In southern China and Cambodia, the gambling game Niu Niu is very well-liked. Additionally, Malaysia, Vietnam, and most likely other locations in Southeast Asia have variants of it. It can be played socially, in Cambodian casinos, and at Asian-friendly online casinos.
The English names for the Chinese term “niu,” which can be rendered as cow, bull, or ox in Chinese, are cow cow, bull, and ox ox. Although it can be challenging to explain the rules, playing the game is straightforward.
Rules of Cambodia Niu Niu
I’ll uppercase bet names to clear up any misunderstandings. Then, I’ll use lower case to refer to people who are actively playing the game.
These are the rules, as I understand them, that are applied in the Cambodian land-based casinos. I’ll abide by those guidelines based on how the game is conducted at online casinos.
- There is one standard 52-card deck used.
- Cards are worth the same number of points as in baccarat: aces are for 1, 2 through 10 for pip, and face cards are worth 0.
- The tens digit is discarded, and the point value of the hand is the terminal digit of the sum of the individual points, just like in Baccarat, if a group of cards has a total point value greater than 9.
- The two available bets, as well as Equal and Double. On either or both, the player may wager. The player may or may not be offered the option of choosing which hand to wager on, as was previously explained.
- Five cards will be dealt to each of the player and dealer hands.
- The dealer must arrange the cards so that each hand has the best possible hand.
- The hands are listed in order from highest to lowest, as follows.
- A “Niu Niu” is a three-card hand or a two-card hand that both have 0 points.
- A two-card hand has points ranging from 1 to 9, while a three-card hand has 0 points. The higher the rank, the more points there are in this range.
- Making 0 points with the three-card hand is impossible.
- In the event of a tie, the team with the best card will prevail. From highest to lowest, the card rankings are: K>Q>J>10>9>8>7>6>5>4>3>2>ACE.
- If a tie cannot be broken by the highest rank, the highest ranked suit will prevail. Spades are the highest suit, followed by Hearts, then Club, and finally Diamond.
- If the player selected the winning side in the Equal bet, he will receive a payout of 1 to 1, less a 5% commission*. I’ve heard that certain casinos in Cambodia don’t charge a commission, but I find this to be a little unbelievable.
- If the player chooses the correct side for the Double Bet, he or she will win or lose in accordance with the following pay table. All winnings will be reduced by 5% commission.
- Niu-Niu, 3 to 1.
- Player’s two-card hand has 7 to 9 points, 2 to 1.
- The player’s two-card hand has 1 to 6 points, 1 to 1.
- High Card, 1 to 1.
- A tie, which I take to be a push, is feasible when using numerous decks.
Online Rules of Niu Niu
The game seems to be played a little more intricately online. Here are the regulations that differ from those in Cambodia.
- Six decks are used rather than just one.
- A further form of hand known as an Ultimate Niu Niu exists. This rates higher than a typical Niu Niu since it has five face cards. A player must pay five times his stake if he loses to one on an Ultimate Niu Niu, which pays 4.75 to one on a Double bet.
- I’ve never heard of an online Equal bet with no commission.
- The dealer will arrange both the player and dealer hands to maximise both parties’ scores rather than letting each player choose his own hand. As in Baccarat, the player may wager on either hand.
- To further complicate matters, the player may wager on any of the several sets of cards that the dealer may deal, with three hands appearing to be the most frequent. One dealer hand in opposition to three player hands is a scenario I believe I have also witnessed.