To play Go-Stop, you will need Hwatu cards, which are typically found in Korean stores, but you can also acquire them through Etsy or estelleso.com.
How to Play Go-Stop
Go-Stop is the most well-known card game in South Korea, commonly played using Hwatu cards. It is typically played by three participants, although it can also be played by two or four players. However, in a four-player game, one player with poor cards has to sit out, so the game is usually limited to three players. When played with three players, the objective is to be the first to score three points or more to win, while in a two-player game, the first player to score seven points or more wins.
A two-player game is often referred to as “Matgo.” Here, we will explain the game as it is typically played with three participants.
: The rules of Go-Stop can vary depending on the region and the players involved, and there are also various adaptations in online games. Here, we will explain the rules that are typically followed in South Korea.
1. First, determine the “dealer” or the “starter.” The game always starts with the dealer, and the game progresses in a counterclockwise direction.
2. The dealer shuffles the cards and deals 7 cards to each player.
3. After that, 6 cards are placed on the floor with the front side of the cards facing up. (If a joker or a bonus card appears during this process, the starting player will take it, and an additional card is placed to make it a total of 6 cards.)
4. The remaining stack of Hwatu cards is placed in the center.
5. Starting with the dealer and proceeding counterclockwise, when it’s your turn, you compare the cards in your hand to the cards on the floor. If you have a matching card, you take it.
6. After that, you flip one card from the stack of Hwatu cards in the center, and if it matches any of the cards on the game floor, you take it. If there is no match, you simply leave it on the floor.
7. If you don’t have any cards to pick up, you can discard the least useful card from your hand and then flip one card from the stack of Hwatu cards in the center. Like before, if it matches any of the cards on the floor, you take it, and if not, you leave it.
8. The winner is the first person to reach 3 points. At this point, they decide whether to continue the game to earn more points (Go/고) or to stop to prevent others from scoring (Stop/스톱) in order to accumulate more points.
10. When playing Go-Stop with 2 players, it is often referred to as “Matgo.” Each player receives 10 Hwatu cards, and 8 cards are placed on the floor. In a 2-player game, one player must score 7 points to win.