[[quoteright:300:[[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventureStardustCrusaders http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/img000004.png]]]]

[[TheBet Gambling]] is fun.

After all, it has to be entertaining and suspenseful, or else no one would want to do it. Unfortunately, as anyone who's watched TabletopGame/{{Poker}} on television knows, the same things that are fun to play can be painfully boring to watch.

But luckily, storytellers have come up with a way of making gambling interesting for viewers. They do this by raising the stakes to incredibly high levels, thus making this SeriousBusiness. For example, watching someone bet $20 at blackjack will probably not be very exciting. But if the main character is going to win millions of dollars if he wins and die if he loses, then the audience may be more interested.

Stories carrying this trope tend to have a few things in common:

* The player almost always stands to lose more than money. Historically, this has meant that if he loses, he will die, lose a body part, have his family members die, be forced into slavery, or suffer any number of other horrific consequences.
* The games are generally unusual or at least different from normal gambling games.
* These games are often run by an EccentricMillionaire who enjoys watching these sorts of things.
* Players are rarely forced to play these games. They are generally given a choice of whether or not to play, even if it is a choice between playing and another bad situation.
* Players often don't negotiate the value of the thing in question. For example, a gambler might wager his house, with no agreement made about what he should ''win'' if he does in fact win the game. (Especially common in poker, where the rule that all "holding" players must have contributed equally to the pot is easily ignored by writers.) Under these circumstances, the thing will probably be lost.
* The games are usually based on skill, not simply luck. And when the game being played IS based on luck, [[TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty cheating]] and LoopholeAbuse is to be expected.

Make note: This includes some versions of RussianRoulette. [[DealWithTheDevil Deals with devils]] and ChessWithDeath are also common. May lead to being TrappedByGamblingDebts. If the game is televised, it is probably a DeadlyGame. Entertainment-hungry psychopaths might invoke this trope along with CriminalMindGames. If you actually wager ownership of a ''person'', then you may end up [[LostHimInACardGame Losing Him in a Card Game]] or gaining a WagerSlave. Related to TheBet. See also ExcusePlot; a game may not have high stakes for us the real-world players, but it's often desirable that there should be some reason for the InUniverse characters to have a reason to treat their activities as a high-stakes game.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/{{Akagi}}'': In the final story arc for the anime, the hero plays an unusual version of Mahjong where he bets his own blood instead of money.
* Even though contestants are forced to participate in a competition in ''Manga/{{Bokurano}}'', it's still true that the fate of countless entire universes are at stake in this competition.
* ''Manga/ChoujinSensen'': The [Superhuman Game] grants the winner of the death match anything they so desired, provided if the winner does survive in the first place.
* In the exhibition match in ''Manga/{{Eyeshield 21}}'' between the Deimon Devilbats and the NASA Aliens, Aliens' coach Apollo in response to an embarrassing viral video sent by Devilbats captain Hiruma, furiously announced that if the Aliens doesn't win more than 10 points, they will never return to America. Hiruma in turn responded that if the Devilbats doesn't win more than 10 points, they will leave Japan. Of course, LoopholeAbuse was in play when the NASA Aliens won but not by a 10 point difference. Apollo changed the name of the team to NASA Shuttles so the NASA ''Aliens'' won't be returning to America. And the Devilbats do leave Japan but Hiruma never specified that they wouldn't be returning.
* Kenshiro enters into an arm-wrestling contest in ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' that cuts the loser's arm off with a table saw. Though Kenshiro wins, he [[TakeAThirdOption takes a third option]] by not cutting off the {{Mook|s}}'s arm... just snapping it in half.
* ''Manga/FutureDiary'' has characters betting their diaries and lives on a simple coin game with even odds. The game gets complicated because the diaries involved can tell the future -- including the outcome of the coin game, and destroying a diary kills its owner. MagnificentBastard Aru Akise manages to win even though [[spoiler: he's the only one playing who can't predict the future.]]
* ''Manga/GambleFish'' quite often, where they are usually betting large amounts of money. In one case Tomu even bet his own finger, he lost and immediately had it chopped off with a chainsaw. [[spoiler:The blood from his finger spilling on to the deck means that the card-sharp he's playing against can no longer shift cards without it becoming obvious]]
* Komugi of ''Manga/HunterXHunter'' plays every single game of Gungi, a fictional board game in the Hunterverse, with the resolve to end her life if she loses even ''once''. She has played thousands of games of Gungi and ''never'' lost once, near the end of her life becoming skilled enough she was for all intents and purposes impossible to beat.
* ''Franchise/JoJosBizarreAdventure'':
** Daniel J. D'arby in ''[[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventureStardustCrusaders Stardust Crusaders]]'' has the power to take the souls of whoever loses to him in a game, which he uses successfully against Polnareff and Joseph. When Jotaro faces him in a game of poker, Jotaro loses half of his soul on one hand, then ramps the stakes up massively for the second. Jotaro bets his own soul, Avdul's, ''and'' Kakyoin's to get back the ones taken. Jotaro then bets the soul of ''his mother'' (because she would die if their mission was a failure), against D'arby revealing the power of DIO's Stand ([[TheMobBossIsScarier and facing a certain, horrible death]] as a consequence). [[spoiler:Jotaro wins only through magnificent bluffing, putting this all on a hand he didn't look at that which turned out to be a dud. D'arby is so shocked by Jotaro's confidence that he loses consciousness before he can call, thus forfeiting.]]
** Later he bets souls against Terrence D'arby, ''a video gamer''. [[spoiler:He has to cheat to win that one.]]
** [[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventureDiamondIsUnbreakable Part 4]] features two examples. Firstly, Josuke challenges Rohan to a game of dice, using dice that are actually a [[VoluntaryShapeshifting shapeshifting]] [[ItMakesSenseInContext "alien"]]. Unfortunately, the alien has no idea of subtlety, resulting in increasingly improbable rolls. Rohan knows Josuke is cheating, but isn't sure ''how'', and raises the stakes by almost completely chopping off one of his own fingers. Rohan declares that if he can figure out Josuke's trick, he'll take one of Josuke's fingers as punishment, but he'll allow Josuke to heal him[[note]]Josuke's [[FightingSpirit Stand]] Crazy Diamond can restore things to their original state, including injured people; however, he can't heal himself[[/note]] if and only if he can't suss it out -- and he says that Josuke can't get out of it simply by playing legit. [[spoiler:The day is ultimately saved when Rohan's house catches fire due to a SolarPoweredMagnifyingGlass; Josuke quickly heals Rohan while he's distracted and beats a hasty retreat. He walks away with nothing, while Rohan pays 7 million yen to repair his house and his hatred of Josuke gets even stronger.]] The other example comes later on when Rohan encounters one of the super-powered assassins created by [[spoiler:Yoshikage Kira's father using the Stand Arrow]]: a boy whose Stand lets him steal another person's Stand if he can beat them three times out of five at Rock-Paper-Scissors. [[spoiler:It comes down to the wire, but naturally Rohan wins in the end.]]
