Japanese Board Games: Ancient Wisdom and Modern Excitement

Japanese Board Games: Ancient Wisdom and Modern Excitement

Most board games available at the online casino have roots or links to China or the Western world, like Pai Gow Poker, Chess, etc. The rare ones are the Japanese board games, which have a rich cultural heritage. However, recently, with their unique blend of skills, strategic thinking, and luck, they are attracting new players. In today’s casino news, we’ll unveil some of the best Japanese board games making waves to date.

Japanese Board Games: Mind and Skill Beyond the Board

Below are some games that are common in Japan. You will notice that they all have a unique game style. 

Spinning, Dealing, and Dodging the House Edge

G/O (GO or Igo)

Go, or Igo is one of the world’s oldest games and top casino games in the two-player Japanese board game category. Here’s the catch on how to play Go. Typically, it’s played on a 19×19 grid with black and white stones, and the ultimate goal is to capture your opponent’s stones by occupying more territories. Beginners can use smaller boards of either 9×9 or 13×13 to get a hang of the game. Players take turns placing stones, aiming to surround the opponent’s territory. This simplicity in gameplay and endless strategic possibilities contribute to its popularity. Patience and balance are crucial for casino games like these; aggressive or greedy play often leads to defeat. 

Japanese Board GamesL The Popular Shogi

Also in the two-player Japanese board games category is Shogi, similar to the Battleship Game when referring to the number of players and gaming strategy. It is a game that demands strategy, patience, and sometimes cunning play. With 20 pieces per player, each possessing unique abilities, the game introduces its distinctions from chess. Pieces can be promoted upon reaching the back third of the board, creating more expanded moving options. 

Captured pieces will be pulled to the opponent’s side. Promotion involves flipping pieces altering their abilities. Unlike chess, any piece (excluding the king and gold general) can be promoted. “Drops” allow players to switch sides with captured pieces. The goal, like chess, is to capture the opponent’s king. Shogi’s ancient roots trace back to Indian Chaturanga, evolving through variations to its present form.


Gomoku, known as ‘Five in a Row,’  shares the same stones and board with Go. Players take turns placing stones on a 15 by 15 board to create a line of five. However, unlike Go, pieces are fixed once played. It’s the ultimate tic-tac-toe, demanding strategy to block opponents without exceeding five stones per line. Played internationally under Swap2 regulations, the starting player chooses three pieces, and the second player decides whether to proceed or switch sides. Standard Gomoku rules require exactly 5 consecutive pieces for a win. International competitions follow a best-of-nine format to add to its more strategic gameplay.

Machi Koro

Among the dice-rolling variants of Japanese board games is Machi Koro. It is a city-building tabletop game by Masao Suganuma that challenges players to roll dice for coins to construct their city. The objective is to be the first to complete four landmarks. The game unfolds in three phases: dice rolling, income collection from activated cards, and construction. Acting as mayors, players roll dice to activate establishments, collecting coins matching their card’s activation number. Machi Koro provides an engaging city-building experience, blending strategy and luck in a race for landmarks.

Sudoku, One of the Greatest Japanese Board Games

Sudoku is one of the most popular Japanese board games that arrange numbers in a 9×9 grid. It was showcased in French newspapers in the 19th century as “Number Place.” The game gained popularity in 1986 when Japanese producer Nikoli launched it as Sudoku (single number). Additionally, Wayne Gould’s computer program in 2004 accelerated Sudoku’s global presence, making it a widespread logic-based puzzle enjoyed in newspapers and books. The goal in this game is to fill each column, row, and 3×3 subgrid with digits 1 to 9; today, it’s among the best puzzle casino game types.


Samurai is like stepping into feudal Japan, where you play as a Daimyo, competing with others to rule the land. It’s all about strategically placing tiles, gaining influence overlords, boosting rice production, and flaunting your mighty samurai. The rules are friendly to beginners but open the door for serious strategic gameplay, making it a hit for newbies and seasoned gamers. At its core, it’s all about proving you’ve got what it takes to lead – controlling cities, swaying lords, and managing resources like a pro!


The mentioned Japanese board games are the best go-to option whenever it’s a fun game night at a family gathering with friends. Their gameplay remains strategic yet easy. Slots Paradise Casino is a preferred choice for playing board games online.

Ready to conquer the casino world? Dive into our casino guide section for a comprehensive education in gaming tactics, where your winning streak begins with knowledge!

Don’t just play the games, be part of the community! Follow us on social media for behind-the-scenes looks, live updates, and a chance to connect with fellow casino enthusiasts.