Flower Card Game
Hwatu (Kor. 화투, Chin. 花鬪, lit. flower fight) is a game played with a deck of forty-eight cards comprising twelve sets of four cards, each set representing one of the twelve months of the year. Each card has images of flowers or plants associated with the corresponding month on its face. Pine trees are the motif of the January cards; plum flowers, February; cherry blossoms, March; black bush clovers, April; orchids, June; peonies, July; red bush clovers, July; full moon, August; chrysanthemums, September; maple trees, October; paulownia trees, November; and rain, December. Each set of four cards contains one card with a ten-point value, one with a five-point value, and two with a single-point value.
Games played with hwatu cards include minhwatu (Kor. 민화투), go-stop (Kor. 고스톱), yukbaek (Kor. 육백), sambong (Kor. 삼봉), ppeong (Kor. 뻥), and games similar to tujeon (Kor. 투전, Chin. 鬪錢, card gambling), such as jitgottaeng (Kor. 짓고땡) and seotda (Kor. 섯다). A popular variation of go-stop was invented in the late 1960s and became very popular starting in the mid-1970s. Liberal rules, a degree of complexity and drama, high speed, frequent turnabouts, and very high scoring potential has made this game the most popular hwatu game in contemporary Korea. Solitary games, usually for fortune-telling, are also played with hwatu cards.