* ''Manga/{{Kaiji}}'': The entire premise of the show revolves around this. Over the course of the show the main character bets his freedom, his life, and various body parts, in order to win money. [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kaiji-25.jpg These fingers]] are being bet on a game of [[spoiler:drawing lots from a tissue box!]].
* ''Manga/TheLegendOfKoizumi'' stakes natural resources, a fleet of F-15s, lives, and the fate of nations on {{TabletopGame/Mahjong}}.
* ''Manga/LiarGame'': Throughout the story, the stakes have never been more than money. However, the money involved ranges from hundreds of millions to billions of yen, and the losers are expected to pay back ''every'' yen they lose, with the Liar Game officials promising they will do "whatever is necessary" to collect on those debts.
** At one point the characters discuss the possibility that the company would be willing to enslave their debtors, which is more befitting this trope; one character states that if she loses, Nao might be forced into prostitution to pay her debts.
** Played with in "24-Shot RussianRoulette", which was played with a special prop gun and "bullets" which only make a loud bang without actually firing any projectile. However, a player who fires one has to pay 50 million yen. And the game continues until all 6 "bullets" out of the 24 chambers have been fired. It's obviously better than dying, but each team is looking at potentially racking up 300 million yen (over US $3 million) in debt.
* In ''Manga/LifeIsMoney'', the losers die violent deaths and the winners make more money with each death. (Note: Nobody is required to lose the game. If everyone lives, they will all win 50 million yen.) For Meguru, the stakes are even higher; if he doesn't win 100 million yen (or at least enough that it will be 100 million yen combined with what he's already earned) his younger sister will never receive a surgery she needs to survive.
* In ''LightNovel/NoGameNoLife'', the entire world of Disboard revolves around this trope. Tet, the One True God of Disboard after the great war, forbade all robbery, war and murder after he rose to power. Disputes are decided by games - enforced via MagicallyBindingContract - where both participants wager things they agree are of equal value. These things can be anything from money to servitude to entire kingdoms.
* The game in ''Manga/OneOuts'' is technically just baseball. However, the main character is a pitcher with a bizarre contract that grants him money for every strike, and penalized him hugely for every run he lets through. This leads to some intricate and convoluted ways of 'winning'.
* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'': The Tendos and Ranma vs the Gambling King, wagering parts of their house in order to win back their dojo.
* In one episode of ''Anime/SamuraiChamploo'', Jin sees a man playing shogi against himself, and comments on the best strategy for the next move. The man then offers to play Jin- if Jin wins, he gets a large pouch of gold; if he loses, the man wins his life- the phrasing is ambiguous as to whether that means slavery or immediate death. [[PerpetualPoverty Since he needs the money]], Jin accepts.
* In ''Manga/ShokugekiNoSoma'' anything and everything can be staked in a [[CookingDuel shokugeki]]. In fact, the bylaws that govern the shokugeki state that both parties must put up stakes of equal value, to be agreed upon by the participants. So far, we have seen prized kitchen knives, booth sites for the SchoolFestival, a secretarial job, a HollywoodRestrainingOrder, several club rooms (along with millions of yen in cooking equipment), significant areas of farmland, seats on the AbsurdlyPowerfulStudentCouncil and a chef's entire career staked in shokugeki at some point.
* ''Manga/{{Spiral}}'': There are a few Absurdly High Stakes Games throughout the series, but the most obvious example would be when the hero wagers that he can guess which card his opponent is holding. If he wins, he will receive crucial information, but if he loses, he will have a swarm of deadly bees released on him.
* At the climax of ''Anime/SummerWars'', a game of Hanafuda is played with avatars as currency. If Love Machine wins, it plans to [[spoiler: use a hijacked satellite as a ballistic missile to blow up a nuclear plant, causing untold collateral damage.]]
* In ''Anime/SwordArtOnline'', the titular {{Deep Immersion|Gaming}} MMORPG is hijacked on its first day, trapping all of the players inside. If a player's HP drops to zero, they die in real life. None of them can log out until the final boss is defeated, [[spoiler: which takes ''two years.'']] In its "sister title" ''LightNovel/AccelWorld'', the players do not die, but those who lose all points are banned from the game permanently and lose all special powers it grants along their memories of the entire ride.
* ''Manga/{{Usogui}}'': Another manga series that focuses on high stakes games. The main character is an expert gambler who tends to bet on bizarre and dangerous wagers, for instance - whether or not he can escape a building with multiple armed guards chasing him.
* ''Franchise/YuGiOh''.
** The [[Manga/YuGiOh manga]], [[Anime/YuGiOhFirstAnimeSeries Toei anime]], and [[Anime/YuGiOh the second-series anime]] all have this to varying degrees, with ordinary games turned into deadly Shadow Games by the powers of Millennium Items. "Games with high stakes" is the main plot device of the whole series.
** Weirdly enough, in the manga, Atem has a policy of not playing Duel Monsters with an ante because he doesn't want bet his precious cards on a wager, but he is perfectly fine to bet his and Yugi's life to compensate the lack of Star Chips. [[http://everydayduelist.tumblr.com/post/134372087304/scrawlers-oh-no-he-cant-bet-his-cards-god See here.]]
* In ''Anime/YuGiOhCapsuleMonsters'', it's implied that anyone who loses all their Capsule Monsters in the final round will die. In the final battle, the power to control the world is up for grabs.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'', Prince Orgene wagered the DoomsdayDevice his government had built in a duel against [[BigBad Saiou]], for no other reason than to prove how badass he was. Whether he was {{brainwashed}} by the villain or not when he made the bet is unclear, but he certainly was after he lost. Even worse, Saiou's ante was the Destiny Hero cards, which ''he didn't even have'', meaning it was a wager he couldn't have kept.
* ''Manga/YuYuHakusho''
** When Yuusuke's gang broke into Tarukane's mansion to save Yukina, Tarukane invited his friends from the Black Black Club to place bets on the outcome of the eventual fights. When Yusuke and Kuwabara were about to fight the Toguro brothers, Sakyo waged so much on the heroes' victory Tarukane had to risk practically everything he owned in order to accept the bet. Too bad for him the Toguro brothers were actually working for Sakyo. When Team Toguro and Team Urameshi later became the finalists of a tournament, Sakyo and Koenma waged their lives in the fight that decided the tournament. It was not the first time Sakyo bets his life but became the first time he lost. Also, during other stages of the tournament, some other people wagered their wealth and lost.
