The Most Popular Gambling Activities in Asia

In many parts of the world, gambling is restricted. In some places, gambling games can only be played legally in casinos. Many people can also now gamble online through online casino sites like Fair Go Casino Bonus, which offers many fun casino games that you can play in the comfort of your own home. However, online casino games are only allowed to be played in countries or places that allow them or where online casinos are legal. 

Among the continents in the world, one is considered to be one of the largest gambling markets in the world, and that is Asia. Yes, aside from being the world’s largest and most diverse continent, people in Asia are also known to be fond of a lot of forms of gambling. Since the citizens of Asian countries make up over 60% of the world’s population, it means that their betting community is also the biggest there is. 

In countries like the United States, the popular gambling activities include poker, blackjack, and roulette. But in Asian countries, what do you think are the gambling activities that most people engage in? If you’re curious, then you’re in the right place. Today, we are going to give you some of the most popular gambling activities in Asia. 


When you hear the topic of gambling in Asia, you might think about those Hollywood movies that usually portray people playing Mahjong in a crowded room. This is not totally wrong because Mahjong is indeed one of the most popular gambling games in Asia. This game originated in China. And even if almost all forms of gambling are banned in that country, playing Mahjong in legal premises or licensed clubs is legal. 

Since the game of Mahjong was created during the Qing dynasty, it rapidly became a worldwide gambling sensation. The game generally includes 144 tiles that feature different Chinese symbols and characters. It is usually played by 4 players in a table, and before the game begins, bets are placed first. A diced will be rolled to determine the dealer. Then, 13 shuffled tiles will be given out to each player. The players will draw and discard a tile in each round to be able to complete a winning hand. The first playing to get a winning hand of 14 tiles needs to shout “Mahjong” to win. 

In the present time, this gambling game is very popular. In fact, it also became the classic Microsoft tile game called Mahjong solitaire. This gambling game has won the heart of a lot of players, from land-based casinos to online gambling sites. 


Keno is believed to be the oldest lottery game in the world. In fact, its origin can be traced back to the Han Dynasty in 206 B.C. to 220 A.D. When you think of it, that’s about 2,000 years ago, and up until now, the game is still going strong. In Asian countries, Keno cards can be bought in lottery outlets. 

To play Keno, you will be given a card that contains numbers from 1 to 80. You need to choose and bet on a specific amount of numbers. Then, 20 numbers will be drawn at random, and the prizes to be won depends on the set of numbers you have chosen and the numbers that are matched. 

The name of this ancient gambling game came from a “white pigeon ticket” or “white dove ticket.” It’s because back in the ancient times, the results of Keno games in big cities were sent out to outskirt villages by pigeons.

Due to the popularity of the game during wartime, the government used tax money from them indirectly to build the Great Wall of China and as well as finance war affairs. Afterward, Keno was introduced in the United States with the help of Chinese immigrants who wanted to gamble outside China. And today, Las Vegas is referred to as the Keno Capital of the United States. You can now even play Keno games online with real money via online casino sites. 


The game of Pachinko is one of the most popular gambling games in Japan. The name of the game was coined based on its sound when being played, which surely sounds fun. Pachinko machines are colorful, flashing, and noisy, which reflect the modern Japanese culture. Its origin is known to have evolved from the invention of Pinball, and the first true Pachinko Machines were introduced in 1926. 

When playing Pachinko, the main goal is to hit the jackpot by matching three numbers in a row. If you can notch the tiny steel ball bearings into the middle scoring pocket at the base of the screen, then your chances of winning will get higher. 

In Japan, gambling with cash is illegal. However, Pachinko parlors were able to avoid this law by giving out tokens to players, which later can be exchanged for money. Even if the game is banned, Japanese gamblers still spend a lot of money on this iconic game every year. In fact, it is 30 times higher compared to the annual gambling revenue in Las Vegas. 

Pai Gow

dominos for playing Pai Gow

Pai Gow is another popular gambling game in Asia. Its roots can be traced back to the Song Dynasty in 960 to 1279 CE. Its name can be translated roughly to “make nine,” which is the maximum score of a hand when playing it. 

To play Pai Gow, it will start with a set of 32 Chinese dominoes that are placed face down on the table and scuffled to get an arrangement of eight stacks, having four dominoes in each stack. After that, the bets will be placed. Then, each player will be given a stack of four tiles to form two hands, with two tiles in each hand. To be able to win, both the hands of the player must outrank those of the dealer’s correspondingly. However, if ever only one hand wins and the other hand loses, then the player will only get back the initial bet. 

In the present time, you can also play a westernized version of Pai Gow online, which is called Pai Gow Poker. 


two roosters fighting

People have always found a way to bet on any fun activity that gives them a chance to win and lose for thousands of years back. And sometimes, they do this even if it means two animals will be fighting with each other. One example of this, which is very popular in Asia, is cockfighting, which has become a deep-rooted culture and tradition in some of the countries in South East Asia, including Thailand, Philippines, India, and Indonesia. 

In the Philippines, cockfighting was introduced by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521, during his expedition. And currently, it is one of the few countries in the world where cockfighting is legalized. However, in each country, there are different fighting customs. For example, in India, birds are fought in naked heels, while in the Philippines, metal blades are tied to the legs of the birds for a more vicious fight. And since males are more aggressive, only roosters are allowed to be used in fights. 

These are some of the most popular gambling activities in Asia. These games also contribute to bringing together people of different origins and cultures together. And today, with the help of technology, gambling has become easier than ever. Unlike before, where you need to wait for carrier pigeons to know the results of the game today, you’ll be able to enjoy different gambling or casino games in just a click.