Asia has become the forefront of the casino industry in the past years. During those years, the gambling industry in the region grew unprecedentedly. In Macau alone, the gambling revenue for 2015 surpassed $28 billion. The Asian market thrived and even became the centre of gambling. Chinese gamblers used to travel long distances to the United States and other countries to gamble. Now, everything is easily accessible to them. For this reason, a number of casino operators from the US started to open casinos in the region that regions like Macau are almost exceeding the casinos in other countries.
The struggles of some casino operators stem from the differences in the casino games preferred by the moneyed Chinese gamblers. What is popular in the United States of American may not be as popular or hugely played by the locals. For expats who decide to play in Asian casinos, they would usually see these top casino games in China being played by the locals.
Top Casino Games in China Played By The Locals
One of the top casino games in China both in land-based and online casino is baccarat. The game is mostly played by high rollers but unlike in Western countries, baccarat is mainly played because of their strong belief in fate. Chinese people strongly believe in their fate and that’s what attracts them to baccarat. Whilst the game is pretty easy to learn and play, the game may not be highly preferred by expats leaning towards consistency and specific chances of winning. Chinese gamblers love that baccarat allows them to play against chance.
Baccarat is not popular among expats because it does not allow them to play with any strategy in order to win against the house. The game can have varying rules depending on the type of game one is going to play. Some casinos with big tables may have an entirely different ruling than those used in mini or midi tables. For example, big table baccarat does not come with a dealer position. Instead, each player becomes a dealer for each game. Players can also choose not to become a dealer by passing on to the next player. As the bank loses, the dealer position moves on to the next player. To begin the play, the players must place their wagers on the bank, the player, or tie.
Similar to other casino games, baccarat requires the players to place their bets before receiving their cards. As soon as the bets are in place, the play proceeds with the dealer giving out two cards face down and the players will check the total of the card and the player can either ask for another card if the total is too low. In most cases, if either the bank or the player has an eight or nine, they both stand. If the total is less than five, the player can ask for a hit. If the player stands and the bank has less than five, he automatically hits.
Most non-Asian gamblers are not familiar with Mahjong. Others have probably heard or watched it in Asian films. However, in China, Mahjong is extremely popular. Those Western versions, though, can be quite different from the Asian version. Instead of using cards, the players use domino-type tiles. Just like any casino game, the bets must be in place before dealing the tiles. As soon as bets are in place, the dice are rolled to find out who the dealer will be.
Mahjong has each round of betting, depending on the tiles received. The game uses 136 tiles which are shuffled face down. Each player gets 13 tiles to play with. The tiles are arranged as a wall and are paired into sets of three or four tiles.
Not only Chinese gamblers but also most of the Asian gamblers consider this as a top casino game because it was developed and perfected via the Asian culture. Locals also love the cognitive exercise it gives them, particularly when it comes to concentration, focus, and making crucial decisions.
This game is extremely popular in Japan but has also caught up with the Chinese gamblers. Pachinko is an entertaining game of arcade which is a mix of pinball and slot machine. Its surging popularity over the years led to several improvements to the machine from a manual to a completely digital one. Whilst pachinko may not be present in most Western casinos, it is widely available in Asian casinos. Like baccarat, pachinko has a huge fan base because winning the game is completely based on luck.
One of the most important thing for the Chinese locals are their culture and one of the top casino games in China that truly speaks about ancient Chinese culture is Sic Bo. The game has been in existence for thousands of years already. The game has a wide betting variety, allowing the players to have as much as 50 varying betting options to choose from. The game also has a generous payout ratio of approximately 180 to 1. This fast-paced game can be a bit confusing, particularly to the newbie player but once figured out, can be an easy game to master. The game’s objective is to simply predict the faces of the dice before it is rolled. Players can choose to place their bets on one, two, or three dice.
Those who want to try their hand at Sic Bo may very well do so in online casinos before trying it out in a land-based casino.
Keno is a top casino game in China because it is one of the few casino games to originate in the country. During ancient times, Keno became a way for the Chinese people to raise money, which was mainly used to build the now iconic and historic Great Wall of China. Keno is a game with strong similarities to lottery and bingo games. Players will receive a card number one to 80. They must choose any amount of number from one to 20. The game allows you to make multiple betting options. The easiest and simplest bet is placing a straight ticket bet – betting on all the numbers marked as a single wager.
Each casino has different pay tables so make sure to check them out before placing your bets. The draws are done on different schedules throughout the day.
Pai Gow Poker
A recent addition to the casino world, Pai Gow Poker was introduced in 1985 by Sam Torosian who based the game on the Chinese Poker. Pai Gow Poker shares some similarities with Pai Gow but is mainly played with poker cards instead of the usual Chinese dominoes.
The main objective of the game is to build two poker hands with the seven cards given. So, a player must create a 5-card poker and a 2-card poker that is good enough to beat the dealer. To win, the 5-card hand must be higher than the 2-card hand.
Another one of the top casino games in China is Pai Gow. This ancient game has survived the test of time by conquering the Asian casino market. Pai Gow translates to “make nine,” which is the basis of the entire game. The domino tiles are shuffled face down and arranged into eight stacks having four face-down dominoes in each one. The stacks are moved around as bets are placed. As soon as all bets are on the table, the dealer gives out one stack of four tiles to each player. The player will then try to create two hands. Both hands must be higher than that of the dealer’s to win the game. If only one is higher than the dealer’s, the player automatically loses.
Expats visiting China or other Asian countries to gamble must know these top casino games so they can really enjoy their stay. Have you played any of these games? If yes, which one? Let us know in the comments below.