The Most Unusual Gambling Games In The World

Games & Tech | Did You Know

The Most Unusual Gambling Games In The World

Photo by Dusan Kipic on Unsplash

Traditional gambling games such as poker, roulette and slots are known even to those who don't play in casinos. But there are other forms of entertainment in the world that even the most experienced and avid gamblers haven't heard of. Let's hear from BestAuCasinosOnline.

Pachinko slot

Pachinko is a peculiar slot machine that resembles a mixture of the familiar 'one-armed bandit' and vertical pinball. The game is as follows: the top of the machine is poured into the metal balls, and the player uses a lever to control the rate of their discharge on the playing field. The balls roll down the labyrinth and most of them go to waste, but at least one always hits the target and wins (a certain number of the same balls).

It is not officially possible to get the cash equivalent of the winnings. However, there are often shops (run by the Yakuza) located near pachinko halls where they exchange the gifts for money.

The game is incredibly popular in Japan, as classic gambling is illegal (which explains the lack of cash winnings). Pachinko arcades in the Land of the Rising Sun can be found on every corner, and the machine makers are high on Forbes' list of the richest people on the planet.

Fang Tian

Fang Tian is an ancient Chinese game with simple rules: the leader takes a handful of coins and covers them with something. The square-shaped playing field is divided into four triangles by diagonals. The participants bet on one of the sectors: 1,2,3 or 4. Then the dealer opens the coins and starts separating the four pieces with a special long stick without touching them with his hands.

If the division results in 1 piece remaining — it means number 1 wins, 2 wins number 2, 3 wins number 3, 4 wins number 4.

The Chinese play fan chan right on the streets, often using instead of coins any small objects at hand (beans or buttons). Regular police raids can't eradicate this gambling activity, as money is passed from hand to hand.


Dreidel is a Jewish game traditionally played on Chanukah, but because of its simplicity it has made its way into many casinos that accept MasterCard around the world.

Dreidel is played with a spinning wheel with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet on its four sides: נ for nun, ג for gimel, ה for hei and ש for shin. All players have to do is place their bets and spin the dreidel. The result depends on which side it falls on.

Egyptian Slapjack

Egyptian Slapjack is an unusual and exciting game, with simple yet symbolic rules that give the game a mystical feel to show how ancient this game of chance is. There's no limit on the number of players, but there is a strict adherence to certain rules. Before being dealt, the deck should be shuffled exactly seven times as a tribute to luck, as the number seven has long been considered a lucky number.

The 52-card deck is divided into roughly equal portions, the number depending on the number of players gathered around the table. The players themselves are forbidden by the rules to look at their cards, so none of them knows what cards they are holding. The last of the pieces of cards belongs to the dealer and the person to his left takes the first turn.

The top card of the pile is laid out for all to see. All players take turns laying their cards until one of them has laid a piece. In this case the next player must also lay a piece and is given a number of attempts to do so. If a player is unlucky and fails to discard a piece then his neighbour takes all the cards that have been laid by that time. The player who has managed to collect as many cards as possible wins.

Pai-Gow Poker

Pai-Gow Poker is a rather unconventional game invented and patented by American Fred Wolf. This card game features a 52-card deck used in poker, with one card, the joker, and the rules of the ancient Chinese game of PaiGow, which originally used dominoes.

The simple rules of PaiGow Poker are as follows. Up to six players can participate in the game, playing against the croupier. Each player receives seven cards, which are split into two combinations. The larger number — 5 cards — create what is known as a "back combination". Two cards form the front combination. The cards dealt need to be arranged so that the back and front combination is valued above the dealer's.

The Joker can play different roles in this game. It becomes an ace when played as part of a backhand combination and can replace any card needed to make a five card showdown in the front.

Crab races and goat races

Crab races and goat races are traditional entertainment for the people of Trinidad and Tobago (an island nation in the southern Caribbean Sea), held annually at Easter and attracting many tourists. Despite the amusing competitors, the event is a lucrative business on the island of Tobago.

The atmosphere is similar to that of a horse race — goats are neatly combed, jockeys are present, bets are taken and commentators announce the favourites. The animals have to cover a distance of 100 metres and the mounts do not saddle the animals, they just run nearby and kick them. The first one to cross the finishing line is the winner.

The blue crabs' race is less dynamic but no less thrilling. Anyone can race as a chaser. The contestants are propelled with rods and given the right direction. The first one to reach the finish line wins. However, unlike the host, who gets the winnings, the fate of the crab is not so bright...

Crab races also entertain tourists in the Maldives and Sydney. Australians have made it part of their nightlife. Competitions are staged right in pubs. Competitors are numbered and placed in the middle of a normal table. Bets are placed by heated holidaymakers and the first crustacean to reach the edge of the table wins. The prizes are usually beer or branded T-shirts.

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