The 10 Best Gambling Video Games

The 10 Best Gambling Video Games

Video games and gambling have been intertwined for longer than you may believe. Arcades were one of the hottest places to be on a Friday night in the late 1970 and 80s. Multi-player video games between patrons encouraged socializing, and in some cases, gambling.

While arcades didn’t promote gambling video games, betting with friends or strangers at the arcade was quietly taking off across the country.

Home video game consoles were not as popular at the time, but friendly wagers on pong had to be a popular evening in some households. As arcades faded into the background, home-based video game systems took off with the introduction of the Nintendo Entertainment System.

A TASTE OF GAMBLING AT HOME
Online gambling was non-existent in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The only way to bring the casino home was to purchase gambling video games.

Gambling in video games was not seen as the most popular video game genre. In fact, you really had to search for some of the early titles for the NES, and later on, the PlayStation and Nintendo 64.

They could have been seen as a fun adult party game. While Mario Party was for everyone, gambling video games had a party element for the adults.

The advent of online gambling shortly after this time had taken some of the fun out of playing gambling video games. However, they are still out there, and definitely a nice alternative if you want a gambling fix, but don’t want to risk money.

Along with gambling video games squarely based on casino games, there are games with gambling embedded into the gameplay. In some cases, players can buy virtual chips and wager them for in-game purchases. This has been the subject of criticism, but it adds to authentic aspects of certain games.

The Best Gambling Video Games

Let’s get into the best gambling video games of all time. We’ve personally played all of the video games on this list, so this is our opinion of the best gambling video games. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments below.

10. Super Caesars Palace (1993)

The fact a video game company was able to get naming rights with Caesars Palace is impressive in its own right. Virgin Interactive Entertainment was able to pull it off, though, and scored a big deal with the casino giant and Nintendo.

Caesars Palace, named after Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, was originally available on the NES.

Super Caesars Palace is the sequel on the Super Nintendo two years later. Gambling in the casino is of course the premise, with Super Caesars Palace building on Caesars Palace.

Players started with $2000.00 and had the option to bet on a variety of games, including blackjack, video poker, roulette, slots, horse racing, and Keno.

Super Caesars Palace offered more casino games and offered the ability to interact with virtual players in the casino. They would offer casino tips and suggestions, which was revolutionary at the time.

9. Vegas Stakes (1993)

This is another Super Nintendo game that came out around the same time. While Vegas Stakes didn’t have a megacasino to back their game up in Caesars Palace, Vegas Stakes had a loose semblance of a storyline.

LOFTY GOALS
The storyline behind Vegas Stakes is a group of friends taking off for Las Vegas with $1000.00 to gamble with each. They set their expectations high, like really high, with the objective to win $10 million.

Go for $10 million or lose it all on craps, poker, roulette, blackjack, and slot machines. Apparently, $9 million wouldn’t be enough, because the friends are only looking for a $10 million win.

Like Caesars Palace, players could interact with others, including their friends at the casino. These basic interactions with characters in the game were the basis of modern RPG video games, like Deus Ex, some years later.

For its time, this was an entertaining game. If you’re into vintage video games and gambling, it is one to take a look at on the Super Nintendo.

8. Golden Nugget 64 (1998)

Golden Nugget 64 was the most realistic gambling video game for a long time. Only on the Nintendo 64, this was a groundbreaking video game with realistic visuals and sounds.

In another attempt to attract Las Vegas gamblers, this video game developer picked up a big casino to brand their game.

Electronic Arts were able to get the naming rights to the Golden Nugget and even cutscenes that featured inside of the actual casino in Las Vegas.

Players had the option of playing solo or with friends in multiplayer mode. Each player started with a virtual $1000.00 and had the option of playing ten different casino games to beef up their bankroll.

The graphics and sounds still stand up pretty decently today. Considering this game is more than 20 years old, it’s still not a bad option for video game gamblers.

7. Hoyle Casino (2000)

Hoyle Casino was my first introduction to gambling on a computer. It’s a computer gambling video game that has graphics that still look familiar at online casinos today.

Gambling video games were primarily focused on consoles before Hoyle Casino. It’s much easier to play a gambling-based video game on a computer than with a console controller, so Hoyle Casino was a game-changer in my view.

Players were able to create virtual profiles with 25 characters to choose from in the game. The casino games offered were unlike anything in the past.

Hoyle Casino advertised over 350 different games, which were mostly made up of different types of slot machines. However, all of the classic casino games were available in Hoyle Casino.

The brand was so popular that there was a Hoyle Casino released in 2016 and it still had interest from the public. If you want a gambling video game that resembles online casinos without wagering money, this has to be it.

6. Hoyle Casino Empire (2002)

Off the popularity of the original Hoyle Casino and the likes of Sim City and Roller Coaster Tycoon, game developers combined the gameplay of Roller Coaster Tycoon and Hoyle Casino.

