Remarks on the database

I've tried to associate each version of the game with a list of names. It must be understood that in some regions (especially in China), there were a lot of variations in these lists.


I have not included references as I am still trying to find a "usable" way to present them.
I have, for now, a litte less than 5000 references including books, papers, newspapers, websites, blogs, forums etc...
For China alone, more than 2500 references distributed as follows :
Anhui 27 Henan 4 Shaanxi 2
Chongqing 8 Hong Kong 77 Shandong 54
Fujian 446 Hubei 26 Shanghai 193
Gansu 9 Hunan 16 Shanxi 1
Guangdong 293 Inner Mongolia 17 Sichuan 43
Guangxi 73 Jiangsu 20 Taiwan 83
Guizhou 27 Jiangxi 119 Xinjiang 1
Hainan 21 Jilin 83 Yunnan 71
Hebei 134 Liaoning 127
Heilongjiang 143 Macao 17 General 107
Argentina9 Honduras6 Puerto Rico10
Australia58 India5 Singapore55
Belize16 Indochina24 South Africa109
British Guiana17 Indonesia73 Spain1
Brunei1 Italy1 Suriname24
Burma66 Jamaica42 Thailand97
Cambodge82 Japan104 Trinidad95
Canada16 Korea18 UK3
Cayman Islands1 La Reunion1 Uruguay4
Columbia2 Laos11 US87
Costa Rica5 Madagascar3 Venezuela56
Cuba120 Malaysia139 Vietnam146
Dominican Republic4 Mauritius8 Virgin Islands1
France7 Mexico10
Grenada1 Mongolia1
Guatemala11 Nicaragua18
Guyane1 Panama35
Haiti23 Papua New Guinea1
Hawaii103 Peru32
Holland1 Philippines105
N.B.:Some "regions" are not countries.
References to Hua-Hui or one of its variants have been written in : Chinese, French, English, Afrikaans, Catalan, Cebuano, Dutch, Filipino, German, Hawaiian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Burmese, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese...

Remarks on booklets

The printed booklets are quite difficult to identify, most of the times these is no date or place of publishing. And often, the first and last pages are missing.
The hand-written booklets, which most of the times are copies of printed books, are even more difficult to identify as, when there is a date, it's not always clear if it is the date of the original or the date of the copy.

Remarks on the world map

As I had do merge many sources of data for borders, I had to make tradeoffs. Don't take these borders as reference because they are approximative.
The Chinese provinces borders are the actual ones, many of these have changed in the 1950's.
For some countries, because I had no proof that the game had spread to the whole country, I tried to show only the places or regions where the game or one of its variants was played.

Places were Hua-Hui or one of its variant were played

36 betesFrance In the early 1900's, local newspapers report that the 36 betes version of the game was played by Indochinese (Cambodge, Laos, Vietnam) people living in France.
Chee-faGreat-Britain Some reports that Chinese people living in Great-Britain played Chee-fa. It seems the game was never played by English people.
Tse-faHolland A police report says that Chinese Triads in Amsterdam are playing tse-fa.
JuetengItaly A report about filipino migrant workers in Rome says filipino migrant workers were playing 'jueting'.

Games eventually related to Hua-Hui

Borlette/Tchala Haiti

The Borlette or Tchala is a gambling game based on dreams. The 'official' book is "Le bréviaire des joueurs de loterie" which looks like the Hua-Hui's Dreams dictionary but its true origin is a French book published in 1850 : "La prescience, ou grande interprétation des songes, des rêves et des visions"

Quinelas Argentina, Uruguay

The Quiniela is very popular in Argentina, Uruguay and Dominican Republic, it's a 2D lottery : the numbers 00 to 99 are associated with animals and dreams, there are associations with jobs, recipes, feelings, virtues, football teams (!) etc...
The origin of these lists is not known but the quinielas appeared in the early 1900's, so, maybe they were derived from the 2D version of the Cuban Charada which is at least 10 years older.

Jogo do Bicho Brazil

About the origin of the Jogo do Bicho we know this :
It appeared in 1893 in Rio de Janeiro, it was a game proposed by the Zoo owned by the Baron Drumond, visitors had to guess the name of one of a list of 25 animals.
It is reputed to be a variant of the "jogo das flores" invented by a Manuel Ismael Zevada of Mexican origins, who became an associate of Baron Drumond.
Like Hua-Hui, it was played in the rural zones, by hanging one of the 25 names to a pole, then collecting bets, and finally revealing the winning name.
Like Hua-Hui, the animals were associated to dreams.
We can assume that Michael Zevada knew about Charada China because it was played in almost all countries between Mexico and Brazil, and maybe "jogo das flores" is a translation of 花会.
So.... maybe Jogo do Bicho is a variant of Hua.Hui.