Jueteng is considered an illegal form of gambling in the Philippines. However, it is likely Jueteng games will never stop due to their immense popularity across all social and economic classes, as well as its ties to Philippine religions and spirituality. This numbers game has massive appeal in the country due to its lucrative payouts and often compells the poorest Filipinos to spend it all on Jueteng in hopes of escaping poverty.
Thousands of Filipinos use Jueteng as a source of income, whether they are bettors or are working within Jueteng operations. According to a Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) report and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in 2010, over PHP38 billion has been wagered on and handled by the illegal Jueteng games. It is expected the amount of Philippine pesos circulating illegal Jueteng operations are far more nearly 10 years later.
What is Jueteng?
Jueteng is a number game introduced to the Philippines during the Spanish Colonization of the country in the 1800s. The name of the game Jueteng means Flower (jue) and Bet (teng). In the early 1900s, Chinese migrants controlled the game until Filipinos decided to run Jueteng operations.
Jueteng acts as a local lottery as multiple communities and provinces offer the game with some slight variations. However, the rules tend to always be the same across the Philippines. Some provinces have even tried to legalize small town lotteries (STL) to fight the growing popularity of Jueteng through offering a legal numbers game which can be taxed and generate revenue for the province. However, Jueteng still exists in areas with legal STLs.
Are There Any Legal Jueteng Games in the Philippines?
Unfortunately, there are not any legal versions of the game in the Philippines. There are some alternative games that are still number games and that closely resemble Jueteng. Below you will see information on some of those options and where you can access them. If you are loyal to the game however and want to learn more about it, scroll down a little further on the page and you'll find information on how to play the game, some tricks, tips, and tools, and additional information about the game's legality.
Keno and Other Alternative Number Games That are Legal to Play
When it comes to gambling, it is best to use reliable resources that are sure to payout and not cheat players. With Jueteng, there is always the worry of not being paid or getting cheated out of a prize. For this reason, we highly suggest Filipinos use legal online casinos that are subject to regulatory oversight and that offer Keno as an alternative to Jueteng as well as other number games.
There are multiple number games to be played on these online casinos such as keno, bingo, lotteries, scratch cards, sudoku, and much more. These number games are great alternatives for Filipinos to use to substitute Jueteng games and are considered 100% legal and reliable in paying out players. We also recommend utilizing mobile online Philippine casinos for PH players on the go who wish to gamble at any time they please.
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How to Play Jueteng
Jueteng has no minimum or maximum bet amount. Typically, bettors must choose two numbers from 1 to 37, but some provinces allow bettors to choose from 1 to 38 or 1 to 40. With a larger range of numbers to pick from the number of possible combinations increases. The bettor chooses two numbers from the available number range and places their bet.
In most provinces, bettors must correctly guess their two picked numbers to win their payout in full; it does not matter what order the numbers are drawn so long as they match the bettor’s choice. In some provinces, if bettors correctly pick at least one number, they will receive half of the prize money, but this is not very common.
Numbers are drawn three days a day: in the morning, noon, and evening. Prizes are usually paid out within 12 to 24 hours to winning bettors. In addition, prizes are “tax-free” because the government does not regulate it.
However, commissions are paid to the “Kubradors/Cobradors” who take your numbers and bet and submit them to the Jueteng drawing house. This is because Kubradors/Cobradors run the risk of getting caught by the police for taking player bets and assisting in the operation of Jueteng. The Kubradors/Cobradors are managed by one “Cabo” who also receives a commission on winning bets for assisting in the operation and management of Jueteng runners.
Jueteng Number Drawing Tools & Process
The available range of numbers are marked on small wooden balls or objects and placed either inside bingo-like cages typically made of rattan or within a bottle of beer, gin, or rum. The numbers are shaken vigorously, and one number is drawn first – drawings are witnessed by all of the Cabos operating in the town or region. The first number drawn is recorded as one of the winning combination numbers, and the wooden number is returned to the container and shaken once more.
The second number is then drawn and recorded, and the two numbers drawn are thus the winning combination for that drawing – be it the morning, noon, or afternoon drawing. Bettors who correctly guessed the winning numbers are contacted and then paid out by the Cabos through the Kubradors/Cobradors.
The legality of Jueteng – The Illegal Numbers Game & Its Scandals
The Spanish-era Penal Code of 1887 provided prohibitions against games of chance and in 1907, Jueteng was specifically declared illegal by the American Colonial Authorities in Act No. 1757. Therefore, Jueteng has long been banned in the country but has existed for so long due to demand by the people. However, there are legal alternatives for Filipinos to enjoy, such as using trusted online Philippine casinos.
While Jueteng has been considered illegal for hundreds of years, scandals still ensued as multiple politicians and policemen are found guilty of having played the game or allowed the proliferation of Jueteng in their district. In 2000, during the impeachment process of President Joseph Estrada, the courts found that the former-President receiving millions in illegal payoffs and gambling profits from illegal games such as Jueteng. In 2005, allegations against relatives of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo surfaced regarding the receival of payouts from Jueteng lords and operators.
