Follow TV Tropes


Betting Mini-Game

Go To
Some players spend more time trying to get this than they do on the gameplay itself.

"Remember kids, gambling is good for you!"
Pegasus, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series Episode 4

An optional gambling mini-game that has the player wagering in-game money on a game of chance. This can range from games based entirely on random chance (e.g. slots, roulette) to competitions involving some degree of skill (e.g. card battling), although an element of luck is invariably involved.

Gamers will often exploit these mini-games by saving, setting themselves up for a huge payoff (such as by betting their entire savings on a longshot), and reloading until they win. Developers often attempt to discourage this behavior by limiting the amount of maximum bids to a reasonable level, but by then it's usually not worth bothering, as you could probably profit faster merely by going outside and slaughtering random monsters. Alternatively, some games will save the outcome of the bet before revealing it to the player, rendering cheating in this fashion too complicated to bother with in most cases.

So, in summation, if you're playing an RPG, odds are it has a betting mini-game somewhere. Often kept in one big area, for your convenience. And note that this doesn't apply to actual gambling and casino games, because, well, that's expected from them. Almost mandatory for a game with a Luck Stat.

In games where gambling currency is distinct from the standard currency won from regular battles, there is often a character or machine willing to convert between the two types of currency, though the exchange rate is usually less than favorable. This is done to discourage the raising of funds via gambling and save scumming rather than actual combat.

Also see Monster Arena, Inevitable Tournament, Luck-Based Mission. Contrast Loot Boxes, which is when you spend real currency on randomized in-game content.


    open/close all folders 

    Action Adventure 
  • EXTRAPOWER: Giant Fist: Has an unlockable Ace Casino where you can play High Low, with Crown and Fool playing snarky dealers to coax you into spending more money and laughing at you when you lose. The deck uses characters from across the EXTRAPOWER series for face cards, aces and jokers. It can be a decent way of earning enough money for that next unlock, but note that draws favour the dealer.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • An NPC in The Legend of Zelda suggests to Link, "Let's play money making game." Said NPC leaves unspecified exactly who will be making the money, of course. To clarify on how the game works, there are 3 rupees on display and each one gives or takes a certain amount. One gives you the bonus, the other one takes a few rupees away, and the last one takes a lot of rupees away from you. Because of the game's "Blind Idiot" Translation, many people did not understand what was going on in the game at first.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, there's some similar places where you pay your money and then open one treasure chest, getting a certain amount of rupees. One of these places holds a Piece of Heart in one of the chests, and in general the odds are much more in your favor. There is also a digging minigame, in which RNG determines what you dig up (including a Piece of Heart), but you have plenty of time, and the RNG is generous.
    • The Doggy Racetrack minigame in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask belongs to this category. Link has to choose a dog and bet a certain amount of money that the dog will be in the Top 5 when the race ends. Since there are plenty of dogs in the corral, it's advised to use the Mask of Truth to read the dogs' minds and tell which one is the most likely to win. A revenue of 150 Rupees or higher will earn Link a Heart Piece.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Lurelin Village has a guy named Cloyne who runs a "pick one of three chests" minigame that is similar to the one in the original NES game. Played with in the sequel The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, where the people of Lurelin provide Link items and services for free after he saves and helps rebuild the village (in a rare avoidance of No Hero Discount); Cloyne won't charge anything to play the game, instead letting him pick a chest and rewarding him with rare monster parts based on the amount of rupees in the chest (while taking back the rupees themselves).
  • Two Zeelichian casinos in Little Big Adventure II. Thankfully, if you do manage to run out of money, you can always get a few coins from a random flower pot or trash can and start again.
  • Landstalker had a betting minigame where you attempted to throw an iron ball onto a set of moving platforms. The faster the platform moved, the better prize you got. However, if you won the max prize too many times in a row, the game's owner would stop you from playing from the rest of the game, because you're "too good".
  • Gun had a Texas Hold'em mini-game, a form of Poker for those not familiar. Frankly, it was dismal but you could win literally 40 dollars (this was a lot in the game) and you would have to try really hard to lose but it was very tedious.
  • Alundra 2:
    • You can bet your gold on bull fights.
    • You could also gamble in a casino. One of the gilded falcons you could collect to get item upgrades could be won by winning a wheel spinning game a number of times in a row. Problem was, the odds of winning any given spin was about 1 in 3 - with the possibility of no winner (like a regular roulette wheel). You had to win 4 times in a row in order to get the falcon - literally odds of 1 in 81 assuming you never hit black. There seemed to no pattern you could follow to achieve victory, only odds and guesswork. The wheel would always stop amongst a certain set of 5 consecutive spaces dependent on the starting position. With this information in hand the odds of winning 4 times in a row goes up to a minimum of 1 in 39 (which admittedly is still pretty bad). What made this sidequest worse was the fact that even after acquiring the gilded falcon, you had to win 4 times in a row all over again to get one of the Life Vessels
  • An Untitled Story features a blackjack game in birdtown where you can wager your crystals. However, saving and reloading isn't exploitable. The money loss is saved in the file even if you don't save.
  • Cool World, for SNES, has a casino. You can bet your wood coins.
  • In Penguin Adventure, the shops have slot machines on which you can bet fish. You can only play each one three times unless you possess a certain item.
  • Legend of the Mystical Ninja has three: a simplified version of the dice game Taishō (a.k.a. Sic Bo); a lottery and horse racing.
  • Shantae (2002) game has the Gecko Match in Oasis Town, a dice game with a five-gem entry fee that could net you up to 500 gems if you win the maximum five times in a game and your gecko reaches the top of the pole. However, it could drain your money just as quickly if you're not careful.

