In today’s post, we’re going to be taking a deep dive into ten unique casino games. We’re willing to bet you’ve probably not heard of most of these games – and even if you have, there’s a good chance you’ve never actually tried them in a casino setting! From unique slots to card games dating back to ancient China, let’s look at some of the most unique gambling games in the world!
10 Unique Online Casino Games
The 10 unique casino games we’re going to be showing you today are found at some online casinos – but not all! They vary in age, they come from all corners of the globe – and, in our opinion, many of them are a fantastic alternative to the traditional games and slots you’re probably used to playing.
For each game, we’ll do our best to look at the history, rules, and strategies. If you’d like to try any of them for yourself, make sure to play at one of the top online casinos in the US.
Unique Slots? Try Pachinko Instead!
The history of Pachinko dates back to the 1920s and it’s probably one of the best known unique online casino games on this page. As many will know, the game was created in Japan, where it originated as a simple mechanical game. Pachinko combines elements of pinball and slot machines, making it perfect for players wanting to try something different.
While it’s not easy to find the game offered at Western-facing online casinos, it is available at some. It’s also incredibly easy-to-play; you simply launch balls into the machine and try to navigate them through a series of obstacles to reach specific targets. In the world of online gambling, these targets often trigger slot-like payouts, awarding you a cash prize – or more balls to drop into the machine.
Of course, there’s no skill involved in online Pachinko games – so it’s not quite like the original game. Still, it’s a nice alternative to even the most unique slots. However, if you don’t fancy giving it a go, check out the best online casinos for slots instead.
Fan-Tan: An Ancient Chinese Game of Chance
Fan-Tan is an ancient Chinese game of chance that historians have, amazingly, managed to trace back for thousands of years! With its simple rules and engaging gameplay, it’s become popular at online casinos in recent years – especially at those targeting Asian markets. It’s also widely available as a live dealer casino game, with major software providers like Evolution offering their own spins of the game.
Fan-Tan is simple; the game’s objective is to guess the number of remaining beads after they have been divided into groups of four. To kick things off, the dealer first places a random number of beads under a small cup. Players then place their bets, attempting to guess the number of beads that will be left after the dealer splits them into groups of four.
Once all betting has finished, the dealer lifts the cup, reveals the beads, and divides them using a small stick. The game’s outcome is then determined – and if your bet is a winner, you’ll be paid your winnings accordingly!
Fan-Tan’s simplicity and straightforward betting system make it an easy game to learn and enjoy. While there is no foolproof strategy for winning, understanding the odds and making informed bets can increase your chances of success. As one of the lesser-known casino games, Fan-Tan provides an intriguing alternative for players looking to explore unique and exciting gambling experiences.
Mahjong: A Traditional Chinese Tile Game
Mahjong is a traditional Chinese tile game that dates back to the Qing dynasty. It’s believed to be one of the oldest casino games in the world, although it’s rarely played by non-Chinese gamblers. The game is also pretty complex at first, so there’s a bit of a learning curve for beginners!
Mahjong is usually played by four people, and it involves taking and discarding tiles to try and make a specific combination or set. The game uses a total of 144 tiles, and there are three different suits used, namely bamboos, characters, and circles. There are also honor tiles, like dragons and winds, as well as bonus tiles, like flowers and seasons.
The goal of Mahjong is to be the first player to form a complete hand of 14 tiles, which usually consists of four sets and a pair. Each set can be either a “pong” (three of a kind) or a “chow” (a run of three consecutive tiles of the same suit).
When the game’s action starts, the dealer will give each player 13 tiles. Players then take turns drawing and discarding tiles until someone completes their hand, at which point they’ll announce “Mahjong” – just like you’d hear people saying “Bingo” when they fill their card.
Mahjong is often played for fun or small stakes among friends. However, in recent years we’ve started to see Mahjong tables at some casinos, although it’s still rare. These casinos generally use standardized scoring systems to determine payouts.
Mahjong is a game that definitely fits the bill of being one of the most unique online casino games around. It’s tough to learn, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t understand everything right away!
Sic Bo: A Dice Game of Chinese Origin
Have you ever tried Sic Bo? It’s yet another casino game that’s been around since ancient China, and it’s been winning people over in casinos everywhere. In fact, the game’s so popular, pretty much every live dealer casino provider now offers it!
Sic Bo is all about guessing the outcome of three dice that get rolled. You can bet on tons of different results, like specific numbers that you think will be rolled, or even the total figure the dice will add up to. Many online casino variations also offer unique side bets, too.
Sic Bo is one of the easiest games to play on this unique gambling games page – yet despite its simplicity, it can actually produce some pretty decent wins, especially if you choose some of the riskier bets that offer much higher odds!
Baccarat Banque: The Original Baccarat Game
If you’re into baccarat, it’s well-worth checking out Baccarat Banque. It’s the original version of baccarat – and while it’s nowhere near as popular as today’s version of the game, it’s fun to play as there’s a bit more strategy added into the mix.
In Baccarat Banque, players go head-to-head against the dealer. Unlike conventional baccarat, this version of the game is always played with three decks of cards. Like normal baccarat, your goal is to try and form a hand as close to nine as possible. However, the player who places the biggest bet gets to choose to be the dealer; if they don’t want to be the dealer, they can instead assign the role to another player.