** A more straight example would be the word game Kurama plays against Kaito where the loser loses his soul. The video games against Game Master can count as well. Though slightly subverted in that they don't die or lose their soul. But if they don't win quickly, they'll be too late to seal the tunnel to demon world. They don't die or lose as long as they don't quit: by becoming the heroes of the video game brought to life, Yusuke's group can play the game again if they lose but will die if they let it go to game over. Also, Game Master took the place of the BigBad, meaning that if he loses he'll die, as stated by the video game. [[ShootTheDog Kurama made him realize this to unnerve him and win the game faster]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The Creator/{{Marvel|Comics}} ''ComicBook/ContestOfChampions'' must apply.
* An issue of ''Franchise/SpiderMan'' had a somewhat lighter hearted version of this. The New York superheroes have a yearly poker game with twenty dollar stakes with the winner donating their winnings to charity. Then along comes ComicBook/TheKingpin with a ridiculous amount of money. There's nothing really at stake more than pride and a good cause, but that doesn't mean it's any less entertaining to watch Spider-Man and Kingpin play out the final round with ludicrous piles of chips each. (Spidey won.)
* {{Franchise/Batman}} in UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|OfComicBooks}} once played RussianRoulette to catch a criminal. The criminal had been playing with millionaires in the area, and the two participants each had to write out a will that left everything to the winner of the game. The gun had an extra safety catch so the criminal never lost. Batman discovered this with the aid of a mirror and won.
* In "Death Race!" in ''Tales of the Unexpected'' #102 a jockey who was sent to another planet was challenged to a race on beasts called "gartoos." If he lost he died, but if he won the aliens were permitted to attack Earth. The entire setup was actually AnAesop-heavy dream sequence designed to encourage him to make the right choice in a parallel situation in reality where if he lost that day's race the syndicate would give him $100,000 but if he won they'd kill him.
* ''ComicBook/ButtonMan'': Millions of pounds are bet on every single Game. It's explicitly mentioned that a modestly wealthy person who becomes a Voice for a talented button man can become ''obscenely'' rich.
* ''LaffALympics'' #4 had an alien named Moon Man Murray challenge of selection of Laff-A-Lympics team members transported to the Moon and compete in a series of events with the Earth at stake. Murray hedges his bets by fitting the contestants out with belts which negate their lack of gravity.
* Wolverine loves to play poker, and has been known to invoke this trope on occasion.
--->'''Wolverine''': "I'm going all in."
--->'''Player''': "How? You don't have any chips left!"
--->'''Wolverine''': "When I say all in, bub, I mean ''all'' in. You win, you get to kill me. I win, I get to kill ''you.''"
--->'''Player''': "I fold."

* The government in ''FanFic/DecksFallEveryoneDies'' is based around dice games. The characters plan a coup d'état to bring back the old card-based government.
* The usual stakes in the ''Anime/SwordArtOnline'' canon have been upped even further in Fanfic/FateRevelationOnline [[spoiler: due to the fact that even if they get out, the Mage's Association will proceed to eliminate all witnesses for revealing the fact that Magic is Real.]]
* Apparently happened out-of-scene in [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2292009 Never Cut Twice,]] wherein Itachi Uchiha wins, among other things, "a mansion on the north end of town, a summer house by the sea, a company that makes shingles, a horse named "Tobasco," the patent to an invention that slices bagels, a candy store, and some guy's wife." in a series of card games.
* ''Fanfic/SoulEaterTroubledSouls'': To figure out how to curse somebody, Medusa subjects the protagonists to a series of four of these. In summation, they are: destroy all cobras even though they constantly regenerate and can multiply, get through an elaborate maze full of traps with no directions on time, solve an excruciatingly difficult puzzle, and finally survive fights with full-powered doppelgangers. The stakes are powers and abilities, personality traits, and their lives.

* ''ThirteenTzameti'' - A group of men play a modified version of RussianRoulette while gamblers bet huge stakes on the outcome. The film received an [[ForeignRemake American remake]] called ''13''.
* ''Film/ThreeExtremes'' - In the segment "Cut," a man is forced to follow a madman's directions or else one of his wife's fingers will be cut off every five minutes.
* The Film/JamesBond movie ''Film/CasinoRoyale2006'' centers on these. Early on, Bond wins an Aston-Martin in a poker game. Later, he plays an ''extremely'' high-stakes poker game, both in dollar figures (up to $150 million to the winner) and global security.
** In the original novel, Bond is trying to bankrupt Le Chiffre so that he will fall out of favor with the Russian counter-intelligence organization SMERSH. The game is baccarat rather than poker, but the stakes still run high (tens of millions of francs).
* In ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanDeadMansChest'', the crew of the Flying Dutchman play liar's dice with the only thing they have left to wager - the years of service they owe to the ship. Will wagers his soul, meaning an eternity of service, against Jones to goad ''him'' into wagering the key to the chest containing his SoulJar. [[spoiler: Will's father takes the hit for him, only for Will to reveal he just wanted to see where Jones kept the key.]]
* The entire premise of ''Film/{{Diggstown}}'' revolves around a high stakes boxing bet. In the long run one side of the bet is a man's life (because if he loses, the guy he borrowed the money from will kill him) and the other side is basically an entire town (about $2.5 million).
* In ''Intacto'', the characters play strange gambling games, with the winner's taking the losers' luck, which is a tangible resource.
* Tarantino's short "The Man from Hollywood" in ''Film/FourRooms'' involves one character betting he can light his Zippo 10 times in a row. The stakes? His pinky[[note]]they plan to get it reattached afterward[[/note]] for a car. [[spoiler:He fails to even light it ''once''.]]
* The ''Franchise/{{Saw}}'' series of films is based entirely around extremely dangerous, torturous games.
* ''Film/{{Titanic 1997}}'': [[TheProtagonist Jack]] wins his ticket on board in a poker game. The gamblers know it's a valuable thing to be betting, but only the audience knows how high the stakes really are.
* ''Film/{{Clerks}}'': The film itself. Creator/KevinSmith financed the movie by hocking valuable comic books and buying supplies on his credit card. Had the movie flopped or not been picked up by a major studio, he'd have been left with tens of thousands in high-interest debt with no real job prospects.