    Adventure Game 
  • Déjà Vu (1985)
    • Lost in Las Vegas has a Blackjack mini-game that Ace Harding can use to win money. Since cash is often needed for items and train fare, the mini-game is actually mandatory, and Ace has to wander around the desert to look for more money to bet if he loses all of it at the tables. Fortunately, you can circumvent this by either Save Scumming or loosening the odds by showing the dealer proof that you and he are old buddies.
    • The original Deja Vu title has a slot machine mini-game as well, which you need to play to win enough quarters to finish the game.
  • Leisure Suit Larry 1: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards had casino games that could easily drain all the money from the player, and of course running out of money was a Non-Standard Game Over. However, you need to play the games because to win the game Larry needs more money than he actually has; Save Scumming, away!
  • In the original Space Quest, playing the slot machine was actually the only way to raise enough money for some needed equipment. The designers made it extra-clear that they fully expected you to save and reload often by including a possible spin that killed you. The VGA remake of the game had a fun subversion: you could play fair as in the original, or you could cheat in-game by rigging the machine to win every time using an item acquired in the beginning of the game. The slot machine exploded after you'd won a certain amount (which was more than what you needed to complete the game).
  • Police Quest 1: In Pursuit of the Death Angel has a poker minigame with a bit of a twist; your money doesn't really matter (as long as you don't lose it playing), you just need to win to progress in the game, since Sonny is undercover to bust an illegal gambling ring and drug operation. The VGA remake makes it skippable at the cost of points.
  • Super Adventure Island II has a casino that offers a roulette-like game, a slot machine, and horse races (with enemy characters in place of horses, since said enemies are all animals). This is pretty much the only use for the gold you've collected, outside of buying mandatory special techniques which are extremely cheap. The casino offers unique equipment for exorbitant prices, and due to the betting cap it would still take an extraordinarily long amount of time to earn the gold to buy them all if you didn't save state your way into the jackpot a few times.
  • Safe Cracker has a slot machine in the basement of Crabb Manor, with a children's nursery book that explains what the winning slots should be, and two safes elsewhere in the game each offer a set of 7 quarters. Unlike every other puzzle, however, winning the slot machine is entirely optional, even though the game never points this out. And actually winning it results in a drawing for a contest the developers had when it came out.
  • The Spellcasting Series features a betting house in the third game, with various games of chance that are loosely based on real-world casino games. Barring complete knowledge of the game, most players will be forced to use it at some point or another if they wish to solve every puzzle. While the game forbids Save Scumming inside the casino, you can simply make one move outside and do it there instead, which allows a player to get all the money they'll need pretty easily.
  • Frederik Pohl's Gateway features several betting minigames. One is used as a plot element late in the game. The player spends time in a magnificent space casino and wins every game. Attentive players will recognize the Casino as a Virtual Reality, and to proceed they must break the directive of the simulation - that is, they must lose in a Casino where they're supposed to never be able to.
  • There's a part of Wild West Island from Poptropica where you need to play Slap Jack.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • God Hand has the Barely Regal casino and "chihuahua races" accessible between each stage.
  • The Legend of Tian-ding has a short stage where you play "Four Colour Cards", a gambling game using coloured tokens instead of poker cards.

