The Most Popular Chinese Gambling Games

The Chinese are known for their ancient traditional gambling activities. From Mahjong to Keno, these games have been in ancient Chinese culture for almost 1000 years. Since Asia contains over 60 per cent of the world’s population, it is no surprise that Chinese gambling games have gained so much traction in other parts of the world. Gamblers in Australia for example enjoy Chinese casino games not only for their winnings but also for the entertainment they offer. In this article, we’ll discuss the most popular Chinese gambling games you can play.


Mahjong is one of the best Chinese gambling games anyone can play. While it requires a bit of luck, your calculations, strategy, and experience in the game play a huge part. In Mahjong it’s all about tiles. If you manage these tiles properly, you can win worthy rewards. This game contains 144 tiles marked with ancient Chinese symbols and icons, including bamboo, dots, characters, winds, dragons, flowers, and season tiles. Although these symbols and icons sometimes vary, they all mean the same thing.

How to Play Mahjong

The game is played by four players, and the tiles are shared among them. Also, there’s a pair of dice. Players need to take turns rolling the dice to start the game. After this, the player with the highest number serves as the dealer. Then the tiles are shuffled while being faced down, and players pick 13 tiles out of the lot.

Then players take turns, picking and discarding tiles in a bid to create matching pairs and sequences called melds. There are three types of melds: Pung, Kong, and Chow. When a player gets the right sequences and matching pairs before other players, they win the round and are awarded a number of points.

The person to the right of the dealer becomes the new dealer, and the game starts all over again. This goes on until 16 rounds are complete, then the person with the highest cumulative points wins the game.

Pai Gow

Pai Gow is another Chinese gambling game you can enjoy. This game is mostly played by experts and amateurs who are dedicated to learning. This is because Pai Gow can be quite difficult for new players. But once you get the hang of it, you will love this game. This Chinese gambling game is played by a maximum of 6 players and a dealer. Each player and dealer gets 4 tiles each. Then, these tiles are separated into two hands: front and rear hands. The rear hand contains the tiles with the highest value, while the tiles in the front hand contain the tiles with the lowest value.

How to Play Pai Gow

While the different values and rankings might be confusing at first, practice makes perfect, and you should memorize them soon enough. To win, players just need to have tiles with higher values than the dealer’s. The value of the tiles is calculated in points, just like in Baccarat.

While there may be slight variations depending on the casino or game’s type, most Pai Gow games follow the same general rules, and you wouldn’t have to learn all over again. To play Pai Gow, you simply have to visit any online casino that features Pai Gow games.

There is also the Pai Gow poker which is loosely based on this gambling game. It is more similar to traditional poker and if you already play this, you won’t have any trouble playing Pai Gow poker.

Sic Bo

Now, Sic Bo is one of the most popular Asian casino games you can play. It is simple and doesn’t require you to learn many rules. The main thing in Sic Bo is predicting the outcome of a dice roll and knowing how to maximize your predictions for the biggest winnings.

How to Play Sic Bo

In this game, the dealer rolls three dice. Before the roll, each player makes a prediction and bets on it. You can bet on anything, including single numbers, the sum of three dice, the sum of two dice, triple numbers, and much more. The harder it is to get your predicted outcome, the higher the payout.

Since you are just predicting, Sic Bo does not require any skill or strategy. You simply try your luck and hope that it hits. Although there are different variations of Sic Bo, they all follow the same rules. Sic Bo is also called Tai Sai, Dai Siu, Big and Small, or Hi-lo, so you can watch out for any of these names if you do not spot Sic Bo in the game catalogue.


Apart from the entertainment Keno provided, it also served as a source of revenue. This game was used to raise funds for the construction of the famous Great Wall of China. With so much potential from a game, it is no surprise that it quickly became one of the most popular Asian gambling games.

How to Play Keno

The name “keno” comes from the Latin word for “five.” The number five was the original number of options players could bet on. Now, players can bet on as many as 1 to 20 options in any keno game.

To play this Asian gambling game, players need to choose from a wide range of available numbers. Then, the player wagers and awaits the outcome from the random number generator for online casinos or from the dealer in land-based casinos.

When the results are revealed, players receive payouts if the numbers they selected match the results. The magnitude of the payout depends on the number of options the player guessed correctly.

