Introduction to Asian-Themed Slot Games
Walk into a casino, and most gamblers will quickly notice a host of Asian-themed games on the gaming floor. These can be some of the most popular games in a live casino or online with many offering brilliant graphics, fun narratives, and some great bonus games and features.
While these games may have originally been manufactured to appeal to Asian slot fans, they have instead become favorites with many players from around the world and in all walks of life as well. From dragons and koi fish to lucky coins and Chinese symbols, these games often take players on a trip to ancient times as they look for their own fortune.
Keep reading for a complete look at Asian-themed slots and their place in the world of gaming.
The Landscape of Asian-Themed Slots
Asian-themed slots may be popular because they simply offer players something different. To slot fans not from this part of the world, the culture and ways of the Orient may be a bit mysterious and exciting. Players are taken on a bit of an adventure to a world that may seem a bit more exotic compared to their normal lives.
That may also compare to other more traditional slots as well, with more unique symbols and motifs than more traditional games. They tend to focus on good fortune and luck, making them a bit somewhat like Irish-themed games as well. Most tend to lean toward Chinese culture, but some also feature Japanese elements and aspects of other countries as well.
Many Asian slots make use of today’s high-tech possibilities for excellent options for players. Here’s a look at a few types of Asian games types one might find in a casino or online.
Ancient These tend to take players on a trip back in time. Expect traditional symbols, culture, and music. Fu Dao Le, Jin Ji Bao Xi Endless Treasure, and Dancing Drums are hugely popular in this category and offer players a bit of the ancient world.
Modern A few Asian games mix a bit of the old with the new. For example, Ultimate Fire Link: China Street brings the Asian theme to modern times with a thumping soundtrack and cool street scene.
Treasure These games center around gathering gold coins and other treasures. Endless Treasure is a great example, with players looking for gold coins and other valuable artifacts.
Dragons These represent good luck in China and are a popular slot option for manufacturers and plates alike. Jackpot Party offers several of these options including Forbidden Dragons, Dragon Spin, and Dragon of the North.
Numerous slot developers continue meeting the demand for Asian-themed games including Light and Wonder, IGT, Playtech, Aristocrat, NetEnt, WMS Gaming, Konami, and others.
The Cultural Inspiration Behind Asian-Themed Slots
Beyond the entertainment aspects of Asian slots, some of these games base aspects of their play on real events and historical events. For example, the Fu Babies are related to good fortune in Chinese culture, and slot manufacturers have regularly incorporated this notion with these characters.
Other common symbols and their origins include:
Koi fish This fish is popular in many parts of Asia including good luck, success, and prosperity in Feng Shui design. The koi is also a major part of Japanese culture and is definitely linked to wealth and success. They are also key symbols for these elements in Buddhism, including Thailand.
“In Japan, the koi fish has multiple significations,” Japan-Avenue.com reports. “This emblematic fish symbolizes courage, perseverance, bravery, and love simultaneously. Hence, it occupies an important place in the art of Japanese tattooing as well. A symbol highly appreciated in Japanese culture.”
Dragons As noted, these represent luck and also signify power and strength in many Asian myths. These may be seen in Japanese slots as well as they are seen as the benefactors and protectors of mankind that can control rain, fire, and the earth.
Beckoning cat (maneki-neko) This “waving cat” is a popular figure in Japanese culture and represents good luck.According to National Geographic: “With a raised paw, pointy red ears, and coins and other accessories, maneki-neko have been bringing in luck and prosperity for centuries – and while the iconic statutes have varied origin stories, they all begin in Japan.”
Money toad (jin chan) This symbol of wealth is said to ward off bad luck and is featured in many Chinese legends about this frog. A frog that delivers some cash? That certainly seems like a fitting slot symbol.
Tigers A tiger is seen as a sign of strength in many cultures and is known as the king of beasts throughout China. The animal is seen as a powerful leader in Thailand and seen as the bearer of positive energy in other cultures.
Tortoise These creatures can also be found in many of these slots. As the Minneapolis Institute of Art says: “In ancient China, the tortoise was a sacred animal. Followers of the philosopher Confucius considered it one of the Four Spiritually Endowed Creatures, along with the unicorn, phoenix, and dragon. In Taoist philosophy, the tortoise symbolizes the universe.”
Many other symbols can be found, but most fall along the lines of those above – appealing to someone’s sense of luck, positivity, good fortune, and other aspects that could easily be associated with winning on slots.
The Role of Graphic and Sound Design in Asian-Themed Slots
Many people around the world may experience more Asian (or at least Asian-inspired) culture on slot machines than in many walks of life. Modern graphics and animation allow slot developers to go all out in offering a glimpse into this part of the world.
Some developers make use of traditional Chinese music while others add a bit of a modern beat as well. Mysterious music and sound effects add to the allure of these games. The goal of the immersive graphics and sound may be to really make players feel like they are on a journey to that part of the world.
Scenery can include pagodas (as found in China, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Vietnam, Nepal, and other countries), temples, lanterns, dragon lairs, nature, and much more. Modern high-definition graphics only ramp up these elements, obviously some with better results than others. Technology and innovation continue to make the slot gaming experience even more, and that certainly goes for Asian slots.
Asian-Themed Slots and Their Attraction to Non-Asian Gamers
Many parts of the world have long had a fascination with Asian culture. Some of that can be traced back to World War II in the case of the U.S. The countries became strong allies afterward, and as the country began exporting more products, many also embraced some of the country’s culture and products as well. From film, comics, and fictional characters to video games, electronics, and cuisine, Japan has had a major impact on the culture since the end of World War II in 1945.