    Fighting Game 
  • The slot machine in Super Smash Bros. Melee is used to get trophies. In Brawl, there's instead a "Spectator" mode where players can bet coins on replays of wi-fi matches, earning more coins and sometimes power-up stickers in the process.
  • The PC fighting game Bikini Karate Babes has an optional Betting Mini-Game that you can unlock after beating all the fighters in Arcade Mode. You can wager on each of the battles during a mini-tournament, but the computer controls both combatants in every fight.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! have slot machines in the bar locations in which it is possible to win legendary gear if you're really lucky or a grenade to the face if not.
    • The vending machines themselves tend to be a bit of a gamble. However, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! has a greater chance if getting legendary loot.
    • The Grinder from Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! is also still a gamble. Even with the right recipes, whichever weapon you get from the available pool is still random.
    • Even the Golden Loot Chest is pretty random. You are guaranteed to get at least a purple-rarity or better item. You might need to use a bunch of Golden Keys to get the weapon type you're looking for, though...
  • Call of Duty Zombies mode has the Mystery Box: Pay some points to get a random weapon. Just pray it doesn't give you a crappy one.

    Idle Game 
  • The Tree of Life: C has you press a button to gamble every five seconds and get different suits appear in up to ten slots. You gain C Points based on different results and can spend them on upgrades. Unlike most minigames of this type you don't spend any resources to use it, so the payoff is based solely on the whims of the Random Number God.

  • Averted in City of Villains, while there is a section of city that looks like Las Vegas (complete with bright, neon lights and oddly shaped buildings, there is no where to gamble. Mostly, you get to help seedy casino folks in good ol' fashion Vegas-styled knee breaking.
  • Before WoW, EverQuest had similar random number commands that were used this way. The main difference, however, is that EQ's version of the "random" number roller originally had a bug in it that caused the numbers picked to not be truly random, and knowing how this bug worked allowed the players running the games to unfairly stack the odds in their favor. Many a new player were fleeced out of their coin before Sony fixed the bug.
  • Guild Wars 2 has the Hidden Reliquary in Siren's Landing. Inside are ten chests which contain a varying number of Orrian Pearls, the map-specific currency, ranging from 0 to 51. The first chest is free to open while every chest after costs 1.5 gold, a not-insignificant amount for this game.
  • Kingdom of Loathing had a "Money Making Game" referencing the Zelda example above, in which a player makes a bet for a certain amount, and another player (actual living person playing the online game) matches that amount. Then the Random Number God determines who wins a trifle less than double their original bet, and who loses the whole pot. Jick hates the MMG, — the worst addicts had actually committed credit card fraud — and repeatedly expressed a desire to remove it, held back only by a belief that if he did, player-run equivalents would swiftly pop up to replace it, with all the trouble that entails. In 2015, a silent update replaced all the fun Flavor Text with sharp reminders that playing the MMG is a bad idea, and in 2019 it was finally removed.
  • Phantasy Star Online 2 has the Casino Area, a Minigame Zone that consists exclusively of these kinds of minigames. Instead of using Meseta, you gamble with Casino Coins, which are exclusively obtained by exchanging Casino Coin Passes for a random amount of coins each day. Games include Rappy Slots, a bog-standard slots game, Black Nyack, a twist on blackjack, and Li-Li Roulette, a roulette minigame.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean Online has Tortuga Hold 'Em and Blackjack playable at most taverns. The Legend Of Pirates Online adds Liar's Dice to the taverns on Bilgewater.
  • Star Trek Online has added in the Dabo gambling game, occasionally mentioned on Deep Space Nine. Players can either wager energy credits or latinum, but winnings are always in the form of latinum, which makes it rather difficult to tell if you're breaking even. Latinum has a few special uses (hologram emitters that can superficially change the appearance of your ship were the original purpose) so it's always handy to have some. With the advent of the diplomacy system, it's actually possible to bribe certain enemies or NPCs with it.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic occasionally runs the Nar Shadaa Nightlife event that opens up a casino full of slot machines. Like any good casino, the machines are rigged to lose more often than they win, and the best prizes require a lot of wins, making it a major Money Sink.
  • After Blizzard added a random number command to World of Warcraft, players would often run their own simple betting games in the major cities. This activity was ultimately banned, in part because of how many players were doing it and clogging up the chat window. It is still possible to find such games in instances, usually as a way to pass time.

