Gambling Games Of Chinese Origin

Published: September 20, 2018

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The Chinese civilisation dates back to a few thousands of years BCE. Some of the gambling games played today at land and online casinos have their origins in the Chinese civilization. Here is a look at some of them.

Keno is played not only at casinos but also at social events for charity. It has an interesting history. It was supposedly created to raise funds to build the Great Wall of China. The game was played with Chinese characters instead of numerals. Tickets were sold. A part of the funds collected were redistributed to the winners and the rest went into the building of the Great Wall and later to other projects. The Chinese labourers that came to the United States for building the railways brought the game with them. For a while it was restricted to the Chinese community. But later the Americans became interested and developed this game to the current form.

Sic Bo is another gambling game originated from China. Locally it also goes by the names Tai Sai and Dai Siu. The English translation for these words loosely mean big and small. It is a game similar to craps, but it is played with three dice instead of two. Also Sic Bo does not offer bets that are carried forward to subsequent rolls. In the original version, the dice are placed in a basket or cup to shake them up before the roll. Like craps, Sic Bo offers a large number of bets. The bets with higher payouts usually have higher house edges. The Small and Big bets pay only even money but are the least risky.

Pai Gow Poker originated from a Chinese game called Pusoy. This game is played with 13 tiles that have characters or images. Players had to make three sets of tiles from the 13 given. The exact rules have changed over the years. Pai Gow Poker was devised by Sam Torosian in 1985, owner of the Bell Card Club in Los Angeles. He created this game after learning about Pusoy from a Filipino customer. Torosian named his game after another Chinese game Pai Gow, which means Make Nine. In order to simplify and speed the game play Torosian used 7 cards and 2 hands. The game soon became popular in the casinos of Las Vegas and is now in the portfolio of every online casino. An interesting aside to the story is that Torosian did not patent the game and so did not make any money from creating it.


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