Koi-Koi


YAKU CARD COMBINATIONS:

So what the heck is this "yaku" thing I keep mentioning? Well, "yaku" is a Japanese word for which I have not been able to come up with a good English equivalent. The best I have come up with is: "bonus card combination." Think of a yaku as being like a winning poker hand. The Poker hand "Two Pairs" is equivalent to a one-point yaku, and a "Full House" might be a sixteen-point yaku (for example). Whereas in Poker you make only one hand, in Koi-koi you can make multiple yaku in one hand.

A single yaku may consist of as few as two cards, or as many as ten. Each yaku is worth a certain point value. Consider the "Dry Three Bright" yaku -- you don't earn twenty points for each 20-point card; rather, you earn eight points for having the "Dry Three Bright" yaku.

You cannot win Koi-koi or Go-Stop unless you have collected enough cards to make at least one yaku.

Refer to the table below or click here to see a pictorial representation of the yaku.

Yaku made with 1-point cards ("Junk")

Value

"Ten Plain" -- ten 1-point cards ("Ten Ones;" "Kasu;" "Junk")

1

Each additional 1-point card after the tenth

1

Note: the Sak・Cup card counts for the "junk" yaku, if you have that card.

 

Yaku made with 5-point cards ("Flags")

Value

"Five Tanzaku" -- five 5-point cards ("Five Fives")

1

Each additional five-point card after the fifth

1

"Blue Tanzaku" -- three purple-ribbon cards (also "Aoi Tan")

3

"Red Tanzaku" -- three poetry ribbon cards (also "Akai Tan")

3

"Dueling Triads" -- All the purple AND poetry ribbons ("Twin Triads")

3

Yaku made with 10-point cards ("Animals")

Value

Five 10-point cards ("Five Tens;" "Five Animals")

1

Each additional 10-point card after the fifth

1

Yaku made with 20-point cards ("Biggies")

Value

"Dry 3 Bright" -- Three 20-point cards (Rainman not included)

8

"Rainy Four Bright" -- Four 20-point cards (including Rainman)

2

"Dry Four Bright" -- Four 20-point cards (excluding Rainman)

4

Note: if you have the Rainy Four Bright yaku, you earn 8 points for the Dry 3 Bright yaku, and an additional 2 points for having the Rainman. If you have Dry Four Bright, you earn both the 8 points for the Dry 3 Bright yaku, and an additional 4 points for Dry Four Bright.

 

"Five Bright" -- All five 20-point cards

4

Total: If you have Five Bright, you earn 8 + 4 + 4 = 16 (you can count the Rainman as the fifth twenty).

 

Yaku made with special card combinations

Value

Boar, Deer, Butterflies ("Ino Shika Chou")

5

"Viewing the Moon" -- Sak・Cup & Moon ("Tsukimi Sak・quot;)

5

"Viewing the Cherry Blossoms" -- Sak・Cup & Curtain ("Hanami Sak・quot;)

5

"Viewing the Blossoms under the Moon" -- all 3 "view" cards

5

Total: If you have all 3 "view" cards you earn 5 + 5 + 5 = 15.

 

Yaku at the original deal

Value

Having a quad in the hand on the original deal.

5 (win)

Dealing a quad face-up on the original deal.

Redeal

Having four pairs in the hand on the original deal.

5 (win)

Dealing four pairs face-up on the original deal.

Redeal

When a player declares "stop," the player's hand is examined to determine the point count. All possible yaku are counted and their point scores are added up.

Yaku are combinative. If you have seven 5-point cards, you can earn as much as six yaku which total 12 points (one point for having five fives, one point each for the two extra fives, three points for having the three poetry ribbon cards, three points for having the three purple ribbons, and three more points for the Dueling Triads yaku).

Special case (Sakè Cup card): If you have four tens and nine ones -- and the Sakè Cup card -- for example, then you earn two yaku: one for having five tens (counting the Sakè Cup card together with the other four tens) and a yaku for having ten ones (counting the Sakè Cup card together with the other nine ones).

After counting and adding the yaku, the score is multiplied if any doublers or triplers apply (either because there had been 20-point cards face-up at the deal, or because the player had said "koi-koi").

The game ends when one player's score totals 50 points.

Click to go to the next page: Strategy and resolving conflicts

Copyright 2000, 2001 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved. Reproduction by written permission of the author only.