Drinking Games Guilin Style: Caima (guessing numbers)

Travel | by Isriel Robinson
Posted: March 27th, 2008 | Updated: November 24th, 2010 | Comments
Guilin Beer Caima (鐚滅爜)
Caima is by far the most difficult drinking game that I've ever encountered, but the premise is really simple. The only equipment you'll need to play it is 2 people, a glass, a ton of beer and a couple of aspirin for the morning after. Different places in China have their own things to say when playing, but the rules are basically the same. Two people, establish a rhythm, which in Guilin is eight beats long, then begin. Both players will extend a number of fingers on one hand at the same time (similar to rock [0], paper [5], scissors [2]). While throwing out the fingers, they'll both call out a number. This number is an attempt to guess the total number of both players fingers. So, if we're playing, you hold out 2 fingers and I hold out 3 fingers, we have a total of 5. If you called 5, you win, I drink (usually the whole glass - at least at the beginning of the game anyway).  If no one calls the correct number, we continue on rhythm. The rhythm: Guiliners begin by saying "Xiong di hao a hao xiong di a" (translations below) as the rhythm setter - 8 beats. If ladies play they will say "Jie mei hao a hao jie mei a". Then on to number calling, which is followed by another "hao a": 1 - yi ge hao a [--涓ソ鍟奭 2 - liang ge hao a [涓や釜濂藉晩] 3 - san ge hao a [涓変釜濂藉晩] 4 - si ge hao a [鍥涗釜濂藉晩] 5 - wu ge hao a [浜斾釜濂藉晩] 6 - liu ge hao a [鍏釜濂藉晩] 7 - qi ge hao a [涓冧釜濂藉晩] 8 - ba ge hao a [鍏釜濂藉晩] 9 - jiu ge hao a [涔濅釜濂藉晩] 10 - quan bu hao a [鍏ㄩ儴濂藉晩] 0 - bu chu hao a [涓嶅嚭濂藉晩] (Guiliners don't like to use 5, so don't say it - if you do, you'll lose/drink) Here's a diagram representing a typical game (click to enlarge): Caima Example If you should say something that is logically incorrect, you drink (i.e. guessing 9 while only extending 2 fingers, or guessing bu chu [0] while extending any fingers at all). A word of warning: Locals are crazy good at this game, and while you'll probably be the life of the party for playing, you'll more than likely be most of the way under the table before much time passes. The best players will identify your patterns, be it because of language difficulties or otherwise, in a matter of minutes, so mix it up and try not to be predictable. That is to say, try not to get into a habit of calling a number and extending the same number of fingers every time you do. Translations: 鍏勫紵濂藉晩濂藉厔寮熷晩 - Xiong di hao a hao xiong di a - brothers are good, good brother 濮愬濂藉晩濂藉濡瑰晩 - Jie mei hao a hao jie mei a - sisters are good, good sister Notes: Regarding the number 5liquan beer and a smilin' guy In Guilinhua (the local dialect) the measure word ge [涓猐 is pronounced a bit like "gwe" with a short e sound, which make is sound similar to gui. So, if you say wu gwe (gui) it sounds like you're saying wugui - turtle. This is likely to cause offense and let's face it, no one wants to be called a turtle. Different language versions: Different versions of number will have to be learned if you play this game somewhere else. The Cantonese version is the hardest because after every number you need to say a different thing instead of "ge hao a". I can't remember any of the things except for 8, which is 8 horses, "ba pi ma" in mandarin or "ba pud mar" in a Cantonese approximation (no official pinyin exists for Cantonese). So, that's that. Don't expect to master the game at the first sitting, lapses in concentration are to be expected after all. If you prefer a drinking game that's a little easier, give shaizi a try. Edit: An old friend/colleague helped me out with the Cantonese version. Here it is in mandarin, you'll have to figure out the Cantonese pronunciation by yourself. Thanks Adam Tang for the info, he also notes that northerners call the game Huaquan(鍒掓嫵). 1 - 涓€瀹氫腑 (yi ding zhong) 2 - 涓や汉濂?(liang ren hao) 3 - 涓夌偣 (san dian) 4 - 鍥涚瓛 (si tong) 5 - 寮€濉炴墜 (kai sai shou) 6 - 鍏负 (liu wei) 7 - 涓冨阀 (qi qiao) 8 - 鍏尮椹?(ba pi ma) 9 - 涔?涔?甯?(jiu chang) 0 - 鎷冲鎷?(quan dui quan)
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