Fa chai is a popular game in Asia, especially in China. Fa chai means “to break the bank” or “to win big”. The game is played with three dice and a betting board.
There are different variations of it, but the most common version is to bet on combinations of the dice. Players can bet on individual dice or combinations. There are different betting strategies and players can bet up to three times per round.
It is a fast-paced game that gives the players a thrilling experience while they play it. It has been played in China for many years, but it became more popular in the 1980s when there were professional Fa Chai tournaments held for players from different cities. It has become an international sport since then because of this popularity, even though there were no professional leagues made internationally. It was not allowed to be shown to other countries until recently when wagers could be placed online. It has now become one of the most popular games played in casinos.
There are scores of variations on Fa Chai, but the basic rules are that players attempt to capture cards of equal rank. The first player to get rid of all their cards (or Fa Chu, which means “to win”) is the winner.
Rules of playing Fa Chai
The game Fa-Chai is generally played with 4 people, but it can also be played with more or fewer players. It can be played with 2-4 players which are split into two teams (Red & Black), with each team member given 12 cards. There are several versions of Ca Chai rules that are mainly dependent on what type of Fa Chai table is being used. For Fa chai online purposes, each player gets Fa Chai Pai(card) upon which many numbers will appear up to 31 at a time. The idea here is to get as close as the number 21 by using your cards combinations. Same numbers cancel each other out, so for example, if you are dealt two sixes, your opponent also has two sixes and the hand is a draw. The ace is high and the 2 is low.
The game Fa chai Pai (card) can be used to replace any card in your hand. So for example, if you have a two and a three, you can use the Pai to make an Ace or any other number as long as it doesn’t exceed 31. There are Pai wildcards which are x3 and jokers which can be used as any number apart from 31. If one of these appears on your Fa Chai table then the player automatically wins irrespective of the other player’s hand.
The game is played with a regular deck of 52 cards and two players. The aim is to get as close to 31 as possible without going over. Aces are worth one point, 2s through 10s are worth face value, and a jack, queen, or king ( J, Q, K) are each worth 10 points. Face cards can be used either as 10 points or 1 point depending on the situation. The first player to reach 31 or more points, wins the hand. If both players reach 31 on the same turn, the player with the highest card in their hand is the winner. If there is a tie then it is a draw.
Things to remember when playing
- If you draw an extra card to make your Fa chai, then you must set the Fa token in front of you.
- If you Fa chai but have no cards left, then your opponent automatically wins.
- If you Fa chai with a 1, 2, or 3, then your opponent takes all of the Fa tokens from the table.
- When playing with 4 or 5 players, the Fa tokens are placed in the middle of the table instead of at either end.
There are different Fa Chai hand combinations that allow players to score points. Fa Chai hands can be split into three categories, Full Fa Chai hands, Fa chai Hand extension, and the Fa Chai Single Hand.
Full Fa Chai – The player picks up two sets of cards in their hand with the same rank ignoring all suits altogether. This is considered a full Fa chai or simply Fa Chao (Thao or Sào). Kings & Queens are worth 10 points while Aces & 2s-10s are worth 1 point each.
Kings & Queens are also known as “Supreme Cards” ().
Fa Chai Hand Extension – This category includes any combination of four cards which when added together give you another hand. For example, picking up two sets of three cards each with different suits but the same rank would be a Fa Chai Hand extension (). The rank and suit of the hand don’t matter, only that all four cards add up to another hand.
Fa Chai Single Hand – This is simply when you pick up one set of three cards with different suits but the same rank.
A full Fa chai hand is worth 30 points while a Fa chai Hand extension is worth 10 points. The Fa Chai Single Hand is worth 3 points.
The deck of Fa Chai cards is composed of three different suits, which are Fa (coins), Sui (bamboo sticks), and Pin (hearts). Fa represents wealth in Asia. Fa is shaped like a circle with an unknown value inside. They are mainly used for forming extensions.
Sui symbolizes the growth of things in nature or people, it will usually have 2 or 3 lines coming out from the bottom to show its growth. They are mainly used for making sets composed of three figures with the same rank.
The pin (heart) suit is the most powerful suit in Fa Chai, it has the ability to overturn any other suit. There are 11 cards in total, two of which are jokers.
Fa Chai is a very popular game in Asia and is usually played with 3 or 4 people. However, it can also be played with 5 players by using two decks of cards. The game is best played with friends as it is quite competitive and can be quite exciting!