Japan seduces us with its rich and varied culture, its ancestral traditions, its gastronomy and its technological excellence. It is also full of games of all types, from the simplest to the most original. Some date back to feudal Japan, even earlier, while others are much more recent. Anyway, all these games also contribute to the cultural richness of Japan. In this article, we will introduce you to a traditional card game from Japan: Oicho-Kabu (お い ち ょ か ぶ).
Oicho-Kabu: a fusion between baccarat and blackjack
For starters, Oicho-Kabu is a game of chance that strongly resembles the baccarat we know. It also has some peculiarities in common with blackjack.
Indeed, the object of the game is to reach a hand of 9 points or to come closer to it than the dealer (in the case of blackjack, you have to get 21 points). And just like in baccarat, the ones digit determines the value of your hand. So a total of 17 is 7 and 20 is actually 0.
In addition, there is also a variation of the traditional Oicho-Kabu: the Kyo-kabu.
Which deck of cards to use?
In practice, you have to use a kabufuda card game. It contains 40 numbered cards, divided into 4 times 10 cards. This game does not include a figure, even if 2 cards have specific marks (which are not a priori used in any known game).
You can also use a hanafuda card game to play Oicho-Kabu. You will then have to withdraw the November and December cards, to use only the cards corresponding to the first 10 months of the year.
Finally, failing that, simply use a deck of 52 cards and remove cards so as to keep 4 sets of 10. For example: from the Ace (worth 0) to 9.
The game’s rules
Like baccarat and blackjack, Oicho-Kabu is played with a dealer and players. The dealer deals a card to everyone, which will not be used in the game. He then gives each player the first card in their hand, before placing 4 visible cards on the table. The players (excluding the dealer) then bet on the cards of their choice, within the limit of 0 to 100 points for all the bets of the round.
Once the bets are over, the dealer places a card face down on each visible card, and deals one as well. The first bettor can look at the cards in the piles he has bet on and then decide whether or not to add a new one. The other players do the same, as does the dealer with his own pile. Then the dealer adds cards to the corresponding piles.
Finally, cards are revealed and tallied. The player closest to 9 receives the bet.
Bombay Club Japanese Speed Baccarat: Japanese style baccarat
Of course, it is also possible to play Oicho-Kabu online. Many casino sites offer versions as pretty as they are immersive.
And if you prefer to stick to a more western game, you can play classic baccarat… but in a Japanese atmosphere. Try for example the game Bombay Club Japanese Speed Baccarat, a baccarat in which the Japanese theme is taken to the extreme. From the decor to the donor, including the background music, everything is done to immerse you in the world of Japan.
Before starting a game, we recommend that you read a complete guide to baccarat. This way, you will have all the keys in hand to optimize your chances of winning! For example, you could start to familiarize yourself with online baccarat before trying out Oicho-Kabu.