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How to play Cham Cham Cham, a Korean Game

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

by Joycifer


Cham Cham Cham often appears on different variety shows and is a very fun and easy game to play for just about anyone.


This game can be played with only your hands or you add something like a plastic toy hammer and a pot or bowl. The function of the hammer is to hit your opponent on the head when you win and the pot/bowl to protect yourself from being hit if you lose.

But if you have none of these items around, you can also loosely hit your opponent on the cheek with just your hand and have no protection to use.


This game has different versions and you can pick and choose how you want to play. Below I will pick a few and explain the rules.


Version 1:

You usually start by playing Rock Paper Scissors and then together shouting Cham Cham Cham. The winner of RPS will be the one holding out their arm in front of them and after shouting they will flip their hand either to the right or the left (you can also allow flipping up or down). The other player will at the same time turn their head either left or right (or up or down if you choose all four directions).


The aim is for the opponent to not turn their head in the same direction as the winner’s hand. If they go in the same direction the opponent loses and is hit on the head or slapped on the cheek.


BTS playing Cham Cham Cham and using a prop to show the directions of the hand.

Image credit: BTS, Hybe https://youtu.be/XEMPvHO1djY


Version 2:

Another way to play the game is by asking questions to the players. You can really choose whatever type of questions you can think of. Just remember the idea for this version of the game is to be pretty fast paced. The players can ask each other questions or you can have a judge that asks the questions for you.


If you get the question wrong or if you hesitate to answer, you lose and the winner gets to hit you. This is a version where a hammer and bowl will make the game a lot more fun and possibly chaotic. You’ll stand or sit opposite from each other with a table placed in between  you. On this table you will place the toy hammer and a pot or a bowl. When you lose you have to be really fast and reach for the bowl for protection and if you win you’ll reach for the hammer to hit the loser on the head as fast as possible. You don’t want them to have an opportunity to protect themselves.


I’ve seen the stress of this lead to the wrong person grabbing the wrong item and chaos breaking out so many times. Play it for yourself and see if you and your friends can keep up and grab the right item.

Binnie wins a game of Cham Cham Cham and prepares to hit the loser with a toy hammer.

Image credit: Weekly Idol, MBC https://youtu.be/zKE3Zu1772o



Version 3:

Another version is simply to combine the two previous versions. You play Rock Paper Scissors, shout Cham Cham Cham and turn your hand/head in a direction. Then you add the toy hammer and bowl after that step. So you build up speed and hold the game running at a quick pace. Chaos will surely happen when people over and over again try to protect themselves from being hit.



How would you choose to play Cham Cham Cham? It’s really a game with endless versions.




In this video you can see the game being played with a plastic toy hammer.



And in here you can see a version where giant toy hands are being used instead.

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