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Last Updated: January 27, 2017

Chinese War

Introduction

Chinese War is a new game I noticed on field trial at the Gold Coast in Las Vegas on January 25, 2017. If forced to compare it to another game, it is like a mixture of Casino War, blackjack, and baccarat. There are seven bets available based on the outcome of two hands -- the Dragon and Tiger.

Rules



Following is a list of bets available.

  • Dragon
  • Tiger
  • Tie
  • Dragon Lucky Win
  • Tiger Lucky Win
  • Dragon War Card
  • Tiger War Card


Following are the rules.

  1. The game is played with eight 52-card decks.
  2. The dealer shall deal three cards each to the Dragon and Tiger hands. Both hands consist of two initial cards plus a War card.
  3. For purposes of all bets except the Dragon War Card and Player War Card, cards are scored as in blackjack, meaning:
    • Aces are worth 1 or 11 points, whichever is more beneficial to the hand.
    • 2 to 10 are scored according to pip value.
    • Face cards are worth 10 points.
  4. The dealer shall score both the Dragon and Tiger hands as the sum of the first and second cards minus the third War card.
  5. The object is to get closer to zero, without going negative, than the other hand.
  6. The player must bet on either the Dragon or Tiger. The other five bets are optional.
  7. Following are the possible outcomes of the Dragon and Tiger bets:
    • Chosen hand is zero points, except a 0-0 tie: Pays 2 to 1
    • Chosen hand is one or more points and the other hand is negative: Pays 1 to 1
    • Both hands are one or more points and the chosen hand has fewer points: Pays 1 to 1
    • Both hands are one or more points and the chosen hand has more points: Loss
    • Both hands are negative or tie: Loss


  8. Following are the possible outcomes of the Tie bet:
    • 0-0 Tie: Pays 199 to 1
    • All other positive ties: Pays 9 to 1
    • All other outcomes: Loss


  9. There are a pair of bets called the Dragon Lucky Win and Tiger Lucky Win. Both pay based only on their own cards, as follows:
    • All three cards in the chosen hand are 8's: Pays 399 to 1
    • Total points equal 8 or the War card is an 8: Pays 4 to 1
    • Total points are not equal to 8 and the War card isn't an 8: Loss


  10. Finally, there are a pair of bets called the Dragon War Card and Player War Card. Both of these bets win if the War card of the chosen hand is greater than the other War card. Ties lose. For purposes of these bets, cards are scored as in poker, with aces high only. Wins pay 1 to 1.


  11. If my rules were not clear, maybe the rack card will be more clear. Click on either image for a larger version.

     


    Dragon and Tiger Analysis



    The following table shows my analysis of the Dragon bet. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 2.36%.

    Dragon Analysis — Detailed

    Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
    Dragon has zero, Tiger is negative 2 10,881,018,855,424 0.002177 0.004354
    Dragon wins with zero 2 181,627,885,535,232 0.036337 0.072674
    Dragon has 0 or more, Tiger is negative 1 245,781,110,470,656 0.049172 0.049172
    Both hands have 0 or more, Dragon has fewer points. 1 1,905,786,033,584,120 0.381279 0.381279
    Tiger has 0 or more, Dragon is negative -1 245,781,110,470,656 0.049172 -0.049172
    Both have zero -1 8,006,193,004,544 0.001602 -0.001602
    Both are positive and tie -1 287,705,445,707,008 0.057560 -0.057560
    Both are negative. -1 14,534,539,900,928 0.002908 -0.002908
    Tigers wins with zero -1 181,627,885,535,232 0.036337 -0.036337
    Both hands have 0 or more, Dragon has more points. -1 1,905,786,033,584,120 0.381279 -0.381279
    Tiger has zero, Dragon is negative -1 10,881,018,855,424 0.002177 -0.002177
    Total 4,998,398,275,503,340 1.000000 -0.023555


    If you don't need that much detail, here is a summarized version of the above table.

    Dragon Analysis — Summarized

    Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
    Dragon win with zero 2 192,508,904,390,656 0.038514 0.077028
    Dragon win 1 2,151,567,144,054,780 0.430451 0.430451
    Loss -1 2,654,322,227,057,910 0.531035 -0.531035
    Total 4,998,398,275,503,340 1.000000 -0.023555


    The odds are exactly the same for the Tiger bet with a house edge of 2.36%.

    Tie Analysis



    Following is my analysis of the Tie bet. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 10.41%.

    Tie Analysis

    Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
    0-0 tie 199 8,006,193,004,544 0.001602 0.318749
    All other positive ties 9 287,705,445,707,008 0.057560 0.518036
    Loss -1 4,702,686,636,791,810 0.940839 -0.940839
    Total 4,998,398,275,503,360 1.000000 -0.104054


    Lucky 8 Analysis



    Following is my analysis of the Tiger Lucky 8 bet. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 9.10%.

    Tie Analysis

    Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
    Tiger Lucky 8 win with 888 399 29,760 0.000416 0.166136
    Tiger lucky 8 win 4 10,612,736 0.148486 0.593944
    Tiger lucky 8 loss -1 60,830,464 0.851098 -0.851098
    Total 71,472,960 1.000000 -0.091017


    The odds on the Dragon Lucky 8 are exactly the same with a house edge of 9.10%.

    War Analysis



    Following is my analysis of both War bets. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 7.47%.

    War Analysis

    Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
    Win 1 39,936 0.462651 0.462651
    Tie -1 6,448 0.074699 -0.074699
    Loss -1 39,936 0.462651 -0.462651
    Total 86,320 1.000000 -0.074699


    Strategy



    The lowest house edge is on the Dragon and Tiger bets at 2.36%. In comparison, the house edge on the Tie is 10.41%, the Lucky 8 bets are 9.10%, and the War bets at 7.47%. So, if you must play, I would stick to the Dragon and Tiger and ignore all the side bets.






    Written by: Michael Shackleford

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