Chinese Poker

Who doesn’t love a good game of poker? However, when it comes to Chinese poker, things are quite different. This Asian gambling game, which has its origins in Asian culture, is played using a standard 52-card deck. Although most Chinese poker games feature four players, two or three players can also play the game.

How to Play Chinese Poker

At the beginning of the game, the cards are shuffled and then distributed to each of the four players, with each player receiving 13 cards. Players are required to divide these cards into groups of 5, 5, and 3. The first group of 5 constitutes the front hand, which is the hand with the lowest rank, while the last group of 3 represents the highest-ranking hand.

While straights and flushes hold value in the front and middle hands, they carry no value in the rear hand. At the start of the game, players announce that they are playing their hand, and immediately after, they also declare their royalties.

After revealing their hands, the player with three straights or flushes wins the game, regardless of what other players have in their hands. The winning player then receives a point from each of the other players who can’t match up to the value of the winning player’s hand.

Fan Tan

Fan Tan remains one of the classic Chinese gambling games that have survived through millennia. The game has its origin in Asian culture and dates back as far as 2,000 years ago. Given its enduring popularity, it’s no surprise that Fan Tan is deeply rooted in Chinese culture. Today, Fan Tan is one of the most popular Asian gambling games in physical casinos and online casinos.

How to Play Fan Tan

This Chinese gambling game features a square platform marked with 4 areas named 1-4. These areas hold players’ bets, signifying that the player is betting on 1, 2, 3, or 4. After players have placed their bets, the dealer empties a bowl filled with several objects or totems and starts counting in multiples of 4.

In the end, the last remaining number of objects would be from 1 to 4. Any player who predicts this number correctly wins. Since this gambling game only requires predictions, it is simply based on luck and intuition, and players do not have to use any strategy or skill while playing.


Pachinko is one of the best Asian-themed slots you can try. Although it’s not like the traditional slots you are used to, you are still betting on an outcome, just like any other slot. Also, this game does not require skill or strategy, as it is purely based on luck.

How to Play Pachinko

In any online casino, the results of a pachinko game are determined by the random number generator. The game features balls that are launched by the game. Depending on where the balls fall, players are rewarded with more balls, bonuses, or cash prizes.

To play for real winnings, you’ll have to wager real money and click on the play button. Then, the balls are launched, and you can wait for the results.

Fa Fa Fa

This is another outstanding Chinese-themed slot machine. This game features a wide range of Chinese symbols and icons that take players through history. Being a Chinese gambling game, it also features a complementary theme song and high-end graphics to keep players engaged.

How to Play Fa Fa Fa

To play online, players can choose between the demo mode or real money mode. After selecting either of these options, you can spin the reels for a chance to win amazing cash prizes. There are also in-game bonuses you can win while you play.

Remember, this Asian gambling game is based solely on luck, so strategy and skills don’t work here. However, effective cash management would help you maximize your winnings for the best results. It can be quite challenging to land a winning combination. However, when you do, you can expect a substantial reward.

The Cultural Significance of Chinese Gambling

The roots of Chinese gambling can be traced back centuries, with early forms of betting documented in ancient texts. Many Chinese gambling games, such as Mahjong and Pai Gow, have become iconic representations of the nation’s gaming culture.

Also, Chinese gambling is often filled with symbolism and ritual. The colour red, symbolizing luck and prosperity, is a common sight in Chinese gambling venues, from traditional games to contemporary casinos. Various rituals and superstitions, like offering incense or reciting auspicious phrases, are practised to enhance one’s chances of winning. Also, festivals and ceremonies are important occasions for gambling in Chinese culture.

During the Lunar New Year, it’s customary to engage in popular Chinese gambling games like Mahjong and dice to usher in good fortune for the coming year. Also, the Mid-Autumn Festival features dice games and card games, creating a festive atmosphere.

Chinese gambling games also play a central role in social gatherings. In China, Friends and family often come together for games of chance, not just for the thrill but as a way to strengthen their relationships. It is simply believed that sharing the highs and lows of any gambling game helps build camaraderie.

Journey through the enchanting world of Asian-inspired slot games, where legendary dragons, serene gardens, and iconic symbols await.

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