Reasons Why Chinese Casino Games Are Popular Worldwide

Chinese Casino Games Graphic and Casino Background

Chinese casino games are becoming more and more popular with each passing year. You can now find games like mahjong, Pai Gow Poker, and sic bo available in many land-based and online casinos.

When looking at this trend, it’s obvious that Chinese-themed casino games are growing in popularity. But what exactly is leading to this popularity increase?

Seven reasons exist behind the growing popularity of Chinese real money casino games. You can read more about each of these reasons throughout the following post.

There Are Many Chinese Casino High Rollers

China features lots of high-rolling gamblers who play everywhere from Singapore to Las Vegas. These gamblers are willing to bet $10,000 per hand or more.

Macau is definitely the hotspot for Chinese whales. In fact, the thriving Macau casino industry was initially built upon junkets recruiting high rollers.

Macau Casinos at Night

Of course, other major gambling destinations don’t just sit idly by and let Macau have all of the millionaire players. Other gaming destinations also take steps to cater to these gamblers.

They not only make sure to offer lucrative comps but also games that Chinese high rollers enjoy playing. High-stakes baccarat is definitely at the top of the list. However, sic bo, Pai Gow Poker, and fan tan are also favorites among these casino whales.

Chinese Gamblers Like Traveling

China has restrictive gambling laws that don’t allow for many betting opportunities. Macau, a special administrative area of China, is the country’s only designated casino hub.

Macau is located on an island on the southeastern edge of China. Given that the Red Dragon is a large country, not everybody lives within reasonable driving distance of Macau.

Many Chinese gamblers are willing to travel to other countries and enjoy casino games. Considering the large amount of Chinese tourists, many larger casinos offer specific areas dedicated to Asian games.

These floors may feature lots of baccarat tables, and one or more tables for Mahjong, sic bo, and other games. Those who are traveling from China will feel more at home in these gaming areas.

Asian Casino Games Have Broad Appeal

Chinese people aren’t the only ones who like playing Asian-style casino games. Many people from all over the globe enjoy these games.

Asian casino games have broad appeal that combine a mixture of casino games that Westerners are used to. Here’s a brief overview of some of the most-popular games among the international crowd.

Fan Tan

This game includes white buttons, a cup, and a wand. The middle of the table, meanwhile, features a plastic dome.

Fan Tan rounds begin when the dealer puts a cup over a random amount of buttons. You then choose from the available bets listed on the table.

The dealer will use the wand to count out buttons from the cup. They’ll count in groups of four until reaching the last set.

This last set, which can include one, two, three, or four buttons, determines the bet result. The house edge for this game is 5%.


Mahjong can use either cards or domino-style tiles. In either case, each round begins with you placing a bet(s).

The dealer will shuffle the tiles and place them face down. You, and anybody else who’s playing, receive 13 tiles. You then pair these tiles into sets of three or four.

The goal is to form matching pairs of tiles to beat the other players. Any non-paired dice groupings will be added together based on their dots.

Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow Poker is based on the Chinese game Pai Gow dominoes. It sees players receive cards instead of dominoes to start rounds.

In Pai Gow, you receive seven cards that are used to make two-card and five-card hands. By rule, the five-card hand must be the higher ranking of the two.

You win if both of your hands beat the dealer. You’ll push when winning one hand and losing the either. You’ll lose your bet when losing both hands.

Sic Bo

This dice-based game features a large board with many bets to choose from. Big, small, even, and odd each feature a 2.78% house edge and provide the best chances to win.

Once all bets have been made, the dealer shakes the dice in a small chest (a.k.a. “cage”). They then drop the dice out of the cage to determine results.

The combination of the three dice will determine if your wager wins or not. If you wager on small, for example, then you’ll need a dice score of 4 through 10 (excluding triples like 2-2-2).

Online Casinos Love Offering Asian Slots

Online casinos particularly like offering Asian-themed slot machines. They collectively feature countless games that revolve around Chinese festivals and folk heroes.

The most common of these online slots focus on Chinese New Year celebrations. These games typically use lanterns, gold coins, dragons, and ingots as symbols.

RTG offers many of these types of slots. RTG’s Lucky Rat, for example, fits the above description to a T due to its use of firecrackers, ingots, and lanterns as symbols.

RTG has since expanded beyond offering so many slots based on New Year celebrations. Zhanshi is a perfect example of their evolution.

Megaways Online Slots Game

This five-reel, 25-payline slot revolves around a warrior who’s defending his fortress from invaders. It offers solid graphics and free spins with up to 3x win multipliers.

Betsoft is another developer that’s made some headway into Chinese-themed slots. Quest to the West is one of their most popular games in this category.

This five-reel, 25-payline slot revolves around the Chinese monkey king, Sun Wukong. Offering a stunning mountain setting, Quest to the West has a “Meter to the Heavens” feature that can deliver wins worth up to 1,000x your stake.

They Offer Entertaining Gameplay

Many games have been tried out in casinos over the decades. However, only a few dozen have managed to stick around year after year.

When casinos introduce a new game, they must ensure that it’s going to draw players. Otherwise, they’re wasting valuable space on their gaming floors and ultimately losing money.

Some of the Chinese casino games have proven to be winners. They draw a mixture of gamblers from all nationalities and ethnicities.

Although not technically just a Chinese game, Chinese gamblers love baccarat, and it’s definitely one of the top casino games in any regard. Pai Gow Poker has also managed to land among the more popular table games.

China Is Growing Wealthier

Countries that are struggling to get by don’t have lots of disposable income to spend on gaming. China, however, is growing in wealth and clout. Therefore, its gamblers have more money too bet on casino games now than at any point in modern history.

China’s per-capita GDP has risen from $959 in 2000 to $10,261 in 2020. Meanwhile, the country’s Belt and Road initiative figures to make it an even bigger superpower.

Macau Purple Baccarat Table

Long story short, the amount of available gambling dollars in China don’t appear to be going backwards any time soon. Instead, Chinese purchasing power and disposable income only looks to increase. As a result, casinos will be doing more to cater to these gamblers.

Big Gambling Wins Are Possible

Jackpots and big casino wins are definite ways to make a casino game more popular. Many Chinese-style games offer these big potential wins.

In 2019, an anonymous gambler at Paris Las Vegas won a $2.3 million Pai Gow Poker jackpot. They made the necessary jackpot bet and were dealt a royal flush to win the fortune.

Sic bo doesn’t offer a jackpot per say. However, it does feature several wagers that can deliver large payouts—especially when you’re placing big bets on top of everything.

The “Triples” bet pays 180:1, meaning you’ll win $180 for every dollar wagered when successful. “Any Triple” doesn’t pay badly either at 30:1.

Try Out Chinese Casino Games

Once relegated to smaller Asian gambling houses, Chinese casino games have exploded in popularity in recent years. They’re now found in every major gaming destination and beyond.

Casinos originally started providing these games to appease Chinese high rollers. Now, however, they offer them to the masses.

Given China’s growing wealth and lack of at-home gambling options, Chinese casino games only figure to become more popular in the coming years. You should see Asian-style gaming gain more prevalence at both land-based and online casinos.