In addition, when President Aquino took over the government, allegations of Jueteng payoffs to then-Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno and then-Police Chief Jesus Verzosa surfaced. At the time, President Benigno Aquino III brushed off the accusations the individuals under his administration.
Where Do Jueteng Bets Go If No One Wins?
Jueteng has no progressive or rollover pot. This means if there is no winning bettor, all of the prize money will go to “The head of the snake” also known as Jueteng lords. Jueteng lords are the ones who sit at the top of the organization’s hierarchy and organize the activities.
However, Jueteng lords do not keep all of the prize money as they allocate some of the funds to pay off police and politicians for protection of their illegal operation.
Jueteng in Pop Culture
In 2006, a film was created which looked at the inner working of Jueteng and its operations and became widely popular in the Philippines. The film known as “Kubrador” made by Jeffrey Jeturian is based off the true story of an old woman who entered the Jueteng organization as a Kubrador/Cobrador. The woman who only provided a pseudo name for her own protection was interviewed by the scriptwriter, who was also the individual’s neighbor.
The scriptwriter had no idea that this woman had led a double life for over 30 years. The woman whose life is the basis of the movie did not even attend the film’s premiere due to fear of getting caught by authorities. The woman explained that a Kubrador/Cobradors greatest fear is getting caught.
She began working as a Kubrador/Cobrador after her husband was injured in a construction accident and could no longer work. Through working for a Jueteng organization she was able to provide for her family, she put her kids through school despite not having a high school education herself and was able to build a nice home and give her family a comfortable life. The woman still works as a Kubrador/Cobrador and was offered a promotion as a Cabo but turned it down stating that Cabos had quotas they were required to meet.
Tagalong terms typically used in or associated with Jueteng:
- Saklangan/Tumbok – Allocate your money equally
- Pompyang – The same number in a combination bet (i.e. 8 & 8)
- Tres casas – The ability to bet on three numbers rather than two
- Lastillas – Paper used by Kubradors/Cobradors to write a bettor’s numbers
- Legaho – Paper where all the numbers that won are recorded
- Cabo - Local collector of bets, manager of Kubradors/Cobradors, and announcer of the numbers that win
- Porlata/Pornada – When Kurbadors/Cobrador forget to turn over their Lastillas to the Cabo. The runner must then pay the bettor or may negotiate how to handle it
- Boka – Some Jueteng games do not use drawing tools which make the game random but instead announce winning numbers by what the Jueteng Lord chooses/says
- Diretsa – Betting on only one number
Jueteng Number Game Cheating
In the news one night, reporters exposed how certain districts may manipulate Jueteng winning numbers. They show two pre-determined numbers selected already within the drawing container before other numbers are added. These predetermined numbers are kept just at the neck of a tape covered bottle, and when a cover is placed and then removed, the other numbers do not have a chance of getting out.
Jueteng Tips and Tricks
Jueteng numbers can be picked based on numerology, dreams, lucky charms, observations, and other incidents which Filipinos relate to having meaning to specific numbers. Jueteng has become like a religion as much spirituality and reasoning of fate surrounds it, and the numbers individuals choose.
Names and numbers have a very special meaning behind them depending on the letters that words are formed through. Here we show how Filipinos value of each letter to numbers:
- Number 1 = Letters a, i, j, q, y
- Number 2 = Letters b, c, k, r
- Number 3 = Letters g, l, s
- Number 4 = Letters d, m, t
- Number 5 = Letters e, n
- Number 6 = Letters u, v, w, x
- Number 7 = Letters o, z
- Number 8 = Letters f, h, p
Below we will show how Filipinos relate certain sightings, events, objects, and occurrences to numbers. Each listed number represents the number the words are associated with:
- Snake, Stick, Cane, King, Queen, Disposition, Earth, Water
- Shocked, Lucid, Psychic, Dualism, Boy
- Clever, Devotion, Girl
- Square, Quadro, Cube, Solid, Fanatism, Bed
- Hand, Daredevil, Wrangler, Adventurer, Cat
- Pregnant, Fat, Chubby, Deep mind, Tender-hearted, Dog
- Gun, Arm, Mystery, Emotional, Sensitive
- Breast, Weak, Twilight, Messenger, Fire
- Romance, Spiritualist, Materialistic, Fighting spirit, Small lake
- Male (child, young), Milk
- Female (child, young), Stick
- Old woman, Solider
- Official, Lucky
- Fallen, Drunk
- Angry, Fight, Pretty girl
- Dissenting, Altercation, Nagger, Ring
- Itchy, Disgrace
- Male genital, Phallus, Blood
- Dead, Fish
- Steal, Stole, Party
- Car, Woman
- Dream, Crazy
- Misaligned, Irrational, Distorted, Butterfly
- Maiden, Horse
- Cow, Gift, Chicken
- Bachelor, Mass
- Coins, Comb
- White, Hill
- Black, Priest, Tooth
- Female genital, Hole, Shadow
- Pig, Visitor, Light
- Food, Money
- Curly, Fallen into a hole, Cross-eyed, Christ
- House, Water, Head
- Crazy, Drunk, Bird
- Crying, Wet
- Old man, Many, Money, Dentist