Note to self: Never play Korean card games with a Korean

Over a year ago my Korean friend lreflection turned us on to the Korean card game GO-STOP or (Hanafuda in Japanese or Godori in Korean). My husband and I became avid fans of the game spending countless hours on yahoo games until one day, they pulled the plug on us. Go Stop is a card games that involves twelve suits, a TON of rules and dubious ‘traditions’ that involves throwing cards down with as much noise as possible and hiding one’s money under a mat (so your opponents do not know how much money you have squirreled away). It’s very hard to find people to play Go Stop with because of its steep learning curve.

Since we have learnt Go-STOP from lreflection, different members of her family have proceeded to win all our money at every game including her brother and even her mom. Last night was no exception. Within 4 hands, she had won 90 cents and left us penniless (literally) This may not sound like much, but when you consider that one point is one penny and we started with 30 pennies each. The 15 minutes it took seem to go be extremely fast 9Good thing we were not playing with dollars) So unless you have photographic memory, have been playing Go-STOP your entire life and know how to count cards, don’t try to play with the Koreans 🙂

A bit of trivia is that Nintendo started out as a company making picture cards (Yes … Go-Stop cards) long before they ever made video games. Apparently they still make them.


4 responses to “Note to self: Never play Korean card games with a Korean

  1. Very funny…

    Hey, I thought we were going to play gostop with my bro one more time before I leave! 😛

  2. ooh, nitendo go-stop cards!!! awesome.

  3. Thank you so much for this article, as crazy as that sounds…
    As a young kid my parents would play this card game. I’m 27 years old now, and for whatever reason a week ago I started thinking about this card game, but I did not know the name, my parents always referred to it as bird card and on asking my mom about she thought it was from Korea.
    Anyways after Google searching every word or phrase I could remember from the game and nearly giving up I typed into Google, with quotes “Korean card games” and up pops this article as the first result.
    Now I just need to find some place that actually carries them.

  4. Hey Josh,
    You can buy this deck of cards, called “Go Stop Cards” or “Hwa Too” at any Korean grocery store. You know stores where Koreans go to get their Kimchee and other Korean foods. They all have them and it should cost like $4-$6 a deck. Just becareful not to drop them on the floor since it’s very difficult to pick cards up against smooth surface. That’s why they use blankets.



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