What type of gambling is most popular in Asia

Gambling is equally popular and appealing worldwide. No matter your geographical location, luck and skill based games that award money are famous and exciting in their own way. While most people think of the western civilization and their traditional forms of gambling, the east also has its own varieties. Games like roulette, poker, blackjack, and slots are popular all over the world, but there are a few specific types of gambling that the Asian continent adores and cherishes, something you do not get to play anywhere else.

In this article we will explore the world of Asian gambling and determine what the most popular type of gambling is. Moreover, we will mention the top rated games that the highest number of players spend their time and money on each day in Asian regular and online casinos. If you are looking to try some of the games popular in Asia, make sure to check out DarkSnow and browse their library.

  1. Mahjong

Img source: wikipedia

If there has ever been a model gambling activity in Asia that everyone knows and loves, it is certainly Mahjong. It was made popular by constantly being portrayed in movies and TV shows. Whenever there is an Asian inspired cultural take on something, there is a group of people in a crowded room playing this famous game. Actually, this is not that distant from the truth since this interesting game really is widely popular in all Asian countries. Originating in China a few centuries ago, it is now played all over the continent. It is important to mention that nearly all forms of gambling are banned in China, but there are special clubs and bars that have licenses.

The Qing dynasty was dulling China when the game was first introduced, which helped it become a worldwide phenomenon from the earliest days of its existence. It is played with small tiles, 144 of them to be precise, each with different characters and symbols from the Chinese language and tradition. The most common number of players at a single table is 4, and the bets are placed before the game begins. Dealer is determined with a dice roll, after which the tiles are shuffled and each player gets 13. In every round, the players draw a new one and discard one they already have. The goal is to have a valid Mahjong hand after which you shout the name of the game and win. There are now many digital takes on this game, further expanding its popularity in the world.

  1. Keno

Img source: wikipedia

All that you basically need to know about Keno and its popularity is that it is thought to be the oldest form of lottery game in the world. The Han dynasty is responsible for it, a dynasty that ruled from 206 B.C. to 220 A.D. meaning it is around 2,000 years old. The cards needed for this game can be bought in special lottery shops in most Asian countries nowadays, and the game is vastly popular. In order to start playing, you get a card. The cards contain numbers from 1 to 80. Betting is done by choosing a specific amount of these numbers, after which 20 numbers are randomly drawn. The prizes depend on the set of numbers the player has chosen, and the matched numbers from the 20 that were drawn, if there are any of course.

It is rather hard to win all the time because of the large luck and chance factors involved. In ancient times when the game was first introduced, a white pigeon was used to send messages of the winners to faraway villages. The name Keno comes from the words for white pigeon ticker or white dove ticket, as the message was known back then. The money government had earned from some of the first players was used in war affairs, as well as to finance the costs for portions of the Great Wall of China. Centuries passed and eventually the game reached the USA, with the first Chinese immigrants there. In the 21st century, it is Las Vegas that is unofficially called the Keno Capital of the USA.

  1. Pachinko

Img source: wikipedia

The next game on our list is the most loved and played in Japan. The name for it comes from the very catchy sound it produces while being played. These are practically slot machines with flashing, colorful, and noisy features that are capable of gluing you to their screens for hours. They sport various themes, characters, and symbols from the Japanese culture, both traditional and modern. Such machines have evolved from regular pinball machines, and the first Pachinko slots appeared back in 1926.

The main goal of the game and the one that awards the players with the jackpot is matching numbers. You can only win if you match three numbers in a single row. There is an additional way of increasing your winning chances. In case you manage to notch tiny steel ball bearings into the middle section at the very base of the screen, your will have a greater chance at money and the jackpot. Since cash based gambling is illegal in Japan, these machines are the next best thing. They actually award the players with tokens that are exchanged for real money later, just like you would exchange casino chips for money. Japanese people love this game and they spend incredible amounts of money on it each year. It is also widely popular in the rest of Asia, especially China.

  1. Pai Gow

Img source: wikipedia

Last but surely not the least, we have the domino inspired gambling game called Pai Gow. This is yet another old game tied to a ruling dynasty. The Song Dynasty ruled from 960 to 1279, and during their rule the game was made popular. The name translates to make nine, which is also the maximum score you can have from a single hand during a single game. In order to play it, you need a set of 32 special Chinese dominoes. There is a table and you start by arranging eight stacks, with four dominos in each. The bets are placed after the table has been set up. Each player gets four tiles and forms two hands, two tiles per hand. The winner is the player whose hands outrank the dealer’s hands. If only one of the player’s hands wins, they get the initial bet back but win no additional money.