The Most Popular Chinese Gambling Games–At Home

Gambling is popular in all cultures, and Asia is no different from North America and Europe in this respect.

The only permitted Chinese land based casinos are located in the country’s special administrative regions of Macau and Hong Kong, which were introduced decades ago when they were still Portuguese and English colonies, respectively.

Ironically, despite being one of China’s oldest and most popular gambling games, Mahjong is currently banned in China, but widely played in underground venues. In fact, it tops the list of China’s most popular gambling games because it is a game of calculation, strategy and skill with a touch of luck or chance.

Sometimes described as an Asian version of Gin Rummy, Mahjong is a tile-based Chinese gambling game played with 144 tiles adorned with ancient Chinese symbols and characters, and a pair of dice. The aim of the game is for players to make the best possible hand with 14 tiles which is known as a Mahjong.

Mahjong tiles fall under one of 7 categories and are illustrated as such: Bamboos (4 sets of 9), Dots (4 sets of 9), Characters (4 sets of 9), Winds (4 sets of 4), Dragons (3 sets of 9), Flowers (4) and Seasons (4). A game of Mahjong is typically played with 4 players.

Mahjong is the popular most Asian or Chinese gambling game fans because it’s a very symbolic game where every tile has a different meaning and can be interpreted in some way. For non-Chinese players, however, it’s a different yet entertaining gambling game that requires alertness and concentration and is a hybrid of Gin Rummy and dominoes.