    Party Game 
  • Mario Party 3: The Game Guy's minigames, which are run by a Shy Guy. When a player lands on a Game Guy space, they'll automatically wager all their coins in one of four possible minigames. Each one has its own rules (Sweet Surprise has the player guess which Chain Chomp will eat its cake faster, Roulette has the player guess in which area of a roulette the spinning red shell will stop, Lucky 7 has the player hit one or two dice blocks to try to land at a higher stair than Game Guy without overshooting the allowed number of steps, and Magic Boxes has the player guess which treasure chest contains a Toad instead of Baby Bowser), but in all of them the goal is to not only get back the number of coins used, but also get a valuable multiple of that number in case the player is lucky enough.
  • Mario Party 6: There's an event of this type in Faire Square that takes place in a large slot machine shaped like a treasure chest. A character can pay a small sum of money (5 coins during day, or 10 during night) to try their luck. If they can match three identical objects, they'll win a number of coins that will depend on the object they chained.
  • Mario Party Advance: The Gambling minigames, which also share a Theme Naming (Match 'Em, Watch 'Em, Drop 'Em, Stop 'Em, Pair 'Em and Scratch 'Em). They're based on classic casino games like Roulette and Match-Three Game, and the player can win coins with them, but the risk factor is very high.
  • Mario Party 7: Landing onto a Mic Space in the board will summon Toadsworth, who then asks the player to choose a specific number of coins to bet, and then takes the player into a special memory game. A number of cards (ranging from 3 to 5 depending on the case) will be flipped, each showing a specific fruit before flipping back. Next, Toadsworth will ask the player what's the fruit shown in a randomly-pinpointed card; the player has to use the Mic to say the fruit's name, and must make sure the name is properly pronounced. If the guess is correct, then another card will be pinpointed and the player will have to answer what's the fruit drawn in it, and so on until all cards are pinpointed. In case a fruit's name is ambiguously said, Toadsworth will try to aid the player by asking them if they're trying to say a certain fruit, and the player can answer with a Yes or a No. If a player guesses one card incorrectly, or if 10 seconds pass without an answer given, they'll lose the challenge and will lose the coins wagered. But if they guess all cards' fruits correctly, they'll win twice the amount of money they wagered.
  • Richman 2 has casino areas where you can earn more cash by betting. This area also appears in Richman 3.

  • This is the main appeal of Stern's High Roller Casino, which allows players to play six gambling mini-games to score points: Blackjack/21, Craps, Hi-Lo, Poker, Roulette and Slots. Each game is accompanied by a playfield toy or obstacle for its corresponding game, and players can even cheat to turn losses into wins.
  • In The Champion Pub, after you play through the Ultimate Challenge, each subsequent fight has you wager your score against an opponent of choice, up to a maximum of 240 million points. It is possible to zero out your score this way.
  • Sonic Pinball Party has "Casinopolis", a game mode with three casino-themed pinball games — roulette, slots, and bingo.
  • WHO dunnit (1995) lets players bet points in Roulette and play an embedded Slot Machine at various times. The Slot Machine will always give a reward, and even offers chances to turn a losing pull into a win. The reward can include points, a multiball, an extra ball, or a number of other miscellaneous awards. The Roulette is a straighter example: You bet a certain number of points on either red or black, and you gain or lose that many points based on the color the ball lands on. Your score cannot go below 0, however.
  • A downplayed example in Fish Tales: When you catch a fish, you are then asked, "How big was it?" You are then asked to shoot the spinner, and where it lands determines how much you can stretch the truth while still fooling the people who ask you. You then get points based on how big of a lie they believe. There is one segment on the spinner, however, "Total Lie," that results in you getting no points at all. Hence, if you feel that you're satisfied with the points received from catching the fish, you can choose to ignore the question completely. There is a game mechanic that removes "Total Lie" from the spinner, however, guaranteeing you at least some points if you reach the spinner before time runs out.
  • Unsurprisingly, the casino-themed Jack*Bot is full of this trope. The four casino games allow the player to go double-or-nothing with the points won from the game. Shooting a timed shot under the left ramp will award double the amount won from the game, but the winnings are forfeited if the shot is not made. Its Wizard Mode, "Casino Run," is nothing but this: You shoot shots to build up a value, then pull the slot machine to redeem it. As long as time remains, you can do this as many times as you'd like. However, getting a bomb from a spin causes you to lose all of your points gained in "Casino Run" and ends it immediately (unless you have a "no-bomb" to cancel it out).

