6 Games That Made Us Love Gambling

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Throughout the history of gaming, developers have managed to sneak a handful of gambling minigames into our cherished titles – running many a delicate mind in the process. Read on for the 13 most addictive gambling opportunities in video game history.


6) Let’s build a new society! With blackjack…and hookers! – casinos in Fallout New Vegas (2010)

Even in the wake of nuclear oblivion, Sin City never sleeps. There are six casinos in New Vegas, from the seedy Atomic Wrangler in Freeside to the even seedier Gomorrah on the main strip. Super-high table limits make the Ultra-Luxe my personal favourite, along with the yummy entrees. I can never resist grilled mantis with a nice, old world vintage.


5) Hyrule high-roller – bombchu bowling, sling-shot and archery range in Ocarina of Time (1998)

In addition to ground-breaking, open-world adventuring, ingenious dungeon design and a roster of iconic characters, Ocarina of Time also boasts some of the most devilishly moreish gambling mini-games in the history of the medium.

I’ve ploughed through thousands of rupees on Hyrule’s bombchu bowling, sling-shot and archery ranges in my time, conquering my bank-busting habit in my youth only to fall off the wagon all over again for the 3DS re-release. Goddammit.


4) No spilling mead on the felt – Pub Games DLC for Fable II (2008)

We all grumbled about forking out 800 Microsoft points to download this dull cache of mini-games forFable II…until we figured out that the DLC was riddled with game-breaking glitches.

Suddenly, players were wringing absurd amounts of gold from Pub Games, while developers Lionhead Studios struggled to come up with a fix. A patch eventually came out, which sorted out the debacle…for about six hours, until gamers figured out new techniques for spamming the crap out of this overpriced turkey. It feels good to beat the house.


3) I don’t want you for your brains – strip poker in Dead Rising II (2010)

It’s fair to say that Dead Rising II was a significant departure from the (relatively) gritty tone of its predecessor. In-keeping with the game’s more light-hearted vibe, protagonist Chuck can blow off steam between undead-mulching sessions by indulging in a spot of strip poker with fellow survivors. Hey, what happens in a zombie apocalypse stays in a zombie apocalypse.

While at present you can only get your opponents down to their skivvies, a dedicated fan-base has been working on seeing the ‘whole show’ with the use of mods. Get a girlfriend, guys.



2) Spare chips? gotta cash ‘em all – Celadon slot machines in Pokémon Red and Blue(1996)

The game corner of Celadon City irredeemably poisoned my fragile mind as a child, gluing me to my Gameboy like a preadolescent cyber-zombie as I mindlessly plugged Pokdollars into Team Rocket’s slot machines.

Many sites are offering one of the best real life online gaming experience and when talking to Beth Johnson a leading online gambling professional to see what impact playing Pokémon had on his chosen career: “Those games taught me an important lesson at an early age…that there’s a shedload of money to be made from virtual slot machines.” Hard to argue with that logic.


1) Final Fantasy VIII

Triple Triad could have been a standalone game in of itself (and was in fact released in paper format by Bandai in 1999) but is completely superfluous to the rest of FFVIII. You don’t need to play it to progress and all you stand to win is more cards, but by crickey it’s fun.

Final Fantasy VIII might live in the shadow of its predecessor, but for my money, it’s the superior game in pretty much every respect (I’m sorry, I just didn’t care about Aerith. Like, at all.) It’s the little touches that make FFVIII so special, and this monster card mini-game is a particular highlight.


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