How to Make and Play the Korean Ddakji Game

A Fun and Educational Game Using Origami Tiles

Ddakji, sometimes called ttakji, is a traditional South Korean game played using folded paper tiles. It is similar to the American game of Pogs that was popular in the 1990s, but there is no "slammer" piece involved in the gameplay. All you need to play are the folded origami ddakji tiles.

Korean ddakji is a great activity to keep children entertained. Folding the tiles helps them learn basic origami techniques and work on fine motor skills. Playing with friends encourages them to work on social skills like sharing, taking turns, and graciously handling winning or losing the game.

  • 01 of 07

    Gather Your Supplies

    Ddakji

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    You will need several sheets of square origami paper. Choose papers with coordinating colors or patterns. The size of the paper does not matter as long as it is square. If you don't have origami paper, cut construction paper into a square.

  • 02 of 07

    Fold the Paper Into Thirds

    Paper folded

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    To begin making your ddakji, fold the paper into thirds, you can do this by eye, or use a ruler.

  • 03 of 07

    Fold the Corners

    Ddakji tile being folded

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    Fold the left corner up and the right corner down as shown in the photo to the left.

  • 04 of 07

    Make a Second Unit

    Two Ddakji tiles in the process of being folded

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    Repeat Step 2 and Step 3 with the second sheet of paper.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Join the Units

    A Ddakji tile being made

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    Place your folded units in the formation shown in the photo to the left.

  • 06 of 07

    Fold the Flaps

    Ddakji folded paper

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    Fold the left and right flaps in.

    Now fold the top flap down, and underneath the right flap, then fold the bottom flap up, and underneath the left flap.

  • 07 of 07

    Complete the Ddakji

    Ddakji tiles

    Dana Hinders

    If it is folded properly, you should not need any tape or glue to seal your ddakji. This makes ddakji a good example of modular origami.

    To play Korean ddakji, choose a throwing player. Many people suggest a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors to choose a throwing player, but this is up to you. The other player places his ddakji tile on the table. The throwing player tries to throw his tile so that it makes the other player's tile flip over. If he is successful, he gets to keep the tile. Therefore, it would be a good idea to fold several tiles before you begin playing.

    Throwing ddakji looks simple, but getting the angle and force necessary to flip the other player's tile takes practice. If you are playing the game with very young children, stress that it's OK if they are unable to flip the tile immediately.

    You may want to make tiles using several different sizes of paper to see what is easiest for you to flip. It's also helpful to try to aim for the fullest or puffiest part of the disk when you're trying to flip it.

    A video demonstration of children playing the ddakji Korean game can be found on YouTube.

    If you are looking for more origami toys and games, try the loopy origami paper plane, the origami blow top toy instructions or the origami jumping frog tutorial.