Asian Games

Perhaps one of the oldest and best casino games come from our friends in the far east. Gambling represents a big part of Asian culture, and many of the most popular forms of gambling actually come from countries like China, Japan, and beyond. Asian casino games encompass all kinds of gambling styles using a combination of skill and chance. You can find dice and card games or even more traditional style Asian games using tiles.

For all the gamblers out there that only play pokies, we say it’s high time to give some of these popular Asian casino games a try. Games like pai gow poker, sic bo, mahjong, pachinko, and keno stand out as entertaining games to play online with big payouts. So whether you are new to these games or just want to learn a bit more then you have come to the right place. We’ve got all you need to know to get a solid introduction on the basic rules and strategies of popular Asian casino games.

Pai Gow Poker

In terms of Asian casino games, pai gow poker is relatively new and modern and came about in United States during the 1980s. The game resembles poker because it uses the same hands. The game also involves a combination of skill and luck, making it especially entertaining and interesting for gamblers. In land-based casinos, you can play pai gow poker with multiple players. Meanwhile, online casinos have pai gow poker games in which you face off one-on-one against the dealer.

Let’s start with the basics of pai gow poker. The game consists of a 53-card deck that includes 1 joker card. The joker card represents a semi-wild card because it can substitute as an ace or be used in a straight, flush, or straight flush.

To begin, each player, including the dealer, receives seven cards. Next, each player separates their cards into two different hands; one of the hands has five cards, called the high hand, the other has two cards, referred to as the low hand. Each player aims to make the best possible poker hand from each. However, the five-card hand must have a higher value than the two-card hand.

After each player has separated their hands, the dealer follows by doing the same according to the House Way guidelines. Next, everyone compares the high hands and low hands of each player against the dealer’s hands. In each case, the higher value hands win. If the player has a higher value high and low hand, they win even money of less than 5% House commission. If the player wins one hand, but loses with the other, then this results in a push. The house (or dealer) wins if the player loses both hands.

Pai Gow Poker Strategy

Pai gow poker has some simple strategies that you can follow to increase your chances of winning on both your high and low hands. Beginners often neglect the importance of the low hands, especially when dealt a flush or straight. Still, good pai gow strategy should give equal importance to both hands in regards to winning or losing. A strong hand in poker might not lead to a win in pai gow poker.

For instance, let’s say a player receives a 10, 10, A, J, 7, 3, and 2. Then the player should play 10, 10, 7, 3, and 2 as the high hand and plays an ace and jack as the low hand. In this way, if you don’t have any pairs, then you should try to simply make the best low hand possible.

This strategy can get a bit tricky though. High level pai gow poker requires more skill in certain situations. For example, let’s say you receive two or more pairs, three of a kind, a straight, or flush. Then you would have to consider whether or not it’s better to play a two pair high hand or to split the pairs so that both the high and low hand has a pair. You could also split up four of a kind. Meanwhile, you could play a flush as the high hand as a consistent strategy. The best pai gow strategy depends on the individual hand. For instance, you would play two pairs differently depending on the pairs available.

Below we included a chart of different potential hands in pai gow poker and some explanation as to the best strategy to use for each hand.

Cards dealt Strategy Explanation
A♣ A♥ A♦ K♠ 10♣ 7♥ 3♠ High hand: A♣ A♥ 10♣ 7♥ 3♠

Low hand: A♦ K♠

This ensures the strongest possible low hand with the three Aces split
10♣ 10♥ 10♦ K♠ J♣ 6♥ 3♦ High hand: 10♣ 10♥ 10♦ 6♥ 3♦

Low hand: K♠ J♣

With a strong K kicker, the three 10 don’t need to be split
A♣ Q♥ 10♦ 7♠ 6♣ 2♥ 2♦ High hand: 2♥ 2♦ 10♦ 7♠ 6♣

Low hand: A♣ Q♥

With a small pair, it’s important to make the strongest low hand
6♥ 6♠ 4♣ 4♥ K♥ Q♥ 10♥ High hand: 6♥ 6♠ 4♥ 4♣ 10♥

Low hand: K♥ Q♥

The flush is split because otherwise the low hand would only be a weak 6, 4
6♥ 6♠ 4♣ 4♥ 9♥ 5♥ 7♥ High hand: 6♥ 6♠ 9♥ 5♥ 7♥

Low hand: 4♣ 4♥

The flush is split. Because of a weak 9 kicker, the two pairs are also split
J♥ J♣ J♠ 8♠ 10♠ 6♠ 4♠ High hand: J♠ 8♠ 10♠ 6♠ 4♠

Low hand: J♥ J♣

The flush is played because the pair of J represents a strong low hand

Sic Bo

The Asian casino game, sic bo, actually dates back to ancient China, but today remains extremely popular in casinos. The game has been successfully adapted to both modern casinos and online casinos. The Chinese often refer to the game as “Big Small”. The game incorporates three dice and looks a bit like roulette or craps in the sense that you bet on the outcome of each dice roll.