* ''Film/OhGod, You Devil!''. God and the Devil play a poker hand over Bobby's soul. God ''raises'' the stakes, by allowing the Devil to consider ''any'' soul available for stealing (the Devil can only offer a contract if the person offers his soul first); the Devil folds. [[spoiler: God bluffed him out of his full house with a busted flush, and won.]]
* ''Film/SpaceJam'' involves familiar WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes characters playing a basketball game against their would-be alien abductors. If the aliens win, the WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes characters will become slaves on the aliens' homeworld. If the WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes win, the aliens will leave them in peace. When UsefulNotes/MichaelJordan learned the aliens became monstrosities (or Monstars, as they were called) by stealing the talent of other professional basketball players, he talked the BigBad into raising the stakes. If the WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes win, the aliens will not only leave them in peace as originally agreed but also give the talent back to their rightful owners. If the aliens win, Jordan, like the Looney Tunes, will also become a slave.
* In ''Film/InTime'', people can literally gamble away portions of their lifespan through variety games such as poker. There's also a game simply called "fighting" where contestants try to pull the lifespan directly out of each other.
* In the 2008 movie ''The Controller'', a businessman's wife is kidnapped, and her captors order him to play and win at a video game with her life forfeit if he loses. The problem is that he's never played a video game in his life.
* ''Film/ABigHandForTheLittleLady'' focuses on a yearly poker game played by "western rules" in which there are no table stakes. You can raise the bet to as much wealth as you can possibly raise. The film revolves around a hand in which a lady must run around town trying to find someone to lend her the funds to call an astronomical raise.
* ''Franchise/StarWars''
** In ''Episode I: Film/ThePhantomMenace'', a dice game is used to decide whether Anakin Skywalker or his mother will go free. Qui-Gon Jinn cheats and uses the Force to flip the dice such that Anakin gets to go free. Qui-Gon also wagers the ship the main cast came to Tatooine on, which would leave them stranded with no way to stop the Trade Federation if they lost.
** Sabaac is a well-known card game played by criminals and smugglers across the galaxy where you're allowed to wager ''anything'', slaves, land, any amount of wealth, you name it. Han Solo won the ''Millennium Falcon'' from Lando this way, and this was also the way he got the planet that he took Leia to after "kidnapping" her in the expanded universe novel, ''The Courtship of Princess Leia''.
* ''Film/AroundTheWorldInEightyDays2004'': If Phileas Fogg circumnavigates the world in eighty days, he'll replace Lord Kelvin as Minister of Science. If he doesn't, he'll have to destroy his lab and never invent anything again.

* Creator/AntonChekhov's ''The Bet'' - An early example of this trope where a man makes a bet that he can remain in solitary confinement for 15 years. If he wins, he gets 2 million rubles, but if he loses, he has wasted years of his life.
* Creator/StephenKing's ''The Ledge'' - A man is forced to walk around the ledge of a skyscraper. If he succeeds, he will get large amounts of money and the wife of his tormentor. This was later adapted into a segment in ''Film/CatsEye''.
* Creator/RoaldDahl
** ''The Man from the South'' - This story has the protagonist make a wager that he can light his Zippo ten times in a row without failing. If he wins, he gets a Cadillac, but if he loses, his pinky finger will be cut off. This was later twice adapted into episodes of ''Series/AlfredHitchcockPresents'' (one during the original series, one during the revival), and a segment in the film ''Film/FourRooms''.
** ''Taste'': This one revolves around a man who accepts a bet that he can identify which wine is being served, right down to its vineyard of origin. If he wins, he gets his opponent's daughter's hand in marriage, but if he loses, he must give up both of his houses.
* ''Literature/TheCulture''
** In ''Literature/ThePlayerOfGames'' the Azad empire is named after their favorite game. Briefly, whoever wins the quadriennial tournament becomes emperor. Uncommonly people even bet limbs or lives on the outcome. The game is meant as a metaphor for life and the psychology of the player, so [[spoiler:when a Culture citizen defeats the ministers of state and then the emperor, using the ideas of the Culture, the culture shock is immense]].
** In ''Literature/ConsiderPhlebas'' we're introduced to Damage. Each player brings a team of Lives (mostly depressives, members of suicide cults, and other volunteers) and when the player loses a hand, one of the Lives is killed. When the player runs out of Lives, it's their own life on the line. Oh, and it's played in the most dangerous places in the galaxy - the game we see on-page takes place on a world ''in the process of being demolished.''
* In Sommerset Maugham's story ''A Friend in Need'', a businessman tells the narrator/ AuthorAvatar of his meeting with a RemittanceMan type guy who wanted a job in his firm. The businessman says that he will extend a position if the guy can swim a stretch of water which he himself did in his youth, but which will be difficult for the RemittanceMan on account of his wild lifestyle. [[spoiler: the guy drowned and the businessman casually remarks that he didn't actually have a position open- he basically caused someone's death ForTheLulz]].
* ''Literature/GrandCentralArena'' by Creator/RykESpoor features an artificial construct where competitions are indeed serious business: a contest between individual contestants can result in entire worlds changing hands.
* Creator/WilliamSleator's ''Literature/InterstellarPig'' revolves around the titular board game that is eventually revealed to be more than it seems with stakes that involve [[spoiler: more or less the complete destruction of every planet in the universe except one, or, it would seem, just one]]. The actual stakes are ambiguous, however.
* ''[[Creator/PhilipKDick The Game-Players of Titan]]'' is concerned with the fictional game "Bluff" where players wager spouses and entire cities among other things.
* Colin Kapp's ''The Survival Game'' describes how a pair of Star Kings wager on the capabilities of two individuals, who are sent to a DeathWorld. One of the individuals is a volunteer (he used to live there and is confident he can survive) and the other is a human who is kidnapped along with some other people. This qualifies not only for the individuals, who face death as failure, but also for the Star Kings who are wagering 10-50 worlds for the winner.
* Richard Connell's short story, ''Literature/TheMostDangerousGame'', features a big-game hunter who must consent to be hunted by a Cossack aristocrat on a deserted island, or be whipped to death.
* The pivotal element of the Indian epic, the ''Literature/{{Mahabharata}}'', is a high-stakes game of dice between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, which ends up with Pandavas forfeiting their kingdom and spending 13 years in the jungles because they lost.
* In ''Literature/TheCambistAndLordIron'', Lord Iron entangles Olaf in one of these.
* In a ''Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse'' short story, Characters/BerniceSummerfield accidentally acquires a ticket to "the big game", and happily plays until she notices the look of horror on the face of the guy who lost all his chips. It's at that point that it occurs to her to ask what the stakes are, and is told "Exactly what you think they are."