    Platform Game 
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros. 2 makes you play slots between levels with the coins you've collected, but that's okay, because that's all they're good for. A player who's reasonably good at timing his button presses can gain an extra life for nearly every coin they put in once they've gotten one. There's a similar minigame in Super Mario 3D World (which, in a nod to SMB2, uses a remixed version of the character selection's music theme), but it doesn't fit the trope because you don't bet coins.
    • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins has a hill conveniently located near the castle where a player may play a wheel of fortune game for items and extra lives... or they may get some coins in return. Naturally, the more coins that are put in, the better the prize selection. Again, that's all these coins are good for and unlike in all other Mario games, collecting 100 of them doesn't automatically get you an extra life.
    • Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3: At the end of each level, you can play a game in which you pick one of two buckets. One has a moneybag, which doubles the coins you collected in the level, and the other has a 10 ton weight which cuts your coins in half. You can pick up to three times. In this game, the ending is based on how many coins and treasures you get.
    • Super Mario 64 DS has 8 betting mini-games (all which are from Luigi, and the Pair-and-Gone and On mini-game does not have coins, so it doesn't count), and some of the mini-games must be unlocked by capturing Green Bunnies/Rabbits (they will only appear when playing as Luigi). The money used in the mini-games are coins (obviously). However, the coins in the mini-games are not used in-game. Three of these mini-games (Pair-a-Gone, Picture Poker and Memory Match) are also in New Super Mario Bros.. Again, the mini-game coins are seperate from the coins in the main game.
    • Super Princess Peach has a little roulette awaiting Peach as the Level Goal that cycles between four different prizes that award her an amount of coins. The Turnip (From Super Mario Bros 2) gives her one coin, The Mushroom gives her 10 coins, a Flower gives her 30 coins, and finally a Star gives her 50 coins. But getting the Star seven consecutive times will turn it into a literal Peach, awarding her with 777 Coins. Unlike most Mario examples, these coins can be used in the shop to buy items and upgrades, as there are no lives in the game.
  • Casino Night Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 with its slot machines (including one which, if you weren't quick enough, you were doomed to be bounced back into as soon as you were done) and then the Bonus Stage of Sonic & Knuckles which was basically the same thing stuck into the perpetual-rotating dimension of Sonic 1's Special Stages.
  • Spelunky 2 features dice shops. They don't sell the dice. Because of the way the game is set up note  the game has a positive expected value, so if you could play forever, you'll roughly break even and get all the items you need. Of course, you can't play forever, as the Ghost will eventually come in to haunt you.
  • In Rockin' Kats, you can play Roulette, Pipe Toss or Basketball on the Bonus Channel for money and prizes. All cost money to play.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • The Pazaak card game in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. It was basically blackjack with the rules altered slightly.
    • Need money? Let's travel in hyperspace to Yavin. Want that expensive armour he's selling? How about a few hands of Pazaak? It was quite a disappointment when he suddenly caught on.
    • Unfortunately, it seems every player in that game are sore losers. They refuse to play with you after you win about five hands, and there usually wasn't more than one or two players on any given planet. There are at least two Pazaak players that don't mind playing to infinity. Gelrood in lower Taris and the Rodian in Fazza's lodge. One of the most popular mods is "extreme" Pazaak which spawns "no limit" Pazaak dealers on Taris and Korriban.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • The casinos in most games.
    • Dragon Quest II only has a simple lottery, but it is notable because it was the first such minigame in the series. It also set the standard for the series' fabulous grand prizes. 25% off everything in stores? Aw yeah.
    • Dragon Quest VIII has either a bug or a deliberate flaw in its casino games; there is one particular bet setup for roulette you could use that would always make a profit.
  • The casinos (Game Corners) located throughout the various Pokémon games.
    • The gambling is not very efficient for making money, since the games have to be played using tokens rather than the usual money, and you can't turn them back into money. 100% Completion requires either long hours gambling or a lot of token-buying, however, as inevitably one Pokemon can only be obtained as a prize in the Game Corner (the original being Porygon). However, in two generations they didn't even give Mons, just items. Due to the change in the law, this was stripped from the PAL version of Pokémon Platinum, replaced with just randomly spawning coins. This was particularly jarring since there was no explanation offered as to why it was removed. It did however, thanks to the DS's region-free nature, become an incentive to import from America. Victory was entirely random in the original slots game. Very little the player could do actually increased the payout received. In short, the change in accordance to European gambling laws meant that you spend a lot less time watching drums spin and Clefairy dancing.