BECOME A CASINO MOGUL
If you’ve played Sim City or Roller Coaster Tycoon, I’m sure you can figure out what the idea is with Hoyle Casino Empire. The player must build and run a successful casino. They are in charge of decision-making and offerings within a budget.

This is not necessarily a gambling game, but it does put players on the other side as a casino entrepreneur. It is a gambling-based game worth taking the time to play if you are into simulation strategy games like Roller Coaster Tycoon.

5. Fable II Pub Games (2008)

Fable is an RPG game that isn’t focused on gambling. However, players had the option of gambling in a virtual pub-like atmosphere to earn in-game credits.

Playing the pub games was not necessarily required in the game. It was an option, though, and most people got hooked on the idea of gambling for in-game credits for their character.

Fable II Pub Games was downloadable through the Xbox Live Arcade and included three gambling games. These were casino-style games, but not actually available in casinos.

There were three games to play, including Keystone, Fortune’s Tower, and Spinnerbox.

It was something different from the typical gambling games at a casino, so that was one big attraction to this gambling in a video game.

4. Vegas Party (2018)

This is a relatively new and unique gambling game on the Nintendo Switch. If you want a different kind of gambling video game, Vegas Party has to be one to consider.

Vegas Party is based on a race down the Las Vegas Strip. Up to four friends can play on the same device or compete against the AI characters.

Players are presented with a series of gambling minigames that they must be successful at before moving on to the next game. Whoever can get down the Las Vegas Strip the fastest wins the game.

This requires being a quick winner. The goal of the game is to complete your gambling minigames faster than the competition.

It’s not the most complex game in the world, but it’s a different type of gambling video game that can appeal to people that want a social game with friends.

3. Red Dead Redemption 2 (2018)

Red Dead Redemption was one of my favorite video games of all-time back in 2010. Then eight years later Red Dead Redemption 2 was released and it is my favorite video game next to Deus Ex.

Along with being an amazingly put-together video game, it also includes gambling. There are locations in the game where you can travel to where gambling is available.

Also, there are saloons in the Red Dead Redemption that have gambling for players. Three blackjack locations are in the game, with Blackwater the most notable place to gamble in the game.

With blackjack and poker the most popular gambling games in Red Dead Redemption, there is plenty of appeal. There are sidequest gambling games known as Gambler Challenges that blend into the storyline nicely.

The developers did a tremendous all-around job incorporating gambling into Red Dead Redemption.

2. The Four Kings Casino & Slots (2015)

This isn’t the most popular gambling video game, but it’s a realistic attempt at being in a real casino. There are certainly elements of the game that might leave much to be desired. That said, it fulfills a quick fix if you want to feel like you are gambling in a casino.

If you are looking for an interactive social online gambling video game, The Four Kings Casino & Slots is a good bet. Players can create a character, walk around the casino, and chat with other gamers.

Like the Sims, you are able to walk around with your character. In this game, the player walks around in a virtual casino and can sit down at a variety of table games, slots, and video poker.

There is a chatbox available for players to strike up a conversation with others in the virtual casino. This takes the original video games in the early 1990s, like Super Caesars Palace, to the next level.

1. GTA 5 Online (2013)

Everyone in my age bracket grew up playing Grand Theft Auto. The early editions of GTA didn’t have gambling, but in GTA 5, this version of the game attempts to reflect the real world as much as possible. This includes gambling.

GTA AND GAMBLING, WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE?
In GTA 5 Online, players can visit casinos in an attempt to turn their GTA$ into more in-game money. There is even gambling in the game where players can win a car, like at many land-based casinos in the US.

Games that are offered in GTA 5 Online include blackjack, roulette, slot machines, three-card poker, and even horse racing. Horse racing is personally my favorite gambling game in GTA 5.

Just have fun with it and don’t get too hooked because it can almost feel like the real thing in GTA 5 Online. GTA$ is an important part of the game, so you want to manage your in-game credits appropriately.

Conclusion

Gambling video games are the perfect way to get a quick gambling fix without risking the real thing. Gambling in video games also plays a part in storylines. If you are a gambler and like to play video games, these games seem like a sure bet the next time you are interested in playing video games.

About the Author
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Kyle Eve
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Kyle Eve is a seasoned pro of The Sports Geek. Since joining the team in 2012, Kyle, has covered some of the biggest sporting events in the world. From the Super Bowl and World Series to March Madness, the NBA Finals, Kentucky Derby, and many more, Kyle has provided reliable analysis for millions of readers. After dedicating himself to hockey and football in high school, Kyle placed his first sports bet on his 18th birthday. Since then, he has spent his entire adult life devoting himself to becoming the best sports bettor and casino gambler possible. Kyle is from Windsor, ON, Canada

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