Asian Online Casino Games

Published on: August 10, 2009 

Asian online casino games are gambling games that have originated in East Asia, mainly China. Some of these retain their Asian flavor, while others have been completely adapted in a Western mold. Asian casino games are extremely popular at online casinos. There are two reasons for these. One reason is that a significant section of the online player community even in the United States and Europe is of Asian origin and identifies with the Asian casino games. Another reason is that the Asian online casino games provide a change from the regular games like slots, blackjack and roulette.

The two most popular Asian online casino games are Pai Gow Poker and Sic Bo. Originally Pai Gow Poker was played with Chinese dominoes. The Americanized version is played with a 53 card deck, the 53rd card being the joker. The Chinese name and the ornate dragon motif depicted on the Pai Gow Poker table are the visible remnants of the Asian origin. In Pai Gow Poker the player is dealt seven cards and has to make two hands. One hand is a five card hand and the other a two card hand. The player’s five card hand is then compared with the dealer’s five card hand and the player’s two card hand is compared with the dealer’s two card hand. Payouts are made according to specified rules.

Like Pai Gow Poker, Sic Bo retains its Asian name and has some Chinese markings on the table layout to indicate its Asian origin. These markings are usually in the Small and Big bets, which are the most popular bets. Sic Bo is like Craps. It is played with dice. However unlike Craps Sic Bo is played with three dice and all bets get settled in one roll. Wagers are placed on the total of the three dice rolled or on dice combinations like doubles and triples. Payouts are made at the odds given.

One of the most popular Asian games is Mahjong. It is widespread in China, Japan and Korea and believed to be invented by the Chinese philosopher Confucius. However it is not as popular at online casinos as Pai Gow Poker and Sic Bo. In fact very few online casinos offer Mahjong. The reason could be that in its online version the skill component is done away with and the game is transformed to one of pure luck. In the online casino version Mahjong is played with tiles containing the original Asian symbols. Players are dealt one tile short of a complete hand. They have to pick a tile from a number of tiles laid out face down. Usually they get three picks. If they are able to make a winning combination they get paid according to the complexity of the combination. Another popular Asian game, which has not become that popular in online casinos, is Pachinko. It is offered by a few Asian facing online casinos like those powered by Playtech. It is a pinball type game extremely popular in arcades in Japan.

One gambling game of Asian origin that has been completely westernized is Keno. The game originated in China and was played using symbols. It came to America with the Chinese laborers. The symbols were changed to numbers and since five numbers were drawn at that time the French called it quine. The name Keno is derived from that. All online casinos offer Keno. Online casinos love this game because it offers them the highest house edge. Despite this online players love this game because it offers the chance of winning huge payouts with small bets.

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