    • In HeartGold and SoulSilver, all the versions aside from Japan had the slots replaced with a card game. Voltorb Flip is just as addictive.
    • Moral Guardians got the "Gambler" trainer class renamed "Gamer" in FireRed and LeafGreen. But they left the actual gambling in the game. Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum take this further: the trainers are now referred to as PIs, despite retaining their original dialog.
    • In all Pokémon games starting from Pokémon Black and White, there is no Game Corner whatsoever — don't even bother importing from Japan because they've been removed there too. They did reference them in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire by referencing the Mauville Game Corner from the original, but the Game Corner sadly closed down.
  • Daoshen the Gambler's game in Jade Empire. An Easter Egg references the "save and reload" trick, as if you win too many times in a row Daoshen's head will explode.
  • Fallout:
    • The city of New Reno in Fallout 2 has a number of casinos with roulette tables and one-armed bandits. There are other, smaller casinos in towns and villages throughout the rest of the country.
    • In Fallout the gambling check was so ridiculously easy that you could go to a roulette table, weigh down 2, go for a walk, and return stinkin' rich. In the second town, no less.
    • Fallout's spiritual ancestor, Wasteland, included Vegas and had several casinos.
    • Fallout: New Vegas features gambling mini-games: blackjack, slots, and roulette in casinos that have predetermined limits to your winnings (once you break the bank, you're banned from the games in that casino), and some NPCs will play the card game Caravan if you ask. Save Scumming on the slots and table games is discouraged as the dealers and machines have post-save "anti-cheating measures" that prevent you from playing for fifty seconds. However, since there are five different casinos whose banks you can break, doing so usually makes you so wealthy that you can go from threadbare waster armed mostly with gumption into a minigun-and-missile-launcher-wielding, power-armor-clad super-soldier with cybernetics out the wazoo. The Dead Money DLC adds a sixth, semi-functional casino that pays off in unique currency (it having been sealed before the Great War, and thus before the bottle cap became the default currency) that can be traded in for Boring, but Practical items like Stimpaks and Weapon Repair Kits.
  • Tales of Symphonia has a casino, but the games aren't playable... unless you're playing the Japanese PS2 version, that is.
  • The original Ultima VII: if you join the corrupt Fellowship, the Rat Race casino game pays 6 to 1. Since it has only four possibilities, you can make as much money as you want by repeatedly betting on all four at the same time. Corruption pays, though this game was also infamous for having memory problems if too much gold was created. It also had a virtue (roulette) wheel at the pirate town. You could bet on any or all of the eight virtues... which paid out at 10 to 1.
  • The game Legacy of the Ancients had blackjack, and a game called flip-flop, which was a bit like pachinko but with more strategy. With a little practice, you could win steadily; but if you won too much in one session, the betting parlor would close down and the town guards would grab you and throw you in jail unless you hightailed it out of town. The amount was 1000 gold in one sitting at the Apple 2e and 800 gold on the Commodore 64. (The Apple 2 version of Blackjack had a bug where you'd automatically win the first hand.)
  • All entries in the Suikoden series has contained at least one such game - the classic is the dice-game 'Chinchirorin', but over the course of the games, it's also been possible to bet on dragon-horse races and play Blind Man's Bluff.
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, you can choose to bet on Arena matches between gladiators. Your luck stat can help you win if high enough (a high Luck will grant the chosen gladiator extra health). Unfortunately, you cannot place bets on your own matches, so there are no sure things. You can only bet a small amount, so Save Scumming isn't viable.
  • Xenogears actually allows the player to play/bet on the card game Spit, and the first Xenosaga game has a poker minigame that is more or less a money farm for anyone with the least bit of patience.
  • The Paper Mario games have moved on from luck-based games in which the player can bet and win coins, the standard currency. In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and Super Paper Mario, coins are exchanged for alternate currency (Piantas and Flipside Coins, respectively) which can be bet, won, and exchanged for items in their respective gaming corners. In addition, the games are skill-based, so it is less like betting.
  • Grandia III had a casino game where you would roll dice five times and try to get at least three consecutive numbers (using cards to mark what numbers have been rolled). The setup, however, not only had odds favoring the player, but could be completely controlled using a single button, so you could get a turbo controller, put something on the button, walk away, and have more medals than you'll ever need in a few hours.
