God of Gamblers is a 1989 action comedy drama film, written and directed by Wong Jing in Hong Kong. The all star cast features Chow Yun-fat and Andy Lau.
Ko Chun (Chow Yun-fat) is a world famous gambler, so well known and brilliant at winning various games of chance that people refer to him as the God of Gamblers. His identity is secret, and no one knows exactly who he is, he never let his face be photographed. He does have three qualities that people recognize. He has slicked back hair, he loves the Feodora brand of chocolate, and he wears a jade ring on his pinky finger.
A Story of Accident and Treachery
Ko Chun arrives in Tokyo, accompanied by his girlfriend Janet and his assistant and cousin Ko Yee, for a match against the country’s top gambler, Tanaka. He defeats Tanaka in mahjong. Tanaka asks for Ko Chun’s help in taking revenge on Chan Kam Sing, a gambler from Singapore who cheated Tanaka’s father and drove him to suicide. Ko Chun agrees. Unfortunately, Ko Chun accidently falls into a trap set by Knife for someone else, and tumbles down a hill, hitting his head. He then suffers from amnesia.
A man called Knife, who set the trap that made Ko Chun fall, takes him and cares for him.
Ko Yee, who is jealous of Ko Chun’s success, sends assassins to find and kill Ko Chun. There is a fight, and Ko Chun runs into the road and is hit by a vehicle. He awakens in hospital in his regular persona, but has no memory of events before the fight. Ko Yee feigns loyalty, but actually gives Chan Kan-sing special eyeglasses that allow him to detect markings on the cards, in his upcoming match against Ko Chun. They all arrive on Chan Kam-Sing’s yacht for the ultimate game of five card stud poker. Knife tries to warn Ko-Chun of Yee’s treachery. Chan Kan-Sing dominates the first two rounds with his ability to read the markings on the cards, but the God of Gamblers Ko Chun outwits him on the last hand, and wins the game.
Ko Chun tricks Chan Kam-Sing into shooting Ko Yee. Police arrive to take Chan Kam-Sing into custody for murder. Ko Chun tells Knife that he knew about Ko Yee’s treachery all along, and promises to take Knife with him to Las Vegas as his gambling partner.
This Gambler Excels At Many Games
There are a number of casino games mentioned in God of Gamblers. Ko Chun plays and excels in Mahjong, all forms of poker, and wins his last game playing five card stud poker. Poker is probably the most well known and most often played of all casino games, as there are so many varieties to choose from. Mahjong originated in China, and the game and its variants are widely played throughout South Eastern Asia, and also has a following in the West. It is similar to the Western card game of rummy, but is played with tiles instead of cards. It is a game of skill, and strategy, and a degree of luck.
Five card stud poker, as played in God of Gamblers, is the earliest form of stud poker, and a popular game all over the world, especially in Scandinavian countries. Five card stud poker was generally played in small casinos until becoming popular at online casinos.