Go-Stop (고스톱) is played with small thick cards with flower designs. The cards are called hwa-tu in Korea, and hanafuda in Japan. This type of card used to be the mainstay product of Japanese game company Nintendo, until videogames came along. Nintendo still makes them today, but as a sideline rather than its main business.
The cards can be used to play a variety of different games. The quick and fun Japanese game of Koi-Koi, while rarely played in Japan today, is extremely popular in Korea, where it's called Go-Stop and is played by slightly different rules. Practically everybody in Korea plays Go-Stop. While I was in Korea in November, 2003, to attend the KGDC, I was channel-surfing on my hotel room TV one afternoon and saw a couple of housewives playing Go-Stop, on a daytime soap opera! In Korea, the game is so popular that you can get hwa-tu at any 7-11 or LG-25 convenience store. It's that pervasive!
Want to learn how the Korean game of Go-Stop is played? ...
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Special thanks to Taesun Yeom and John Song, without whom the Korea trip never would have happened!
Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.