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Chinese poker game guandan gains popularity

By Liang Shuang | | Updated: 2023-08-22 22:38
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A third provincial association of the poker game guandan was unveiled last week in Guiyang, Guizhou province, marking the increasing popularity that the once-local game has gained nationwide.

Cai Jiuqiang, the first president of the Guizhou Provincial Guandan Association, said at the ceremony that the association is dedicated to promoting the sport among the public and to leading to economic benefits from relevant industries. The province's first guandan exhibition match was also held after the ceremony.

According to news outlet, the Guizhou association is the third provincial-level group — after Jiangsu and Hainan provinces — dedicated to the promotion of the popular leisure game that has become more standardized and of competitiveness.

Originated from Huaian, Jiangsu, the game of guandan, which literally means "throwing eggs", involves four players in two teams playing two decks of cards. They "race" to finish playing out all their cards as soon as possible based on different poker hands, such as straights, full house, pairs or single cards, as well as communication between teammates and tactics.

Sometimes dubbed as the "Chinese bridge", the game has grown from a local pastime to a leisure activity popular nationwide in recent years. Authorities are trying to make it into a more formal sport.

Zhongguo Qiyuan, a General Administration of Sport-affiliated management center in charge of board and card games such as chess and bridge, officially standardized the game's rules and issued guidelines on holding guandan competitions in separate statements since last year.

The center has held a series of open tournaments of guandan this year, and the game will also become an exhibition event for the upcoming Fifth National Mind Sports Games to be held in Hefei, Anhui province, in late October and early November.

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