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Card Games: Fishing Games

In fishing games each player has a hand of cards and there is a layout of face up cards on the table. Each player in turn plays a card. If it matches a card or cards in the layout, the played card and the matched cards are captured and placed face down in front of the player. If the card played does not match it is added to the layout.

There are many oriental fishing games, including most of the games using Japanese flower cards (hanafuda). In these games, after playing a card from your hand and possibly making a capture with it, you turn over a further card from the face down stock, and can also capture with that card as though you had played it.

In the Western style of fishing games, cards are only played from the hand, not turned up from the stock. It is generally possible to use a card to capture several cards at once if the ranks of the captured cards add up to that of the played card. Various forms of these games are surprisingly widespread throughout the world.

There is another type of fishing game played in Turkey, Albania and perhaps other places, in which the table cards are not laid out separately but played in a single pile. Matching the top card enables the whole pile to be captured.