The betting options are the same, but in Baccarat Banque there are even more wagers to place. For example, you can bet on the specific outcomes of individual hands, so there’s higher win potential. Players can also request additional cards, so you have a lot more control over what you’re doing.
In our opinion, Baccarat Banque feels like a cross between classic baccarat and Chemin de Fer, and you’ll need to use some strategy to have the best chance of winning.
Red Dog: A Simple and Fun Card Game
Red Dog, a super simple card game, is easy to learn and fun to play. It’s categorized as being a poker-inspired game, although this is a pretty loose definition, in our opinion. Red Dog is all about betting on the value of a third card falling between the first two cards. It’s easy to learn, and the payouts are easy to understand, as shown in the table below:
The “spread” is the difference between the first two cards. The payout awarded to players depends entirely on the spread. As you can see, it’s a very simple game – so many online casinos have added side bets to provide a bit more action and win potential to players.
Casino War: A High Card Game Based on War
Casino War is basically the childhood card game War, but with a casino twist. It’s a card game where you and the dealer each get a card. If your card is higher than the dealer’s, you win; if it’s lower, you lose. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
Well, what makes Casino War a bit more exciting is when you and the dealer both draw the same card. This is called a tie, and if this happens, you go to war! In war, you can either surrender (and lose half your bet) or double your bet and draw another card. The original principal then applies once again; whoever draws the highest card wins!
Pai Gow Poker: A Unique Poker Variant
Pai Gow Poker is a slow-paced, stress-free card game that combines the ancient Chinese game of Pai Gow with modern-day poker – so it’s classed as a poker game. However, you play against the dealer, rather than other players, using unique poker tables.
While some people believe Pai Gow Poker dates back to ancient China, it was actually created in the 1980s! It became an instant hit in Vegas, and today, you’ll find it offered at almost all online casinos.
Pai Gow Poker uses a standard 52-card deck; however, there is also one additional card – a joker. The objective is to create two separate poker hands – a five-card hand and a two-card hand – from the seven cards you’re dealt. The five-card hand, known as the “high hand,” must outrank the two-card hand, or “low hand.” Players then compare their hands to the dealer’s, aiming to beat both of the dealer’s hands to win the round.
One key aspect that makes Pai Gow Poker stand out is its relatively slow pace, as hands often end in a tie, leading to less frequent losses. However, this laid-back gameplay may not appeal to all, especially those wanting fast-paced, action-packed gameplay found in casino table games like roulette.
Keno: A Lottery Style Casino Game
Keno is a lottery-style casino game that has been popular for centuries. It’s all about selecting a set of numbers and hoping they match the ones drawn. With simple gameplay and the potential for big payouts, the best online keno sites are the perfect place for players seeking a low-stress, high-reward gambling experience.
However, despite being one of the 10 unique casino games listed on this page, we should point out that Keno has a huge house edge; sometimes it can be almost 50%! We’d recommend having a couple of rounds – but nothing more – as the odds are hugely stacked against you.
Scratch Cards: Instant Gratification with Every Card
Scratch cards offer instant gratification and a quick thrill for casino-goers. They’re easy to play and require no skill – just (virtually) scratch off the surface to reveal the symbols or numbers underneath. If you uncover a winning combination, you’ll receive a cash prize.
Scratch cards at online casinos can work in the same way as those you’d buy in a store – but many game developers have started to add elements from video slots, like bonuses and features. You’ll find online scratch offs for real money at most casino sites, usually in the “Instant Win” section.
Frequently Asked Questions about Unique Casino Games
With 10 unique casino games to try out, you’ve now got some gambling to do – although, as always, please gamble responsibly. To finish things off, we’re going to recap some of the games we looked at and answer a few additional questions you may have.
What makes Pachinko different from traditional pinball games?
Pachinko is a unique Japanese game that combines elements of pinball and slot machines. Unlike traditional pinball games, players aim to catch balls that trigger slot-like payouts, making it more about chance than skill.
How does Fan-Tan differ from other casino games?
Fan-Tan is an ancient Chinese game of chance, where players bet on the outcome of a random process involving beads and a small cup. Unlike many casino games, Fan-Tan relies on a simple betting system with few options, making it easy to understand and well-suited for beginners.
What sets Mahjong apart from other tile-based games?
Mahjong is a traditional Chinese tile game, typically played by four players. It requires strategy and skill, as players must form specific combinations of tiles to win. Mahjong’s unique rules and rich cultural history set it apart from other tile-based games, and it’s always highly popular with Chinese players in US casinos.
What are the key differences between Pai Gow Poker and traditional poker games?
Pai Gow Poker is a unique poker variant that combines elements of traditional poker and the Chinese domino game of Pai Gow. Players receive seven cards and must create two separate hands, one with five cards and another with two cards. The unique gameplay adds an exciting twist to traditional poker.
What is Keno?
Keno is a lottery style casino game that offers instant payouts and simple gameplay. Players choose a set of numbers, and if their numbers match those drawn, they win. The game’s appeal lies in its simplicity and potential for large payouts, making it popular among casual players.