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Korean Hand Games

December 12, 2010

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If you’ve been teaching English in Korea for a while, or just living in Korea in general, then you surely must have come across one of these Korean hand games before. Kai Bai Bo is the monstrously popular Korean version of Rock, Paper, Scissors, while Di Bi Di Bi Dip is what you saw Martina play with her students for the High School Festival Bunny Games, and Zero (or Jero) is another popular game that we just happen to play against each other when we’re bored. We want to introduce you to them today, but with a twist! Showing the games on their own might be boring, so we’ve lined up some punishments for the losers. Muahahaha! But first, the games:

1) Kai Bai Boh, 가위바위보 (sometimes pronounced Gawi Bawi Bo) is just Rock, Paper, Scissors, except it has loads of variations to it. If you’re worried about playing against a cheater who reads your hand and then switches up his/her answer, you can play it back to back, and put up your rock, paper, or scissors above your head. Or, if you’ve got more than two people playing, you can still all play together in an elimination tournament of sorts. So, with four people, if everyone has something different, then no one wins. But if there are only rocks and papers thrown, then the rocks are eliminated and only the papers go on, until one winner is declared. Good times!

2) Di Bi Di Bi Dip is played in different ways. We’re showing the big gesture game, but it’s sometimes played with just pointing to someone’s face and hoping they don’t move their face in the same direction, as can be seen in this TVXQ video. The big gestures version we’re playing has the same concept in that, if I’m the leader, I’ll do one of three gestures at the end of the phrase “di bi di bi dip.” If you do the same gesture, I win.

3) Zero (or Jero as it’s pronounced in Korean) is like thumb wars, but with more thumbs and less wrestling. Two people play this game, and put in two fists each with their thumbs facing upward, but not pointed up, yet. The leader shouts out a number from 0 to 4, and raises up either 1, 2, or no thumbs, as does the follower. If the total number of thumbs raised is the same as the number called, the winner gets one point and goes again. If it is not the same, then the follower becomes the leader and shouts out a number instead. The first person to five points wins.

Now, there are loads of different ways to play these games, we know. We just wanted to introduce them here, and – really – we just wanted an excuse to make the other person do stupid things. Buahahahaha! We’ve been watching too many Korean variety shows since our episode of Running Man, and we’d love to have our own show like that one day. Since no one will give us one, we’ll just make our own!

And, as always, big thanks to JB and Annie from [닉쑤] Enjoy Your Happy Life~* for the Korean subtitle translations! This video was around 15 minutes, and was nothing but us talking. Transcribing it was a huge pain, so I’m sure translating it was even worse. Thanks so much to the two of them for putting this mother of a video in Korean for our Korean audience. Woo!

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Korean Hand Games

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  1. We played a dibidibidip game (20 years ago) that was completely different. You get a bunch of people in a circle, and when you’re “it” you sort of roll your hands while saying “dibi dibi” and then point to somebody on “dip.” Then the two people on either side of that person wave their hands at him (kind of framing his head) while saying “dip dip dip!” and then that person does it to somebody else. The trick is to keep the rhythm going. It was oddly entertaining.

    2 years ago
  2. Do Koreans also have the version of rock paper scissors where after losing, the winner points either up, down, left or right, and the loser is supposed to look in an opposite direction than pointed – if he looks in the same direction, he loses (again)? They do it in Japan, it’s quite fun.

    4 years ago
  3. I know the game, I just don't know the name of it. Martina played it in her school festival video. We couldn't play it against each other, though, because Simon's really big and Martina's really small :D

    6 years ago
  4. Mac and Cheese is the best team EVER! Next to milk and cookies. Luckily, I've got a shirt for that, too.

    6 years ago
  5. Ha! Thanks JD, but we've stocked up on Ranch now that it's sold here. Huzzah!

    6 years ago
  6. Ha! I see someone's subscribed to our newsletter :D

    6 years ago
  7. Really?! Wow! Rock, Scissors, TABLECLOTH! Totally makes me rethink the game.

    6 years ago
  8. Totally don't know those! Looks like we've got another video to make :D

    6 years ago
  9. In Simon's Middle School, the students looooove torturing each other! It was the only reason to play, just to hurt your friends justifiably :D

    6 years ago
  10. Ha! Yes, we have been watching too many variety shows since doing Running Man. They're really quite fun :D

    6 years ago
  11. The one place you saw when Martina left the elevator was Café Lua. We just did a video about them :D

    6 years ago
  12. I love the Emperor's New Groove reference! Also you're the only girl I know who can look beautiful in a face mask of snail secretion.

    6 years ago
  13. Ha! That girl at the convenience store was really uncomfortable :D

    6 years ago
  14. We haven't played it with more than just two people yet. We will soon, though :D

    6 years ago
  15. Lol oh Martina you poor dear. I feel for you but at least it wasn't too bad. I wonder what the cashier woman was saying in her head lol. At least you didn't run into Top like that kekeke.

    6 years ago
  16. Pure luck!

    6 years ago