“In just a few decades, Japan’s global image has changed radically, especially in the West,” Quartz.com notes. “The shifts have been so drastic it can be hard to recognize the same country in these different visions of it. Particularly in America, which has had a close and complex relationship with Japan since World War II, this image has evolved from fearsome enemy to producer of cheap cars and gadgets to, finally, whimsical creative fantasy factory.”
Other countries in the region have also seen their culture extend into other parts of the world as well. Hong Kong action cinema has attracted big audiences around the world for stars like Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. Cuisine has been a particularly successful way to spread some of these countries’ cultural influences including Thai, Vietnamese, and others.
Simply put, Asian culture offers many a look into a different region and different life for the same reason one might choose a new country for vacation – to experience something new. Manufacturers have connected with that interest in the region with their slots.
Understanding the Odds: Winning Strategies and Myths
While these games may be a unique category among the world of slot machines, playing doesn’t necessarily mean those dragons, tortoises, or koi fish will actually bring good luck. As in all slots, the house always has an edge. It’s important to remember some of the myths related to slots as well as some concepts that might bring the possibility of at least chalking up some wins. Here’s a look at a few myths and strategies.
Asian Slot Myths
Slots aren’t “due” to pay out – The random number generator (RNG) determines all payouts on every slot, no matter how long or how recent it’s been since a game has paid out a jackpot. All games are completely random.
Slots are “hot” and “cold” – Again the RNG determines all payouts completely at random.
Autoplay pays out less than manually playing – Autoplay allows the slot to continuously spin the reels usually over a certain amount of time. Some people believe that this option pays out less often. This is also a myth and doesn't affect the probability of a payout.
Pressing the stop button can change the outcome of a spin. This is also a myth. The stop button brings the reels to a stop sooner but still lands on the predetermined result produced internally by the RNG.
Slots should only be fun for real money – Slot platforms like Jackpot Party offer plenty of entertainment with plenty of popular games, unique challenges, and all the features of a normal slot machine.
Asian Slot Strategies
Know the RTP – This stands for return to player and is the overall coin-in for a slot, stakes level, casino, or region that is paid pack out to slot players. A game with an RTP above 90% is a good number to look out for at a live casino and above 95% when playing online
Recognize the important symbols – Knowing the scatters and other symbols will make the slot experience more fun and rewarding. You’ll know what scenarios and combinations are needed to find some nice payouts.
Take your time – No need to get in a hurry when playing slots. Make that bankroll lost by taking it easy, chatting with friends, sipping a drink, or taking a break now and then.
Play enough for progressives – If you want to qualify for a progressive jackpot, it’s important to at least play the minimum amount to qualify. Take a look at the paytable to find out what that is.
Responsible Gaming and Asian-Themed Slots
Responsible gambling should always be part of any visit to a casino or when playing slots online. Take breaks and play within your means. Set aside a certain bankroll that is meant just for entertainment and don’t spend money that you need for other bills and expenditures.
If you are having trouble playing within your limits or think you might have a serious gambling problem, reach out to a group like the National Council on Problem Gambling.
Those who don’t want to risk any money can also take advantage of free online slots, which offer some real entertainment without sliding a single dollar into a game. Jackpot Party offers a wide variety of popular slots, including many Asian-themed games, via the mobile app or simply playing online with no download required.
The Future of Asian-Themed Slots
Just like much of the slot machine world, Asian games continue to see considerable innovation and technological advances. What could be ahead for this category of games? That remains to be seen but here’s a look at a few examples.
Freshening up the genre Perhaps manufacturers will move beyond some of the more traditional symbols and historical angles and reflect a little more on modern imagery.
More cultural influences Many games seem to focus on Chinese cultural elements and perhaps an expansion of this to other Asian countries might be a possibility.
Even more high-tech Manufacturers are always embracing a more immersive and interactive experience. Look for more of that with Asian slots as well. Some manufacturers are already experimenting with holograms, artificial intelligence, skill-based games, and more.
Going online Many online platforms are offering ever more creative games and themes. Narrative elements have also become a regular part of many slots, and it’s possible that they could be ramped up even more. Asian cultures have a deep history of myths, legends, films, and other media to take advantage of in this regard.
Asian-themed slots have boomed in popularity over the last decade and entered slot fans around the world. Players enjoy experiencing the culture, symbology, and mythology of this part of the world.
These games often have great graphics, soundtracks, effects, video, and bonus features. Most games focus on traditional symbols of luck, good fortune, and prosperity including symbols like dragons, koi fish, and other popular imagery.
These games allow players to appreciate this rich culture while also having some fun. Online platforms, such as Jackpot Party, also offer plenty of Asian-themed games. These options can easily be played on an app via mobile phone or tablet. A website version is also available with no download required.
Fun Facts and Trivia
Here’s a quick look at a few fun facts related to Asian slots.
Money Toad As part of the mythology behind these creatures, the Jin Chan is believed to appear during a full moon. They often show up at businesses that are set to receive some positive news – usually a nice windfall of money. The cash critter is usually a bullfrog with red eyes, missing one of its rear legs, and surrounded by Chinese cash including one usually in its mouth.
Big numbers Considering the number of pachinko machines in the country, Japan is believed to have more gaming machines than any country in the world. A Statistica study put the number at 4.2 million in 2019. The U.S. checked in at No. 2 with more than 900,000.
Panda power The lovable animals can also regularly be found on numerous slots and represent peace and friendship among the Chinese.