I know you are new to Korean Poker, but don’t worry, learning how to play is easy. I’ll teach you. Here are the rules:
The first thing to know is that the overall objective of the game is to get three points first. Now, there are about 250 different ways to achieve this. 62 if you’re playing on the first Friday of the month. And 4 if you’re playing against an ex who you’re on good terms with. The player who gets three points first can either stop the game and win or continue in the hopes of gaining more points. Regardless, whoever wins announces total dominion over all of humanity and also, they get to go first the next round.
There are 12 different suits of cards. Four cards in each suit. To answer your questions, yes, a lot of the suits look the same. Yes, none of the cards within each suit match. And yes, some of the suits did immigrate from Korea to America to provide a better life for generations of suits to come.
When you collect your cards, you can organize them in 4 different categories. The first and most important category is called the “guang” category. If you get all 5 “guang” cards, you win 15 points. An easy way to remember this is that “guang” phonetically kind of sounds like “guanciale,” which is often times “imported” from Italy. The word “imported” has 8 letters in it. Plus, 3, for the number of weeks that “guanciale” is typically cured in salt for. That’s 11. Add 4 because when food is too salty, obviously you say “yuck,” which has 4 letters in it. And that’s how you get 15. Easy.
Another category is the “animal” category. Fairly self-explanatory, but basically all the cards that have animals on them go in the “animal” category. As you can see, most of the animals are birds. All of the birds are regular birds, except these 3 special birds who used to be in a girl group in the '90s. If you’re able to get all 3 of these cards back together, you get a 20% commission on all tickets sold for their upcoming reunion tour. It’s only for these 3 birds, though. Also, yes, that card has a chair on it, but it counts as a bird.
The flag category is boring because all you do is just collect the cards with flags on them. I guess the only semi-important part about the flags is that if you get all of them, you’re committing treason against the Republic of South Korea. You’ll go to prison for 10 years, but it’s fine because they let you play Korean Poker in prison.
Anyways, the next category is the one to pay attention to.
The final category, loosely translated, means “garbage.” The objective here is to collect as much garbage as you can. Metaphorically in the form of the garbage cards and of course, literally. For every garbage card you collect, you must also collect a piece of real garbage. From a dumpster. Or your neighborhood. Or you know, wherever. It doesn’t really matter where you get it from. It more matters that it smells as disgusting as possible, so that it ruins the atmosphere of the whole game and overall, makes all of the players want to vomit.
Now that we’ve discussed the categories, we’re going to discuss the chance cards. There are 3 chance cards hidden in the deck. You’ll know they’re chance cards, because they just look all crazy and not normal. I can’t really describe it better than that, but I’m sure you’ll get it.
Anyways, each card gives you extra points in the garbage category, but only if you “take a chance” by asking out the player in the group who is most likely to reject you. And someone has to film it so that this moment of you getting brutally dunked on lives on in posterity. Sure, it’ll be on the internet forever and your children and your children’s children will watch this humiliation, but the upside is that you got an extra 2 whole points. You didn’t win the game, though. Just to be clear.
Also, there’s this thing where everyone shouts this phrase in Korean that basically means “diarrhea yourself!” It’s not a big deal, unless you actually diarrhea yourself. If you do, you have to write all the other players into your will so that none of your money goes to your kids or your partner, or anyone else that you were planning on giving it to. Oh, and then, you also have to wear a sign around your neck that says “I diarrhead myself” for the next 6-10 weeks. You know, at work or while you shower or if you’re going to a movie. Whatever. Plus, the part that really sucks is that you have to give up all your cards.
Last thing you need to know about Korean Poker is that if you’ve ever been sued for negligence regarding medical malpractice in the year 1972, all the previously stated rules go out the window and this game just plays more like Go Fish.
Okay. Are you ready to play?