* In the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novels, people often challenge Death to various games of skill to wager for their lives. The only one to ever win was [[spoiler:Granny Weatherwax playing for a little girl]] because Death lost on purpose.
* This is pretty much the whole point of ''Literature/TheHungerGames''. Less so in the sequels, as by that point, [[spoiler:a Civil War has erupted.]]
* In the ''Literature/SecretHistories'' novel ''Casino Infernale'', Eddie and Molly infiltrate the eponymous casino, where the stakes are people's souls.
* A downplayed example in ''Literature/TheCourtshipOfPrincessLeia''. Force Sabaac is a known (if obscure) variant of the standard Star Wars card game, and Han legitimately worked his way up from high-but-reasonable stakes until he held some 800 million credits when he went head-to-head with an eccentric alien warlord. But the fact remains that he sat down to a card game and walked away ''with the deed to a planet''.
* ''Literature/DeathWorld'' opens with Kirk Pyrrus needing three billion credits to pay for a shipment of weapons, but only 27 million to pay with. He makes Jason dinAlt, professional gambler with [[PsychicPowers the ability to control dice]], [[AnOfferYouCantRefuse an offer he can't refuse]]: turn the 27 million into at least three billion in a single night of gambling. On the final roll of the dice, with two billion riding on the outcome, Jason's powers desert him.
* ''Literature/TheNightCircus'' has the Challenge where two magicians pit their proteges who use the entire circus as their exhibit without knowing the rules or how to win the competition. They later find out [[spoiler: the Challenge ends when one student breaks first and only when one competitor kills themselves does the contest conclude.]]
* The Creator/StephenKing novel ''Literature/TheLongWalk'' revolves around one of these. Every year, 100 teenage boys are chosen from thousands of volunteer applicants to take part in an endurance walking contest. There are no stops or rest periods, and the Walk only ends when 99 of them are dead. The last survivor receives "The Prize": anything he wants for the rest of his life.
* ''Literature/AroundTheWorldInEightyDays'': Phileas Fogg wages half his fortune that he can travel around the world in eighty days and expects the other half to be spent on his efforts to win. If he wins, he'll have as much money as he'd have if he never entered the bet. If he loses, he's broke.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/AlfredHitchcockPresents'': Creator/RoaldDahl's "The Man from the South", written in 1948, appeared both on the original show (with Creator/SteveMcQueenActor and Creator/PeterLorre) and the 1985 revival (with Creator/JohnHuston and Steven Bauer). It also inspired the segment of ''Four Rooms'' mentioned above in Film.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}''
** In 'Double Or Nothing' in season 3, it is revealed that Gunn had sold his soul to a casino-owning demon years earlier in return for his truck. To save him, Angel played cards against the demon double-or-nothing with his own soul on the line. In a twist, Angel ''lost'' the game, but then [[OffWithHisHead beheads the casino owner]] and asks all of the casino patrons and staff how much ''they'' had owed him as well.
** Season 4 featured a Las Vegas casino which forced Lorne to read the destinies of casino patrons; those with "good" destinies (Fortune, fame, political power, etc.) were directed to a complimentary free spin on a million dollar prize wheel, and their destinies were taken and sold to the highest bidder when they lost. They are never told that they are risking their futures on the spin, and the game itself is rigged to always lose; afterwards they become aimless, nearly-mindless casino patrons who spend all their time pointless shuffling coins into slot machines. Angel himself is tricked into putting down a chip onto the game, but is saved when the team busts up the operation at the end of the episode.
* Henry Coleman From ''Series/AsTheWorldTurns'' tends to get himself in these sorts of situations.
* ''Series/TheDukesOfHazzard''
** "The $10 Million Sheriff", Roscoe inherits a lot of money. He and Boss Hogg play a hand of poker against each other, with both ultimately betting everything they own. [[spoiler: Roscoe wins and declares "I just made the richest man in Hazzard the poorest in the state!"]]
** "The Boars Nest Bears," where Boss Hogg exemplifies everything that is wrong with youth sports: Gambling (with a rival county boss[[note]], who himself has had the game rigged by forging the birth certificate of Hazzard's star player, to ensure an easy win for his team[[/note]]), and more importantly, Boss making Bo and Luke's very freedom ride on the Bears winning the game, since Boss is well aware of his rival's tricks and, expecting Hazzard to lose, plans to have Bo and Luke cuffed and stuffed, charged with several felonies (which would, by the way, never stick in a real-life criminal justice system) even before the final buzzer quits sounding.
* ''Series/ElChapulinColorado'' once was in a carambole game with the Cuajináis betting his life.
-->'''Tripaseca''': Why don't you add some 20 pesos? To add some excitement.
* Rygel on ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' is prone to this. To distract a pirate crew that boarded Moya (as well as alleviate his own boredom) in one episode, Rygel played a low-stakes game of Tadek with the crew's captain. When Rygel accidentally revealed Moya had recently hosted a fugitive the pirate's were hunting, the game suddenly turned extremely high-stakes with Rygel forced to wager the location of the man (and their shipmates) in exchange for his life. The pirate captain won, but it turns out that the entire thing was a BatmanGambit and that Rygel intentionally threw the game (which itself was quite a challenge because his opponent was a ''horrible'' player) once he realized that unless the pirates thought they would leave with something of particular value, they would have simply killed everyone aboard when they departed regardless of an earlier promise to leave them in peace. For good measure, [[MagnificentBastard Rygel had pilot change their Comms frequencies the moment the pirates boarded, and the frequency he gave to pay his wager was a fake, leading the pirates on a wild goose chase far from their actual target]].
** Rygel is less than successful on other occasions, however, having been defeated when gambling for food in a later episode. In the novel ''House of Cards'' he also loses Moya to a local despot entirely. To Rygel's credit, however, his opponents cheated in both cases and it is clearly established that Rygel is a highly skilled gambler, even at games he is initially unfamiliar with.
* On the short-lived 80's show, ''Lottery'', a man ran out of money playing poker with his buddies and put his lottery tickets in the pot (they credited him $5 for them). Then the protagonists show up and verify one of the tickets is a multi-million dollar winner. After putting the money in the pot, they tell the players to just show their hands, as the pot is now so big no one is going to let themselves be bluffed out of it.
* In Season 2 ''Series/{{Luther}}'' encounters two brothers who commit random acts of violence decided by the throw of a dice. One brother offers to help capture the other if he loses a throw; unfortunately Luther loses. The police then find the brother, but he's got a DeadManSwitch and an explosive vest. So Luther pours petrol on himself, throws him a lighter and offers to decide the matter on a dice throw as well. If Luther can guess what number has come up, the man will surrender, if not Luther goes up in smoke. [[spoiler:But he has to deactivate the switch anyway to roll the dice, as he has Luther's lighter in his other hand. Luther (who is wired for sound) then tells the snipers where to shoot.]]