  • The Witcher features a dice-based poker variation which you can play with a number of NPCs scattered throughout the game. Each NPC has a set amount of money that you can win, limiting your winnings, although it is circumventable as they refill their wallets on a regular basis. There's also an optional tournament ladder that rewards higher amounts of XP. Completing this gives opportunity to the Crowning Moment of playing against the King for the highest stakes.
  • In Mass Effect you'll find Flux, the casino - with one game, Quasar. That one game being a semirandom take on Twenty-One. Playing one machine for too long (over 6 rounds) will elicit a comment from the bar owner - continue to play at the same machine and you'll get thrown out. One of the sidequests in the Citadel involves playing Quasar and winning five times - making changing machines mandatory so you don't get thrown out. Flux can be avoided - doing so will prevent the player from getting some sidequests.
  • Super Mario RPG:
    • There is a casino with Blackjack and Slots. Although the location of the casino is very well hidden - the clues given to its location are very vague.
    • The "Look the other way" game is a coin flip game (the goal of which was to press left or right and hope the computer didn't pick the same direction you did). However, winning 100 rounds of it results in a very nice prize.
    • A more literal version of this trope was on Yo'ster Isle. After beating Boshi in the footrace, you could unlock the ability to bet Yoshi Cookies on Yoshi races. You would be given a set of odds on Yoshi's success, and then decide either to watch from the sidelines, or race him yourself.
  • Both Golden Sun-games have had the same betting-minigames. Lucky Dice (dice throwing with hands), Super Lucky Dice (random dice-throwing and betting on if the value would sink or rise) and Coin Throwing (throwing Coins and Lucky Medals into magic fountains to get coins and special items as prizes). Lucky Dice and Coin Throwing were both found in the city of Tolbi in the first Golden Sun. Lucky Dice and Super Lucky Dice were found in the city of Contigo in Golden Sun: The Lost Age and the Coin Throwing Fountain was in Lemuria. Also, the slot machine game with those tickets that you'd get for buying expensive things from the stores.
  • There's a casino in Munari City in Summoner 2. You can also bet on the Gladiators.
  • Star Ocean: The Second Story had giant bunny racing in Fun City where you could bet for the winner(s).
  • Final Fantasy IX has a blackjack minigame after the ending.
  • Persona and Persona 2 both have "casino" arcades that let you play slots, video poker, (and in P2) blackjack and bingo for tokens that could be exchanged for powerful gear or special fusion cards. P2 made it especially easy to cheese the games if you spread a rumor that the slots were hot and then completely level up the Pixie persona, since that maxes out its Luck stat. The player then had a good chance of hitting the jackpot in minutes instead of grinding the slots for hours.
  • Persona 5 has an entire casino dungeon, where you have to bet and collect a certain amount of casino points to continue deeper into it.
  • ADOM has the casino level, in which you are guaranteed to win much more than you lose from the slot machines if you keep playing them. The only catch is that it's deep in the Caverns of Chaos, which means that standing around there for a long time lets The Corruption catch up to you quite fast. But even that doesn't matter if you know what you're doing, because as long as you don't exit the slot machine interface, only a single turn goes by in game time no matter how long you play. It's a perfectly sensible strategy to start playing, then weigh down the right key on your keyboard to keep repeating it, and go away for a while. (You still can't keep playing forever in one round, because the money you won needs to be picked up to be used for playing. And anyway, if it didn't, the weight of gold would eventually get too much for you.)
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2 has the slots in Serendipity. You can technically make money off of them, but only very, very slowly. The only real reason to play them is to get a fragment by winning a certain (large) number of coins from them.
  • Elona does it with many small quirks:
    • The game played is a modified version of Blackjack:
      • A hand can't be more than five cards.
      • The dealer starts a round with one to four cards, rather than two, and always draws one and only one extra card, no matter how smart it would be to do otherwise.
      • The player, when drawing cards, can skip cards which haven't been turned over yet, and having a high Luck Stat gives the player the chance to sense that a card would be bad.
    • Bets are placed not once per round, but once per uninterrupted winning streak of rounds.
    • The payoff isn't money, but equipment, scrolls and potions.
    • You don't bet money, but casino chips. How do you get casino chips? By sifting through piles of rubble that you sometimes find in dungeons.
  • Several casinos can be found in Three the Hard Way, which allows you to play various games like Black Jack and Craps. The game limits the maximum amount of gold you may earn, however.
  • Fable has seven tavern games, including blackjack, coin golf, and memory tests. One includes an alternate means of winning a Plot Coupon; exceptionally high scores in six are needed to earn a useless doll for 100% Completion; and some are easy Money Grinding methods.

