5 of the Most Popular Asian Gambling Games

5 of the Most Popular Asian Gambling Games

Most Popular Asian Gambling Games

Gambling has been in the blood of the Asian population for the longest time, and there have been a variety of games that have become fan icons throughout the decades.

Since then, these are the games that you will always hear off whenever you are in a betting session, whether in the East or West, as these games are nowhere near as popular in the West than the East, however.

Baccarat

Old Etruscan folklore of a virgin-baccarat

Being one of the most popular games online and physically, this game tends to carry a high roller stigma in many countries in the West, but the same cannot be said about players from Asian countries as their external locus of control has had them believing that the outcomes—win or loss—is all left up to fate. And that is one reason why the game is so popular across parts of Asia.

It is a very simple game to play and is highly accessible for newcomers to play. This is a game that is designed for players looking specifically to test their luck, and if you are a more technical player then maybe this is not the game for you.

According to history, Baccarat originated in Italy during the 1400s, created by Felix Falguiere, who named the game Baccara, meaning zero. The naming system is inspired by the fact that all the face cards and tens are worth zero. It then became popular in France, where it earned the French spelling of Baccarat and then took the world by storm.

The game is said to have been designed based on old Etruscan folklore of a virgin who had to throw nine-sided dice. For every eight or nine she throws, the woman receives an instant promotion to be a priestess. For every six or seven she throws, she will lose all her priestly roles but stay alive. For any throws with a value lower than six, she will be sentenced to death by drowning.

It comes with various rules depending on which game is being played. In some instances, Baccarat is played without a set dealer position, but instead, the deal is roasted around the table to each player. After all, bets are placed, each player is dealt two cards, and the player with the total closest to 16 wins.


*With the development of technology, online gambling has become more and more popular all over the world. In Asia, online gambling is also growing rapidly with many new players join in every day. Here are some Popular Online Gambling Trends in 2022 that you should check out.


Pachinko

God of Pachinko

Think of it as a hybrid between pinball and slots, this is a game that originated from Europe and the United States, then popularised in Japan; it is played on a vertical board and uses metal balls as part of its gameplay mechanism where these balls will fall into pockets containing rewards such as cigarettes—if it misses a pocket, you lose the round. It has evolved significantly from its fully manual counterparts during the earlier days.

Despite the pachinko industry experiencing a slump during the second world war—because anything resembling metal is offered for the war effort due to the lack of resources— by the end of the second world war, the industry recovered, and business was booming.

Thanks to the efforts of the ‘God of Pachinko’ Takeichi Masamura, who was responsible for developing an epoch-making pin arrangement known as the ‘Masamura Gauge’, the Pachinko machine was transformed from a boring old machine into a thrilling and engaging gaming machine; ultimately leading to the first machine boom.

And during the 1980s, the Fever Pachinko machine was developed to blockbuster success and triggered a gambling fever that spread among Japanese players as the economy grew. Pachinko parlours grew by the hundreds, creating another Pachinko boom which spawned different variations of the Pachinko machines such as the simple Hanemono machine and subsequent variants including the Arrange Ball, Jankyu, and Pachislo machines.

It continued to be a favourite beyond the 20th century and continues to be in a favourable position. Technological innovations such as prepaid card systems and coloured monitor systems have helped the Pachinko machine grow to form an industry worth as much as 30 trillion yen.


Mahjong

Mahjong

One of the staples of gambling games within the Chinese community, you might have come across it on your desktop or the non-gambling version that has taken hold of the United States, existing in a different version from its Eastern counterpart.

The game is played with specially built Mahjong tiles rather than cards, and each player is dealt a hand of 13 tiles. The dice are rolled to decide who the dealer is, and after that, the player that manages to complete a winning hand of 14 tiles must announce ‘Mahjong’ and automatically wins the game.

Mahjong was developed within the middle to late 19th century near the Yangtze River Delta. And at the turn of the 19th century, the game had already spread like wildfire in China, but mainly within urban centres such as Shanghai and Beijing.

However, by the 1920s, Mahjong began to acquire its newfound international reputation that also helped spread interest within other areas of China, thanks in part to European exporters, businessmen, and marketers. One of whom was Joseph Park Babcock, whose Mahjong sales company helped popularise it among American expatriates residing in China before marketing it internationally as a new, hip, and exotic cosmopolitan consumer must-have among the broader American public.

It is a game that requires strategy, quick wits, and critical thinking to adapt to the sudden changes that come with each draw of the tile or what has been played on the table.

The main reason this game is so popular in the Asian casinos is that it’s a game that was developed through the Asian culture. It also requires you to stay attentive and be fast at making critical decisions. If you falter, it can be detrimental to your game.


Sic Bo

sic-bo

Also known by other names such as ‘Big Small’, this is a game based on luck and gives the players up to 50 different betting options to choose from, with the main betting options being Big; numbers between 11-17, and Small; numbers between 4-10.

It is a fast-paced game that keeps players on their toes, and the objective of the game is to predict the faces of the dice before they are thrown. Players can place their bets on different areas on the table for specific outcomes they believe may occur.

As Sic Bo came about as the result of various iterations over the centuries, it is impossible to pin it to a specific date and time of creation. It is also known that Sic Bo existed approximately the same time as karate and Taekwondo.

But what is known about Sic Bo is that it used to be a game played among ancient Chinese soldiers as a way to relax their minds. Since dice were not invented yet, soldiers had to resort to other objects such as shells, animal bones, and rocks engraved with markings.

Initially played by soldiers and combat fighters mainly to relax, it soon found its way into the aristocratic domain, especially during festive periods. Eventually, the popularity of the game would trickle down to the masses in China, creating an everlasting fondness for the game of Sic Bo.


Pai Gow

Pai Gow

This is an ancient Chinese game that has survived many centuries to become an enduringly popular game of choice within Asia and other countries as well. The name Pai Gow roughly translates to ‘make nine’.

It is played with a set of Chinese dominoes that are laid face down then shuffled to form eight stacks of four dominoes in each stack where players have to place their bets thereafter. Players will then have to make two hands out of the four tiles, and to win, a player’s hand must outrank the two hands of the dealer and vice versa.

The game is said to have originated in 960 AD, where players must select four dominoes to form two pairs of hands—the stronger hand referred to as the rear hand while the weaker hand is referred to as the front hand.

While the basic mechanics seem simple enough, the nuances of the game are such that new players will initially struggle as they try to commit to memory rules regarding wongs and gongs, which domino is a matching pair and special tiles such as the Gee Joon tiles. But once players are familiar with the rules, a game of Pai Gow can have many exciting outcomes.

Conclusion

As gambling has been a staple within Asian countries, it is unsurprising given how popular those games have become. As each one of these games has its appeal and following—whether based on skill or luck—there is no doubt that these games are central to the Asian cultures as they have ancient ties and are greatly loved by the people.

While some may argue that these games are hard to win because it is based purely on luck, it is also this exact reason that makes the gameplay so much more exciting because players will never know what can happen at any given time.

These are just some of the most popular casino games in Asia—each with its own unique history and appeal. So if you’re ever in a casino in Asia, be sure to give some of these games a try!

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