* ''Series/TheMiddleman'' - Shabumi. This one is based on skill, run by an eccentric millionaire, and highly unusual.
** "Each player is dealt a full deck of cards. Every card has its own name. There are 589 unique physical and verbal challenges to every hand. And if ''anyone'' shows the slightest ignorance of the game's byzantine rules, they are decapitated by [...] the thoughtless, speechless brute, Govindar."
** The game might also be based on cheating and not getting caught... despite a table of five players, each dealt a normal 52-card deck, at one point our hero plays a winning hand of 52-of-a-kind; every one a Deuce of Spades. His prize is the official schematics for the Lunar Landing Sound Stage (he entered the game with a buy-in of The Missing 18-and-a-half Minutes).
** When our heroine joins the game, she is dealt a deck of cards... and a white rabbit.
** The game ends when a player builds a five-foot-tall house of cards with his hand, but is caught with a glue stick.
* ''Series/MidsomerMurders'': In "The Dagger Club", TheGamblingAddict is playing poker in an attempt to win his way out of debts. After going all in, the woman who holds his gambling debts goads him into betting more: his share of the book store he co-owns, and the missing manuscript that is the MacGuffin of the episode. He accepts, and loses. When it turns out he never had the manuscript, the woman claims his wife's share of the book store as well, as recompense.
* Since ''[[Series/MrLucky Mr. Lucky]]'' is a series about a professional gambler, this trope was almost bound to make an appearance. In "That Stands For Pool" the main character, Mr. Lucky, is forced into playing a game of pool in which the stakes are threefold: a huge wad of cash, his own life and the life of his friend, Andamo. Unfortunately, he stands to lose one or more of those things even if he ''wins''...
* ''Series/MurdochMysteries'': In "Stairway to Heaven", a small society meets annually and plays faro for [[spoiler: the chance to die in controlled circumstances and be revived in an effort to learn about the afterlife]]. One of the players extols the pure chance of the game allowing everyone to have the same chance of winning, but it turns out [[spoiler: one of the players cheated with marked cards]].
* A ''Series/NewsRadio'' episode has Jimmy lose Bill's employment contract in a poker game.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''
** In season 5 the boys come across a traveling witch-gambler that plays poker for years of peoples lives instead of money; the loser instantly ages the number of years that they have lost, while the winner remains young for that much longer. The witch is not particularly mean-spirited and doesn't cheat, he just wants to keep living himself. He will sometimes take pity on his opponents who are desperate for more time of their own, as was the case of an old man just wanting a few more years to see his grandkids grow up; he folded his own hand so that the old man would get the years.
** In the season 8 episode, "What's Up Tiger Mommy," the boys are not at a game, but at a supernatural ''auction''. The bidding includes offers of tons of dwarves gold, five-eighths of a virgin, people's souls, Vatican City, Alaska and ''the Moon''.
* The ''Series/TalesFromTheCrypt'' episode "Cutting Cards" features two feuding gamblers who want nothing more than to see each other leave town forever. They start with a dice roll (both get a double-six), then move on to RussianRoulette (the one bullet turns out to be a dud). Finally they play five-card draw poker in which the loser of each hand gets a body part chopped off, starting with fingers. [[spoiler:The final scene reveals that they have once again come out even, having lost their arms and legs to the game.]]
* In episode 1.06 of ''Series/WhiteCollar'', "All In," Neal bets hundreds of thousands of dollars in a high-stakes Pai Gow game against a Chinese money-launderer. Especially considering he barely knows how to play, with Mozzie teaching him by watching Chinese movies centered on the game but with few artistic additions, such as the dreaded "Death Tile". [[spoiler: Neal loses the game, but arranges for his watch, which contains a listening device, to be part of the spoils. The FBI gets all the evidence they need to arrest the money-launderer.]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' 11th Doctor episode ''The Wedding of River Song'' gives us "Live Chess". Live, as in the pieces are electrified, and each time a piece is moved the voltage in it increases.
** Another 11th Doctor episode ''Nightmare in Silver'' has The Doctor play a game of chess against himself. Actually a Cyber-Planner was trying to take over his body and had intermittent control. If The Doctor lost the game then the Cybermen would have him as their new leader.
* An episode of ''Series/Warehouse13'' used a chess board as a puzzle lock to a door. "Players" were manicled into their chair and faced with a board that would result in checkmate against them in 3 moves. Winning the game would free them and unlock the door, loosing the game resulted in an axe cleaving their head in two. [[spoiler: The person who made that lock was well know for stressing outside the box thinking, and thus the only way to win was to cheat by making impossible moves.]]
* One of the final episodes of ''Series/{{Lexx}}'', ''The Game'', had Kai, who had never played chess before in his life (or undeath), playing a game against Prince. If Kai wins Prince will restore Kai from the state of undeath he had been in for 5000 years. If Prince wins he will take the souls of Stan and Zev.

* "The Game" by ''The Levellers'' is a TakeThat against warmongers and power brokers using the metaphor of two men playing a card game in the dark corner of a crowded bar.
* "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" - This well-known song tells the story of a boy named Johnny who competes against the devil in a fiddle contest. If he wins, he gets a golden fiddle, but if he loses, the devil gets Johnny's soul.
* Chris de Burgh's "Spanish Train" - In this song, Jesus and the Devil play poker on the bed of a dying man, for his soul as well as the ten thousand residing in the eponymous train. [[spoiler:The Devil cheats and wins, and at the end of the story he and Jesus have moved on to playing chess. With predictable results.]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* A planet of TheEmpire in the ''[[TabletopGame/{{Rifts}} Phase World]]'' setting is run by a dictator with an obsession with games of chance. Every few years, he holds a big gambling festival, culminating with a challenge to one of the best players. If the guest wins the game, they get control of the planet. If they lose, they are summarily executed.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'', the character type called the Huckster plays hands of poker to cast their spells, where they need to get a good enough hand... or else a demon might fry a chunk of their brain, drive them insane, or just tear their body asunder. The interesting part here being that the PLAYER is the one who plays this Absurdly High Stakes Game with his character's life.
** A similar situation exists in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' and several of its descendants; with the Deck of Many Things, you declare how many cards you are going to draw from it first, and then your character has to draw the cards. The more cards you draw, the more likely that you'll hit one of the negative effects (ranging from instant poverty to being magically imprisoned to possible permadeath), and you have to draw ''exactly'' the number that you pick, so no quitting after you've drawn one good card.
