Japan seduces us with its rich and varied culture, its ancestral traditions, its gastronomy or its excellence in technology. It also abounds in games of all types, from the simplest to the most original. Some of them date back to the feudal Japan or even earlier, while others are much more recent. Anyway, all these games also participate in the cultural richness of Japan. In this article, we will introduce you to a traditional Japanese card game: Oicho-Kabu (おいちょかぶ).
Oicho-Kabu: a fusion between baccarat and blackjack
To begin with, Oicho-Kabu is a game of chance that closely resembles the baccarat we know. It also has some features in common with blackjack.
The object of the game is to reach a hand of 9 points or closer than the dealer (in the case of blackjack, 21 points). And just like in baccarat, the number of units determines the value of your hand. For example, a total of 17 is worth 7 and 20 is actually worth 0.
In addition, there is also a variation of the traditional Oicho-Kabu: Kyo-Kabu.
Which deck of cards to use?
In practice, you should use a deck of kabufuda cards. It contains 40 numbered cards, divided into 4 times 10 cards. This deck does not have any figures, although 2 cards have specific marks (which are not used in any known game).
You can also use a deck of hanafuda cards to play Oicho-Kabu. In this case, you just have to remove the November and December cards, and use only the cards corresponding to the first 10 months of the year.
Finally, if you don't have a deck of 52 cards, you can simply remove some cards to keep 4 sets of 10. For example: from Ace (worth 0) to 9.
The rules of the game
Like baccarat and blackjack, Oicho-Kabu is played with a dealer and players. The dealer deals one card to each player, which will not be used in the game. The dealer then gives each player the first card of his hand, before laying four cards face up on the table. The players (excluding the dealer) then bet on the cards of their choice, up to a limit of 0 to 100 points for the whole round.
When the betting is complete, the dealer places a card face down on top of each face up card, and deals one to himself. The first bettor can look at the cards in the piles he 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, the cards are revealed and counted. 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 beautiful and immersive versions.
And if you prefer to stick to a more Western game, you can play classic baccarat... but in a Japanese atmosphere. Try Bombay Club Japanese Speed Baccarat, for example, a baccarat game in which the Japanese theme is taken to the extreme. From the decor to the dealer and the background music, everything is done to immerse you in the world of Japan.
Before you start playing, we recommend that you read a complete guide to baccarat. That way, you'll have all the information you need to maximize your chances of winning! For example, you might want to start learning about online baccarat before trying out Oicho-Kabu.