Gambling has a lot of history in Asia, especially in China.
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There are versions of traditional Chinese games that are played today which are derived from games being played for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Even though gambling may be banned in China, there are various online websites where you can find Chinese casino games due to the large number of people, both in China and elsewhere in the world, who look for these games to play. A lot of modern games therefore have their roots in China, and here we will be looking at some of the most popular Chinese casino games today.
Mahjong is probably the most well-known of the various Chinese gambling games, and it is an extremely popular game, not just in China, but in other parts of the world with a large Chinese population as well. It is played between four players, with 136 tiles and dice, with the aim being to build a wall of tiles. Players place bets before tiles are dealt, and they can also do so before the start of every round. Each player receives 13 tiles from the dealer, and the players then place them into sets of three or four dominoes after turning them face up. Every round sees players receiving one additional tile from the table, and if they are able to add up to a winning hand of 14 tiles, the player announces ‘Mahjong’ to the rest of the table.
Keno is another popular Chinese game, which can be found at establishments within China as well as outside the country and has now made its way online as well. It was apparently established during wartime, with people needing to raise money, and some stories even say that the Great Wall of China was partly funded by money raised through Keno. It is an extremely quick game, with games usually lasting no longer than 10 or 15 minutes. It is played with a card containing numbers from 1 to 80, with players being able to select up to 20 numbers from their card to place bets on. There are various types of bets that can be placed, and then the winners receive their payouts based on that bet and the casino’s payout table.
Fantan is a game of chance or luck and is quite similar to roulette. It is found all over China but has also now become popular in several casinos in Las Vegas as well. There is a square laid out at the center of the table, with the sides marked 1,2,3 and 4. These numbers hold the players’ bets, with the banker emptying a bowl containing handfuls of coins, buttons and other small objects onto the table to end the betting process. These objects would be around 200 in number, and the banker then uses a small cup to separate 60-100 of these with a bamboo stick, up until the point where there are four or less remaining. The number that is left, wins, with all the bets on that side of the square paying out.
Chinese poker only resembles its Western counterparts such as Texas Hold’em, Omaha or Stud poker in name. It is not similar to these games at all – for starters, players receive 13 cards rather than the 2 we see in Texas Hold’em. A maximum of four players can play, and after they have received their cards, they can either fold or choose to play their hand. Players reveal their cards going clockwise around the table, and the score is then based on the cards in their hand. This game is extremely popular and can be found at various online casinos for everyone to try out.
These are some of the most popular Chinese casino games out there, but there are many others which can be found at online casinos as well as physical casinos all over the world.