* The first set in the Star Trek CCG had a card called Raise the Stakes. The opponent of the player either had to forfeit or agree that the eventual winner would permanently get a card from the loser's deck. It was the first card banned from tournament play.
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' had an Ante rule, whereby after shuffling but before drawing hands, the first card in each player's deck would become an Ante card. The winner of the game gets both cards. Adding to this, [[http://magiccards.info/query?q=o%3Anot+o%3Aplaying+o%3Afor+o%3Aante&v=card&s=cname a few cards]] manipulated the ante. This was eventually dropped, since 1) nobody wanted to risk losing their cards and 2) Wizards didn't want ''Magic'' to be classified as a form of gambling in markets where such things would be frowned upon.
* In one sidestory in ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}} TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'': ''Starports'' there is a bar story about a floating poker game between the top spymasters in the Imperium with pieces of interstellar intelligence as the stakes.
* ''TabletopGame/HoylesRulesOfDragonPoker'' has exactly one limitation on betting: kids lost in game must be returned to their parents before the police have to get involved. Not don't do it, just don't get caught. Beyond that, anything that can be successfully argued to the group is fair game. Names are specifically mentioned.
* Expect to see this show up in ''TabletopGame/SpiritOfTheCentury'' games in which at least one player character actually has a significant Gambling skill on his or her sheet. While the skill has its "mundane" applications (mostly rolling to see if the gambler can supplement their regular income with winnings), it's niche enough that the GM is advised to take having it as an indicator of interest in scenes like this as per the pulp tradition.

* ''Theatre/GuysAndDolls'''s Sky Masterson got his name from his love for "crazy" bets. In the climax of the show ("Luck Be A Lady"), bets every man at the craps game $1,000 against their souls - if he wins, they have to show up at the Save-a-Soul Mission.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Arcanum}}'', at one point, you need a ship. One of the options is to win one in a game of dice.
* ''VideoGame/{{Cuphead}}'''s plot is kicked off by Cuphead losing a game of Craps, where he bet his and Mugman's souls against the Devil's vast fortune.
* Jean-Eric Louvier of ''VideoGame/EndlessOcean: Blue World'' won an ''island'' in a game of nine ball. It's appropriately named Nineball Island.
* ''VideoGame/FallenLondon'' has the Marvellous, described as "a notorious card game in which you can stake your soul and win your heart's desire", played with [[spoiler:77 First City coins]] as tokens. [[DealWithTheDevil This stake doesn't actually seem very high, in-universe, as opportunities to lose your soul aren't exactly rare]], but... [[spoiler:losers of past games have wagered and lost far more precious things than their souls. Yes, that's possible.]]
* In ''VideoGame/FarCry3'', [[spoiler:upon revealing that he knew who Jason really was, Hoyt turns the poker game into this. [[{{Fingore}} One finger cut off]] for every time he loses a hand.]]
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'': During Chrom and Vaike's support conversations, Vaike suggests that in order to make their sparring more interesting, they should make some sort of wager... namely, ''everything they own''. Chrom points out that he's royalty and they're in the middle of a war, so Vaike comes up with a much more reasonable wager that still arguably fits this trope: [[spoiler:loser has to sneak behind resident badass Frederick, and pull down his pants.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Killer7}}'', there is a climactic game of RussianRoulette between Garcian Smith and Benjamin Keane. If Garcian wins, Keane will tell him the secret to hitting on any woman with 100% success. If Keane wins, Garcian must kill the President. [[spoiler:The stakes end up being pretty meaningless anyway]].
* In ''VideoGame/PaperMarioColorSplash'', Mario competes on a GameShow called Snifit or Whiffit. If he wins, he gets the Mini Paint Star he's been looking for. [[spoiler:Playing it perfectly also gets Mario an instant camera, which he'll need later.]] If he loses, the Snifits drown him in the ocean.
* In ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil7Biohazard'', there's a piece of cut footage, later added into the game by a paid [=DLC=], called 21[[note]] after the score the player needs to get to win a game of blackjack[[/note]]. In this sequence, the player has to take part in three rounds of blackjack for his life. In the first round, the player loses their [[{{Fingore}} fingers]] if they lose. In the second round, they get treated to an increasingly high current of [[ShockAndAwe electricity]]. In the third round, the loser gets their [[CruelAndUnusualDeath face torn apart by a homemade buzzsaw.]]
* ''VideoGame/ReturnToZork'' has a board game called "Survivor" with really simple rules: One player controls a piece called "the Wizard" and the other a piece called "Canuck." Canuck can move wherever he wants, the Wizard can only move in L-formations and leaves pits when he vacates a space. The goal of the game is for the other player to be forced to move into a pit (and thus lose). You play this game twice, and the second time is ''the final boss of the game,'' with the fate of all Zork riding on the outcome. For good measure, losing will also result in [[spoiler: you being turned to stone and having your strategic abilities assimilated by the villain.]]
* The slots-o-death machine in ''VideoGame/SpaceQuest''. You can win a relatively paltry sum, but roll three skulls and you are toast. The only way for Roger to earn enough cash for a ticket out of Ulence Flats is by SaveScumming or (in the remake) a magnet on the bottom of the machine.
* In ''VideoGame/VanguardBandits'', Lord Alden, undefeated [[TheChessmaster Chessmaster]] of the continent, is more than willing to wager his powerful [[SuperPrototype Altagrave]] [[AMechByAnyOtherName ATAC]] against a completely new chess player.
* In ''VideoGame/YuGiOhNightmareTroubadour'', losing a Shadow Game causes your soul to be lost to the darkness and you get a Game Over.
* In ''VideoGame/YuGiOhCapsuleMonsterColiseum'', Yami Marik and Yami Bakura's duels are Shadow Games, which makes them deadly.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/FleuretBlanc'', members of FOIL must wager their most prized possessions in fencing bouts. This case is actually pretty gentle by the trope's standards, as it's not permanent; prized possessions can be easily won or bought back most of the time.

* ''Webcomic/LastRes0rt'' pits several contestants against each other, and heavily encouraged to kill each other off in other to ensure their own survival until the end� most of the players are hardened criminals eager to use the show as a way to get out, but not all. WordOfGod has stated that the contestants are NOT required to kill anyone during the show. But, the stakes up for grabs are either death, going back to jail or freedom with a full pardon. The producers are waiting for the contestants to take advantage of the payoff of a full pardon of all their crimes.
