10 Other Games to Play During CNY Other Than Blackjack

Chinese New Year is around the corner, and I’m sure besides the Ang Baos and endless snacks, there’s one more thing everyone enjoys and that is to huat.

Plus, isn’t it a better way to pass time while aunties have endless gossips to talk about? I mean unless you want to be sucked into their conversation, or do you?

But Blackjack every year? Maybe it’s time to switch it up with these 10 games that’ll bring you the same thrill you’re looking for.


Baccarat

A game to fit 12-14 of you? Then this might just be the game for you! Plus it’s easy to pick up since all you need to do is add. The dealer gives you 2 initial cards, and you only have 2 options: to stay or draw another card unless you’ve got natural 8 or 9.

In Baccarat, cards 2-9 are worth their face values, 10, J, Q, K have no values (worth zero) and Aces are worth 1 point. So, your points are worth the rightmost digit in the sum of your cards. For example, a hand of 5 and 3 is 8, while a hand of 7 and 8 is 5 because the sum is 15. If you’ve got a natural 8 or 9, make sure you open your cards immediately!


In Between

A game where the more the merrier, just like your ang baos! When more people are playing, the bigger the pool of money there is for you to win. The initial pool is usually $2, so in a group of 10 it’s a pool total of $20.

Two cards are then opened face up to one player. The player then bets from nothing to the amount in the pot. A 3rd card is then opened to fall in between the original 2. Anyone who bets the entire pot and misses, brings the pool up to $40. Anyone who “tiang” or draws the exact same card as the 2 open cards, doubles their bet going into the pool, bringing it to a total of $120. Definitely making it the more the merrier for you, if you win the bet of the pool!


Chor Dai Di / Big 2

One of everyone’s all-time favourite game to play, Dai Di is also known as Big 2. It takes a while to learn it, but once you know it, you’re set to go. The objective of this game is simple: to get rid of all your cards.

But first, you need to remember the order. The smallest is diamonds, followed by clubs, hearts then spade. The smallest number is 3 up to Ace and the biggest is 2 (which is why it’s called Big 2).

The game begins with a person throwing the smallest card. Forming combinations is ascending orders Singles, Pairs, 3 of a kind and 5 cards. If they are of the same number, the pair with the higher suit wins. Complete and win by throwing all the cards in your hand!


Chinese Poker

If you love poker and know its hand ranking, then you’ll easily be able to pick this game up. With 4 as the maximum number of players including the dealers, it’ll be the game to play as a small group.

Every player is dealt 13 cards, the cards are then divided into “back” hand of 5, “middle” hand of 5 and “front” hand of 3. Back being the best hand followed by middle and front. The highest hand is the royal flush, followed by straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pairs, one pair and finally, the highest card.

As the front hand has only 3 cards, the 3 possible hand types are three of a kind, one pair, high card. There is no point in having a front hand with three same cards or three cards of the same suit: “straights” or “flushes” because it does not count. For every hand you beat, you win.


Ngau or Gnau (Ox)

This game is a quick game, possibly faster than your nephew eating up your Chinese New Year snacks. 10 is the maximum number of player for this game, like Baccarat except for shouting “Ox” or “passport”.

Each player is dealt 5 cards, and out of the 5 you need to sum up 3 of the cards to make a multiple of 10. If you have 6+4+J = 20 for example, you have an “Ox” or “Passport”. The other two cards show how powerful your amount is. Imagine the two cards are of 8 + 5, means the sum is 13 so your hand is 3 (rightmost digit). The highest is 10.


Pirate Roulette

Enjoy feeling a rush of excitement from collecting an Ang Bao from someone who you know is very generous? This game would be for you. The intensity from wondering if the sword you stuck into the barrel is going to pop the pirate at you will bring you the same rush.

All you have to do it get the pirate roulette, and a group of people with every person adding to the pool as it’s their turn to stick it in the barrel. When the pirate pops, you practically won the pool without having to do much. 100% based on your luck!

If you’ve seen Running Man, you’ll have remembered the members playing this often.


Indian Poker / Bluff

If you think you can read your friends’ or relatives’ faces well, try putting it to the test with this game! Here’s how it’s played: every player puts money into the initial pool that’s usually $1. The dealer deals a card faced down to every player around the table.

Everyone then places the card on their forehead, so every player except themselves can see the card. One by one, everyone will try to convince the others on changing their cards. The one with the highest card takes the pool.

It won’t be as easy as pretending you didn’t take the last pineapple tart!


Mahjong

A tedious but well-loved game for you to play through the night! Your main goal is to get 4 sets and a pair. No need for introduction here, right? You either know it or you don’t.


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Bluff

Like to catch someone red handed lying? This game would be perfect for you. All you need for the game is a deck of cards, and some relatives and friends.

Start with a pool money in the middle. Deal out all the cards evenly, starting with any player with the Ace first announcing it “One Ace”. If the player does not have any Aces, or if he wishes to get rid of more than one card, he may bluff and play non-Ace cards while announcing: “Two Aces”.

The next player follows by the next value up which is 2, 3, 4 and so on. At any one point in time, if anyone calls on a bluff challenging a player. The challenger places a bet and the player reveals his cards. A player caught bluffing or a failed challenge pays the bet into the pool and picks up the thrown cards.

The objective of the game is to be the first to throw out all cards and that pool of money is yours!


Play or Pay

Are you a player or payer? The main objectives of this game is to clear your hand. Start by pooling in your bets and then start dealing all the cards out. Every player must play a card. All cards played are arranged in a row of the four suits.


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The first player can play whatever card they like. The sequence in the suits must be built until all 13 cards are played. For example: J, Q, K, A, 2, and so on. Whenever someone is unable to play their turn, they need to add to the pool. Whoever plays the 13th card get to choose any card in their hand to begin the next 13. The first player to clear all their cards wins the pot!


So sit back and simply play your cards right this Chinese New Year to huat your way to the next house!

But of course, here’s a disclaimer: remember, these games are meant to be play for fun during CNY. Don’t take them too seriously, because the fun is in the gameplay and not the money!

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