How to Play Sic Bo

Sic bo has many different kinds of bets. In fact, you can make 49 different bets in each roll of the dice in sic bo. You can get an even money bet with a particular number that will come up on one of the three dice. Meanwhile, you’ll find more exotic bets that pay 180-1 such as when all three dice roll 6. The house edge on sic bo depends, but usually ranges from between 2% up to 30%, depending on the bet.

You play sic bo on a table with separate areas for different bets. To place a bet, you simply place chips on the betting area that you want to make. You can change the chip size, number of bets, and size of bets after each roll of the dice. Below, we’ve included a rundown of the different types of bets:

  • Specific triple – When you bet that all three dice rolls will result in a 1. The payout is 180-1.
  • Any triple – When you bet that a number will result on all three dice. You win regardless of which number comes up as a triple. The payout is 30-1.
  • Specific triple – When the dice rolls at least two of the doubles you have chosen. The payout is 11-1.
  • Total – When you wager on the sum of the three dice based on any combination of numbers. For example, if you choose 11, then you can win on 3-4-4, 6-1-4, 3-2-6, all equal the sum of 11 and pay out as a win. The odds depend on the probability with the lowest payout at 6-1 for a total of 9, 10, 11, or 12. You get the highest payout of 60-1 for a total of 4 or 17.
  • Small – When you bet on the total of the three dice equaling between 4 and 10, you get an even payout. You lose your bet with a triple.
  • Big – When you bet on the total of the three dice resulting in a sum between 11 to 17. The payout is even money, but the bet is lost if a triple is rolled.
  • Two-dice combinations – When you bet on any combination of two numbers rolling out of the three dice. This bet pays out 6-1.
  • Single die bet – When you wager on a certain number appearing in one of the three dice. This bet pays out evenly for each occurrence. For example, if you bet on the number 4, and the number 4 appears on two dice, you get a payout of 2-1 and so on.

With sic bo, you have a number of bets to choose. Each roll can have more than one winning bet. In addition, players can spread their bets in whichever way they like. Therefore, each roll of the dice can have both winning and losing bets.

Sic Bo Strategy

As a game of chance, the outcome of a sic bo game depends entirely on luck. That also means that the probability of different combinations remains the same for each roll. Therefore, the results of the previous roll have no influence on those that follow.

With this in mind, sic bo strategy has a lot to do with managing your bankroll. How you wager depends on the length of time you play and the results you want to achieve. For this reason, you should get to know the payouts and house edge of different bets. In this way, you can better manage your wagering strategy.

Bet Payout House Edge
Big or Small 1-1 2.78%
4, 17 60-1 15.28%
10, 11 6-1 12.50%
5, 16 20-1 13.89%
6, 15 18-1 16.67%
7, 14 12-1 9.72%
8, 13 8-1 12.50%
9, 12 6-1 18.98%
10, 11 6-1 12.50%
Specific triple 180-1 16.20%
Any triple 30-1 13.89%
Double 11-1 18.52%
Any two-dice combination 6-1 16.67%
Any number 1-1 7.87%

Mahjong

Mahjong became popular in China during the 18th and 19th centuries. Now, you can enjoy the game at online casinos with live dealer mahjong games. The traditional form of the game used tiles with complex rules, but the online versions have more simplistic rules based on the original tile game. The traditional game basically requires players to find matching sets of tiles before the other players do in order to build a winning hand. Players remove matching tiles from a wall of tiles. A player wins after completing four sets of tiles and a matching pair.

Mahjong solitaire also involves grouping tiles together in sets. Each set of tiles has point values. Players earn points each time they complete a set.

Similar to card games, with online mahjong, the cards are divided by suits. At the beginning of the game, the player has a hand that is missing one tile to complete a full hand. Like the traditional version, players choose tiles from a wall of 24 tiles to try and complete the hand. The player has 3 chances to choose a tile. A tile that doesn’t fit is discarded. If the player doesn’t complete a hand within 3 attempts, then the round ends.

On the other hand, if the player completes a hand successfully, then players enter a new screen. The screen displays sets to make up the winning hand that each awards the player points. The number of points earned eventually determines the payout.

Conclusion

Online players in New Zealand looking for something new and exciting to add to their gaming repertoire can find plenty of lucrative Asian online casino games. Whether pai gow poker or sic bo, you can play online Asian casino games with rewarding payouts and interesting game rules. Test your luck