    Simulation Game 
  • The Harvest Moon franchise usually has one of these in its games, taking the form of horse racing. Harvest Moon 64 is infamous for a glitch that allowed you to bet on the horses then cancel, which would refund your money, but not cancel your bets, allowing you to bet massive amounts of money, risk-free.
  • My Sims has a casino where players can turn their money into chips and partake of three games of chance. The coins could be redeemed for special items not otherwise available. (At least this was the case with the DS version) You also, with two of the games, had the option of increasing the upper bet limit on two occasions by beating the Dealer.
  • Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim includes elves who run a gambling house where you can gamble in game resources. On one particular mission, A Deal With a Demon, it's almost impossible to win without gambling and save-scumming.
  • The MECC game The Yukon Trail has two kinds: a legitimate wagered card game, and a game of Three Card Monte that's just as much of a scam as the real thing (although you can eke out a few dollars with lower bets).
  • Mitsumete Knight has a Blackjack mini-game that can be played at the Bar (but only on a second date and onwards with the same girl, and said girl must be of age 20 and over, meaning it's only accessible if you have either of Teddie, Carol, Gene, Sue, and Noel in your girl roster). The mini-game is freely accessible in the Options once you finish a playthrough where you played the mini-game at least once. On top of that, if you manage to win 1600 Coins or more, which is Nintendo Hard if you don't know how to play Blackjack and thus will require Save Scumming, you gain the Title "Gambler", for your Title Collection.
  • EarthBound (1994) plays with this by allowing the player to bet on a broken slot machine, with the three Sanchez Brothers standing nearby (in the middle of the desert, no less) to act as its reels.
  • My Cafe allows the player to play dice against Margaret three times a day (or more if you upgrade your VIP status). You will earn extra cash if you get a higher score than she does, but you will lose the betting money if you get the lower score. The amount betted increases by an increment of 25 each time the cafe levels up.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The tabletop RPG Aces and Eights: Shattered Frontier takes a strange approach with its gambling mechanics; in some games, the GM simply rolls dice and/or rolls skill checks, while to play Poker and Faro, the actual players get dealt the hands and make the calls but their characters make skill checks to cheat, to spot cheating and some other actions. How meta.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Wizards of the Coast produced the card game Three Dragon Ante in part to function as a card game that functioned as an in-universe game of chance for Dungeons & Dragons that fit the aesthetic better than blackjack or Texas holdem. The rules include various bonuses for players based on their character's skills.
    • The Planescape adventure module Turn of Fortune's Wheel partially takes place at the Fortune's Wheel casino in Sigil, where the players can play some of the games. The games include slot machines represented by rolling three six-sided dice, a simplified form of craps played with one twenty-sided die, and the Fortune's Wheel itself; a set of three nested wheels with sequentially greater prizes represented by rolling a ten-sided die for each wheel. There's also a "back room" where higher-level characters can bet on the results of a centuries-long fight between gods or play Three Dragon Ante with archfiends for planets.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • A lot of the Fire Emblem games have an arena, in which you make a bet, and then a unit of yours trades blows with an opponent until one of them falls. It's a complete scam, especially since Permadeath is in full effect.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Grand Theft Auto:
    • San Andreas features a number of ways to bet money, including horse racing, low-rider bouncing and casinos with games such as poker, roulette, and pool. How much money you can bet is determined by a "gambling" statistic that improves each time you place a bet. You can end up in debt to the casino if you bet more money than you have, which eventually causes loan sharks to randomly attack you.
    • The Ballad Of Gay Tony had a game where you could either walk into a fight arena for a small entry fee, and keep fighting until you fell (or pull out when you knew it was imminent) or bet a potentially insane amount on someone else's fight. Save scumming is possible with either.
  • Bully, another Rockstar game, includes even more: "Keep-ups" (essentially Hackeysack with a soccerball), dodgeball, and "Penalty Shots", a game where you must smack Constantinos with a soccer ball, and betting on midget wrestling.
  • Red Dead Redemption, yet another Rockstar game, has poker, blackjack, horseshoes, liar's dice, and five finger fillet (jabbing a knife between your fingers really fast). Playing of these in multiplayer when exactly one player is using a skin from the ''Undead Nightmare'' DLC is a bit jarring.
  • The street games One Shot and Roll Over the Top in Shenmue II.
  • The Escape Velocity series traditionally included a gambling game in bars on various planets. Earlier games had a slot machine; Nova changed it to betting on a Viper race.
  • Steambot Chronicles features a mech-fighting arena you can place bets in. Midway through the game you can use Save Scumming on one particular matchup and rake in more cash than you'll ever need. To a lesser extent, you can also play pool against certain characters and bet on your ability to win.
  • Dead Rising 2 takes place in Fortune City, essentially a miniature replacement Las Vegas. As such, a plethora of gambling minigames can be found throughout the game, including dozens upon dozens of slot machines, chambers that fill up with cash, video blackjack, video poker, Texas Hold 'Em with other survivors, and more.
  • The Yakuza series has multiple venues for western and Japanese gambling games. They are usually not required to play for the main story or substories, but are a big part of 100% Completion. You can also find cheat items in the game world that guarantees godly luck when used.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Gambling Mini Game


Leisure Suit Larry 1: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards

One of the minigames Larry can play to get more money is blackjack.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / BettingMiniGame

Media sources: