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The Most Popular Chinese Gambling Games

This is a guest post contributed by one of our readers.

China and Asia are known for their gambling culture dating back several centuries. Several ancient Chinese gambling games that were popular many years ago are still loved and played today by Chinese and most Asians.

The irony with the popularity of these games is that gambling is currently banned in China except for the state-owned lotteries, scratch cards, sports betting, Keno, and slot-like virtual lottery terminals. The ban has led to the proliferation of underground gambling involving traditional games, Japanese and western casino games, and unofficial lotteries.

Although the popularity of modern casino games is quickly rising in China, some traditional games still feature on major gambling platforms. You will find these games in Macau and Hong Kong, the only places where authorized land-based casinos are located.

Popular classic Chinese gambling games include:


This is among the most famous and ancient Chinese gambling game. However, Mahjong is only available in underground gambling venues as it is banned in China. It’s also popular in entire Asia and other parts of the globe. 

Mahjong is a table game played by four opposing players with dice and 136 tiles. Players compete to match tiles with dominoes being used instead of cards. It begins with each player placing a bet, followed by the dealer's determination via rolling the dice.

The dealer then provides each player with 13 tiles, each facing down, who then turn their tile to face up as they pair them with three and four dominoes. At each round, players pick extra tiles from the table and announce “Mahjong” and keep the tile if it can be used in completing a winning hand. If it doesn’t give a winning combination, the player discards it in the middle of the table and waits for the next round.

Any three other players can use a discarded tile to create their winning combination. However, you must inform the set to be completed by the discarded tile before picking it. The first player to form a winning combination of 14 tiles announces “Mahjong” and wins the game.

It has remained popular for centuries to incorporate Asian culture into this game. Asians are known to preserve their culture. Each tile depicts something in real-life. It requires a player to remain attentive and a quick decision-maker.

Sic Bo

This game has been available for centuries and originated from ancient Chinese culture. The fast-paced game is played in almost every brick-and-mortar and online casino across Asia, Europe, and the west. You can play this game of pure chance on the floor of Nevada casinos or visit CasinoAustralia-ZH where you will find Australian casinos with popular sic bo games..

Players bet on the resultant face of the dice when they roll over with fifty different betting options to choose from. A player can wager on a single or two, or three dice. The value of the three dice and the bet amount determines the outcome. 

A player places chips on the table, waits, and sees where the rolling dice will fall. Luck is the main factor in Sic Bo, making it a popular game among the Chinese.


Another game that forms an integral part of Chinese culture is Keno. It is argued to have originated during the times of war when the Chinese needed to raise money for the construction of the Great Wall of China.

Keno resembles modern-day bingo, and each round goes for 15 minutes. Players pick five to ten numbers from a set of one to 180 and match twenty numbers drawn by the game. The game has three betting options - straight, king, and combination ticket and it’s among the most accessible games to play hence its popularity.

Pai Gow

Pai Gow is also on the list of popular Chinese gambling games incorporating Asian culture. Asian bettors have played this somehow complex table game for many centuries. Its mechanisms are a bit tricky to learn; hence played mainly by experienced gamblers and amateurs seeking to learn. Eight players participate in the Pai Gow, each receiving four dominoes from the dealer. 

Chinese Poker

Chinese Poker is a unique card game played by four players, each receiving thirteen cards instead of the usual two. Despite the name, Chinese Poker has different gameplay from Hold ‘em, Stud Poker, or Omaha.

This Chinese gambling game involves four players though it can also be played by three or two, and is a favourite casino table game in China and Asia.


Chinese gambling games continue to dominate the betting platforms in China and other parts of the world. The 1.4 billion Chinese population provides a huge market for these games and helps promote them globally. With Chinese people's strong emphasis on maintaining their culture, these games will always feature in most gambling avenues.

Modern versions of Asian and Chinese gambling games are coming up, but the fan base of the original games is still huge.

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This is a guest post contributed by one of our readers

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