What are ‘California Games’?
California games is a name given to set of games that involve the players placing bets before being dealt the hands on which they will later wager. These games can resemble both poker and blackjack, but they are not strictly identical to these popular games. California games are typically cardroom games – card games with a specific room dedicated to gameplay – but can include games such as Pai Gow, which is played using tiles.
‘California Games’ Explained
Formerly known as Asian games, California games have a very specific set of rules that must be followed in order to dodge the legal restrictions against banking games. For example, the only interest of the casino in these games is to take a percentage of every bet.
Gameplay involves one player as the banker and it is their job to play one hand, in turn, against each of the other players. An exception to the banker rule is ‘13-Card’, which has no need for the involvement of this player.
Some examples of California games include Pai Gow, which is, in fact, played with tiles and therefore is not a card game at all. Another example is called Pai Gow Poker, Super Nine, California Blackjack, California Aces and 13-Card. California Blackjack is a variation of the game blackjack, and the object of this game is to get the closest to 22.
California games add a lot of variety to the typical gambling establishment by offering games that are not that well known. Perhaps they are less well known than other popular games because the player only bets before the cards are dealt, meaning that winning a big pot sometimes comes down to sheer luck alone. Despite the fact that California games will have a fraction of the bets taken by the casino, these games remain very popular among cardroom communities.