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8 Sports and Games Thai People Love Playing in Thailand



8 Sports and Games Thai People Love Playing in Thailand

Thai people are known to take pride in their sports. But, globalization has paved the way for other games to become accepted in the country. Thailand first competed in the Summer Olympic Games in 1952 and in the Winter Games in 2002. Thailand has had its best success in boxing events, and in 1996 Thailand won its first Olympic gold medal for boxing. However the traditional martial art of Thai boxing (Muay Thai) is Thailand’s national sport.

Muay Thai

Also known as Thai Boxing, this sport has been passed on generations after generations, making it Thailand’s national sport. It is a mixed martial arts (MMA) and is also popular as the “Art of 8 limbs.” Unlike the usual boxing and karate, Muay Thai uses a combination of punches, elbows, knees, and kicks. This unique style of the sport makes it famous not just in Thailand but globally.

Meanwhile, some local articles said Thai people either play or watch Muay Thai. There is no in-between. This fact just proved the popularity of the sport in the country.

Thailand is also home to the greatest Muay Thai fighters in the world like Saenchai and Namsaknoi Yudthagarngamtorn.


Football is one of the most famous sports in Thailand. Historically speaking, Thai people knew the sport way back in 1897. However, even with a long history of said sport, Thailand is just new to the professional league. But, this does not eliminate the fact that Thais are big fans of football.

Thailand has a national football team that represents the country in different major leagues in the world. The team has five AFF championships and nine senior-level gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games. So far, their best world ranking was in 1972 where they were hailed by FIFA as the third-best team globally.

Currently, Thailand is still looking for a World Cup finish.


Another famous sport among Thais is boxing. With their love for Muay Thai, it is evident that they also find the usual boxing amusing. This activity is similar to Thailand’s national sport, but with less action since it’s mostly about punches.

Though Thailand has more famous Muay Thai fighters, they still have known skilled and talented boxers globally. To name one, Khaosai Galaxy is from Thailand. Khaosai is a former professional boxer who is known for being able to defend his WBA belt 19 times in seven years. He is also a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Enthusiasts considered him as one of the greatest boxers of all time.

Boxing betting is a massive industry, just like in its near neighbor, in the Philippines. For the millions of boxing fans in Thailand, each main event is a reason to gamble a little bit of money on their top fighters.

Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed martial arts is a full-contact combat sport that includes striking, grappling, and ground fighting. It is also considered one of the most savage sports in the world. Muay Thai is similar to this sport but MMA is far behind in terms of popularity, at least with locals. Thus, Thais are fond of watching and playing this. May it be for a professional league or just a simple physical plan.

MMA is also referred to as “cage fighting, no holds barred (NHB),” as the match happens in a closed octagon. Though it has vicious graphics, this sport is one of the most viewed in the world. More than 5.6 million people watch an average high-profile fight, excluding those thousands in the arena. MMA is also taking very large bets from a passionate Thai audience.

Dota 2

Dota 2 is among the most famous and oldest esports globally, and it dominates even Thailand. According to Hotspawn, Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena that “combines elements of real-time strategy and tower defense.” Millions of individuals around the world are playing this game alongside other esports

In Thailand, a 17-year-old teenager, 23savage, was recognized by Fnatic as a promising player in the region. He started to play in a professional esports league at an early age, competing with other pro players.

Though Dota 2 is a famous game in Thailand, some locals said that well-off individuals only play the game. It is because not everyone can afford a personal computer with an installed game.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Another esports on the list is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. It is created by two of the famous gaming developers, Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment. Counter-Strike is a multiplayer shooting game, and the Global Offensive is its fourth installment. Terrorists and Counter-terrorists team battle it out on the arena based on various objective-based modes.

In 2020, there will be 1.3 million players who stream Counter-Strike on Twitch, a famous streaming platform. This number doesn’t include those who don’t stream their games. With its popularity, Counter-Strike earned 120 million in revenue in a year.

If you want to install the game, it is only available on Windows and Mac with a 15 GB size.


Poker is a game of mind and personality. There are two forms of poker, the draw and stud. The difference between the two is that some cards are dealt up in Stud Poker. This rule ensures that all the players will see the cards in each player’s hands. A card value of scoring is also set to identify the winner, in which “Five of a Kind” is the highest.

The key to winning this game is confidence and street smartness. Especially on how much you will bet for your cards. If you keep dropping, you might go home with nothing. So be firm, but learn how to read facial expressions and body language. Foreigners and locals alike love to play poker in Thailand.


Also known as Twenty-one, Blackjack is another card game on the list. The rules of this game are simple yet thrilling. According to Bicycle Cards, “participants have to beat the dealer by getting a count as close to 21.” The players should do it without going over 21. It looks easy, but it can be competitive as well.

The value for each card in this game varies among the players. Thus, it is best to clear this out before the match. Just like any card game, the fun part about this is the betting. Each player will place their bet in the beginning and hope for them to have a good one.

If you love fun games and visit Thailand soon, this list aims to help you decide what game is for you. Just play responsibly.


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