, prepare the deck as you would for Tensho or Hon-Bana by removing the 3 Chaff of Paulownia, leaving a deck of 45 cards.
If playing Tokotoko as a side-game to Tensho, the 6 “dead cards” set aside during the deal will be used for a 2-player game of Tokotoko at the conclusion of the round. If more than 2 players wish to participate, 2 additional cards per additional player are taken from the captured cards of the victor of Tensho and shuffled together with these “dead cards”.
Then, 2 cards are dealt to each player, and the remaining 2 cards are kept face-down on the table.
Once all players have looked at their hands, players come to an agreement as to how much money to bet; all players must put up the same amount before the game can progress.
Once all players have put up the appropriate amount of money, the 2 field cards are flipped face-up for all to see. These cards are communal and are able to be used by any and all players.
Then, each player in turn chooses any 3 of the 4 cards available to them to create a kabu hand; this may consist of both hand cards and one field card, or both field cards and one hand card.
The winner is the player whose selected 3-card hand has the highest value in the ones digit when the 3 card values are summed. That player earns all the money that was wagered. In the case of a tie, the pot may be split evenly among the winners.
Note that the card values follow the Nagoya suit order used in such games as Hiyoko and Isuri. For instance, Pine cards have a value of 1, while the Phoenix counts as a 6, and Peony cards each count as 11. Only the suit order matters, not any other characteristics of the card.
Player 1 is dealt the Plum Blossom Ribbon and a Chrysanthemum Chaff. Player 2 is dealt a Pine Chaff and the Wisteria Ribbon. They agree to wager $5 a piece.
The field cards are then revealed to be another Pine Chaff and the Deer.
Player 1 selects the Pine, Plum Blossom, and Maple cards to make up their hand, for a total value of 1+12+10 = 23. The ones’ digit is 3, so their ultimate hand value is 3.
Player 2 selects the 2 Pines and the Wisteria cards to make up their hand, for a total value of 1+1+4 = 6. The ones’ digit is 6, so their ultimate hand value is 6.
Player 2 thus wins this round of Tokotoko, and collects both their own wagered $5 and the $5 wagered by their opponent.