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Mutsu-ichi [六一, ‘six-one’] is a simplified version of Tehonbiki using a local mekurifuda deck called Ise, and was played mainly around the Aichi prefecture in the Tōkai region of Japan. Unlike in Tehonbiki, the dealer does not have to guess what card they have chosen, so the dealer is free to choose the card while looking at it.
It is a simple gambling game where players try to win against the dealer by guessing which one of the first 6 months of hanafuda is chosen by the dealer.
This game was also played around the Kanto region of Japan, using hanafuda. The game is also called by a different name, Echobo [絵樗蒲 - えちょぼ].
Using an Ise deck, up to 4 players may participate in the game (1 dealer and 3 bettors), but any number of players may participate if additional hanafuda decks are used.
The dealer takes 6 cards, each having a number from 1 to 6.
Each bettor is also given 6 cards each having a number from 1 to 6.
A collection of chips to represent points will also be used.
Next, the dealer needs something to hide the chosen card before the showdown. A white square handkerchief (called kamishita) is traditionally used.
A pen and paper or notepad to keep track of the chosen months of each passing round may be useful.
Before play begins, the group should agree on the bet size, which is the fixed amount of chips a player could bet on one card.
Also, the group should agree on the maximum number of cards a player can place a bet during one round. In Tehonbiki, 4 cards is the maximum, so it is safe to adopt this number as well.
No method is stipulated in choosing the dealer, since it is only done in casual games.
Once the dealer is chosen, the remaining players (bettors) seat themselves on the other side of the table opposite the dealer.
If the dealer represents an establishment- say, when playing at a casino or gambling parlour- then their role will obviously be fixed.
The dealer holds six cards in their hand as a stack.
To facilitate choosing the cards, the stack should be in order: The lowest number is on the front, and the highest number is on the back.
At the beginning of every round, the dealer hides the cards in hand from the bettors, and cycles through the cards in hand until the card they have chosen is on the front of the stack.
This is traditionally done by skillfully placing the front card on the back of the stack (or the back card on the front of the stack) using one hand only. However, it is not required to do this.
While still hiding the cards from the bettors, the dealer places the stack of cards face up under the white handkerchief, and declares, “It’s in!”.
Bettors then choose a card(s) on their hand they think has the same number as that of the card chosen by the dealer. This is done by placing the card from the hand, along with the chips they bet on that card, to the table face down near them.
A bettor may choose multiple cards to place a bet on.
There are two factors to consider while doing this:
Once bettors have finished betting, it’s time for the showdown.
The dealer removes the handkerchief, revealing the card that was chosen by the dealer.
Afterward, payments are done based on cards the bettors have placed their bets on:
If playing for money, then the bettors only win either 4.5x or 4.6x the bet amount. (The remaining 0.5x or 0.4x is taken by the dealer as a “rental fee” [寺銭 - てらぜん, terazen] for the gambling parlor.)
After the payments are done, another round begins. Players play for as many rounds as they want.