Gomai-Kabu is an extremely simple game based on luck in which players compare their chosen stacks of cards in an attempt to form the best hand.
Determine who will be dealer. If playing for money or points, set an agreed-upon bet size for the round.
Gomai-Kabu is played with a traditional kabufuda deck. If needed, a kabufuda deck can be emulated with a hanafuda deck by removing the November and December suits and assigning a value to each of the cards equal to the month it represents (January = 1, February = 2, et cetera). If playing for money, chips or other small tokens should be used to represent points and assist in tracking bets.
The dealer begins by dealing out eight stacks of five cards each. Starting with the player seated at the dealer’s left and continuing clockwise, each player selects one of the dealt stacks to become their hand.
Each player then places the agreed ante for the round into the pot.
Using their five-card hand, each player must form a combination of three cards whose values total 10, 20, or 30, and use the remaining two cards as their hand. If a player is unable to form such a combination, they must fold their hand and drop out of the round.
The remaining players’ two-card hands are then counted using normal Oicho-Kabu rules, with the exception that pairs beat regular hands, with higher pairs beating lower pairs.
The player with the best hand wins and collects the pot.