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The most popular Chinese traditional games

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With more than 5,000 years of history, Chinese culture is one of the richest and most complex in every sense. From millenary festivities and traditions that keep on living on our days, to some of the oldest forms of entertainment that live up in new generations.

The history of this country can be analyzed through the lenses of Chinese board games that depict rules and strategies inspired by military campaigns and by ancient philosophies such as Confucianism.

Chinese board games share the same origins as some of the most popular games to be played today on platforms such as craps online gambling with real money to secure monetary prizes just like in real casinos. Internet developments have made it possible for craps lovers to be able to play this game from the comfort of their homes using mobile devices like laptops and smartphones while taking advantage of offers to start betting without their own money.

In this article, you’ll discover some of the best traditional Chinese games and perhaps you’ll find a new hobby or passion to share with your friends and family.


The origins of this game trace back to the 5th century B.C and experts say that it was inspired by the Indian game of Chaturanga.

Xiangqi is also known as Chinese chess, for its similitudes of gameplay and use of strategies during the game that faces two players, one against each other, to capture the rival’s king.

The pieces of this game are also very similar to western chess, with a king, elephants in the role of bishops, horses, chariots in the role of rooks, and even pawns.

Xiangqi is played on a 9×10 board, and the pieces are placed on intersections instead of squares. You’re not allowed to check the opponent’s king more than 3 times in a row with the same piece and you could even get accounted for a loss for making perpetual checks. The stalemate is considered a victory for the player that forced it in the first place.


More than 2,500 years of existence for Weiqi, also known by his Japanese name of Go. This game was considered one of the big 4 arts in China along with calligraphy, painting, and music. Even Confucius makes references to Weiqi in a series of sayings to his disciples.

The game’s objective is to place stones on empty intersections of a 19×19 board to add points in your favor. It’s played between 2 players, with black and white marbles and each of the participants places their pieces one by one with the focus of conquering most of the board’s territory.

When a player surrounds a rival’s marble, the piece gets captured.


Mahjong is without a doubt the most popular Chinese game in western society. Since 1920 it got popularized in occidental countries and it’s the most played Chinese game of modern days in the United States.

The rules of this game are rather complex, and it takes a lot of practice to even become an average player of Mahjong but it’s the intricacy of this game that attracts so many players around the world.

It can be played between 3 to 4 players, there are 136 tiles (36 circles, 36 characters, 36 bamboos, 12 dragons, and 16 wind tiles) and the objective of the game is to get four different sets and one pair in your hand consisting of 14 tiles. This can be done in the process of the game that involves every player discarding one till on the board for everyone to see in every turn and getting one in return.

Pai Gow

This is one of the most popular Chinese games online as it’s inspired by poker and mixes strategy with a dose of fortune in its gameplay.

There are 32 tiles in a game of Pai Gow, which look quite like domino tiles, and it can be played between 2 to 8 players.

The tiles have between 2 to 12 spots and every one of them has a pair, meaning there are 16 pairs with different ranks according to the number of spots in each of them. The dealer hands out 7 tiles to each player. The hand is then divided into two: one hand of 5 tiles and another of 2 tiles. The hand of 2 tiles must be smaller than the one of 5 to amount to a victory.

A very easy-to-learn game that you can try online for free at any time.

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