* ''Webcomic/{{Collar 6}}'' - Sixx makes a bet to [[spoiler: become a slave if she doesn't win a spanking contest]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', whenever you play Sburb, your planet and entire species are ''the initial wage'', the quarter in the arcade cabinet, to be lost forever whether you win or lose. The prize is [[spoiler:creating a whole new universe]].
** Although it's not like you ever had the option of not betting. If a single session is ever started, then it's TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. Also, of the four sessions seen so far, two of them didn't know that that would happen, and a third had only one person know.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* One ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' episode features the Derby, an annual poker game held by mob leaders for ''incredibly'' high stakes, which Bruce Wayne says is a tradition that goes back even before ''his'' time. (A minor example, as [[VillainsOutShopping they only play for money]], although it ''is'' a veritable fortune.)
* ''WesternAnimation/DofusTheTreasuresOfKerubim'' has Kerub's adventure in [[EldritchLocation Ecaflip City]], a massive casino town where literally anything and everything can be wagered. Thanks to his [[BornLucky incredible luck]], he becomes wealthy enough to challenge [[TheRedBaron the Baron]], a legendary gambler who has never lost a game. They bet untold millions of kamas and the private belongings of kings and gods alike on a single hand of poker, but the real stakes came when the Baron raises a [[MacGuffin dofus]], and Kerub calls with his engagement ring, the symbol of his and Lou's love for each other. [[spoiler: Heartbreakingly, he loses, and Lou loses her memories of loving him.]]
* The ''{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}'' episode "Hell Is Other Robots" parodies the song "The Devil Went Down to Georgia". In the episode, Leela and Fry have to get Bender out of Robot Hell. The Robot Devil, after failing to get them to sign a "fiddle contest waiver", explains that they can have Bender if they can outplay him on a golden fiddle (when Fry points out the poor construction of such an instrument, he admits it's mostly for show). If they lose, they would only receive a silver fiddle as a consolation prize. He then offhanded added that he'd kill Fry, as if it were expected of him instead of something he actually wanted to do. The Robot Devil's skill far outpaces Leela's, so she just beats him senseless with the golden fiddle so she, Fry, and Bender can escape.
* Subverted in the ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' episode "The Miseducation of Bobby Hill," when Buck Strickland loses Hank to his rival M.F. Thatherton in a poker game. Once sales at Strickland Propane falter, Buck sends Bobby to bring Hank back and pay off the bet - a measly $20.
** Played straight in the episode "The Good Buck"; this time, Buck loses not only a pile of cash and a pair of expensive shoes, but also an entire branch of Strickland Propane.
* ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'':
** In the episode "Skips Strikes" has [[spoiler:Rigby making a bet with Death: If Death's Team wins he'll get the team's souls and if Rigby's Team wins he gets a bowling ball filled with souls.]] Mordecai and Benson aren't happy about this.
** "Over the Top" has [[spoiler:Skips arm wrestling Death for Rigby's soul]].
** In "Slam Dunk", Mordecai eventually bets his computer privileges for life on a basketball game just so he can help Margaret make a website in hopes of impressing her.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** One episode made an allusion to ''The Lady or the Tiger?''. In that episode, Mr. Burns had transferred his plant's operations to India. Because he was required by federal law to keep at least one union worker in his payroll, Homer got sent there to oversee the plant. When Lenny and Carl went there to visit him, they met a man who showed them two doors, telling them that Homer Simpson was behind one of the doors and that there was a tiger behind the other door. The found a tiger behind the first door they opened and quickly closed it. As they opened the other door, they found... ''another'' tiger. Lenny and Carl were then told that one of the tigers was named [[ExactWords "Homer Simpson"]].
** Another episode had Homer betting his own baby Maggie in a card game. Moe wins the hand, saying "Come to new pappa!".
* In the ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'' episode "The Duelist and the Drifter", ProfessionalGambler and MasterSwordsman the Duelist makes a habit of [[TheBet betting]] swordsmen they can't defeat him and offering up his own best blade as incentive, taking theirs as trophies when they inevitably lose. When young hero Lion-O [[ThrowingDownTheGauntlet challenges]] him and tries to raise the stakes so he can win the Duelist's entire sword collection, the Duelist insists that since Lion-O has only ''one'' to offer in return, the boy should agree to give up his ''life'' if he loses. Lion-O agrees to the terms.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Famous Jewish-Roman historian Josephus once survived a systematic mass suicide among his fellow soldiers. Rather than surrender to the Romans, the Jewish rebels arranged themselves in a circle and killed every seventh man (#6 killed #7 since suicide is a sin) until only Josephus remained. Although not technically a "game", the situation and his ingenious solution has been studied by mathematical game theorists for centuries. Josephus himself claimed that it was God who made him survive, but since it was Josephus who came up with this plan in the first place after Plan A (surrendering to the Romans) failed, more cynical historians and mathematicians have assumed that he figured out which person to start counting at.
* H.L. Hunt bet nearly his entire net wealth on a hand of poker and won his first oil well. He then used that to build a financial empire, making him one of the 10 richest Americans in the 1950's.
* Ashley Revell briefly gained notoriety for cashing out his savings and selling all his possessions (including his clothes... he started wearing rented tuxedos), then placing the total (a good $135,000) on a "double-or-nothing" roulette wheel bet filmed for ''Sky One''. [[spoiler:He won, gave a $600 tip to the spinner, then immediately left to form an online poker company.]]
* The legendary Australian broadcaster Kerry Packer was renowned for making outrageous wagers in general, mostly based on the outcome of a coin toss. One particular anecdote had a rich Texan bragging to him that he was worth $150 million; Packer, completely straight-faced, pulled out a coin and said "Toss you for it." (Or "Heads or tails?" according to some versions of the story.)
* Creator/WalterLantz is said to have won the rights to make ''WesternAnimation/OswaldTheLuckyRabbit'' cartoons in a poker game with Creator/{{Universal}} executives.
* The real life [[Film/SchindlersList Oskar Schindler]] won Helen Hirsch (a Jew being forced to work as a maid before her inevitable execution) from [[ThoseWackyNazis Amon Goeth]] in a blackjack game so he could keep her safe at his factory. According to Hirsch's testimony, Schindler cheated outrageously throughout the game, and when he won and Goeth tried to wriggle out of the bet, Schindler had the balls to chide ''him'' for not playing fair!
* After a series of defeats, legendary judoka Wrestling/MasahikoKimura swore to commit {{Seppuku}} if he lost ever again. He did not lose again.
* The MS-DOS computer virus Q-CASINO.COM ([[https://archive.org/details/malware_Q-CASINO.COM demonstrated safely here]]) challenged the user to a slot-machine game where the stakes are the user's data -- win and the virus removes itself, lose five times and your files are gone.