As video games become a more and more mature pastime, it’s inevitable that adult activities keep showing up in them over time. Can you gamble in video games? The answer, surprisingly enough, is yes in many cases of AAA productions.
As you can play in a real money casino, you can now have a complete gambling experience in video games should that be something of interest to you.
Video Games Where You Can Gamble
By far the most surprising inclusion on this list, but Nintendo’s actually featured slot machines in many of the games in the Pokémon franchise from FireRed to HeartGold and SoulSilver until the ESRB severely limited what they could get away with in E-rated (for everyone) titles. The same holds true for the anime, the manga and the TCG as well, which features a T-type card called Arcade Game.
Some of the game’s machines offer better odds than others, in a nod to a real-life phenomenon in Japanese game parlors. Perhaps this is the reason why the mechanic was sometimes omitted from international releases, like the missing Game Corner in Pokémon Platinum’s European version.
Getting back to the subject of Pokémon Blue, it turns out that the Celadon Game Counter, which doubles as Team Rocket’s hideout, features a coin case and corresponding coins which you can use in a slot machine the next house over. Does Pokémon Blue belong in the pantheon of video games with casinos based on this? Your mileage may vary.
GTA San Andreas
Well duh, of course the franchise revolving around exploring the seedy underbelly of city life has a detailed take on video games with casinos, especially as the later, more technologically impressive entries came around.
San Andreas is unique in this sense as the gambling portion of the experience is uniquely tied into the storyline of CJ, with more money available to you in the casinos the more you play over time. It also offers arguably the most robust gambling options in the franchise and it’s a part of why the game is remembered so fondly to this day.
Red Dead Redemption 2
No Wild West setting would be complete without a casino, and just like its predecessor, RDR2 is one of the many video games with gambling elements incorporated into its setting. Of course you can play poker as an outlaw in the Wild West, but with it being the Wild West and all, cheating is also very much an option – however, sometimes it will lead to a good old-fashioned gunslinging duel should it be discovered.
It also has to be said that the sequel hasn’t brought back Liar’s Dice, the dice-based gambling minigame from the original title. You can also spend your time and virtual money on activities like Five Finger Fillet and Blackjack in any of Red Dead Redemption 2’s many saloons as you explore its rich quests and exquisite storylines.
The Sims 3
The devs have always tried to cram literally every aspect of the human life experience into The Sims games so it should come as no surprise that gambling options are also present via The Lucky Simoleon content pack.
Sims 4 also offers video games gambling via TS3 store conversion mods. It really is the modding scene where the majority of such options lie for enterprising fans as quite literally anything is possible in Sims if someone somewhere put a bit of effort into the proper modifications of the title.
Fallout: New Vegas
Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? It Turns out this saying still holds even after a nuclear apocalypse, at least in Obsidian’s take on the world of the Fallout franchise. The critically acclaimed spin-off of the series offers many stellar examples of gambling in video games alongside its pristine RPG experience and arguably the best storyline out of any of the Fallout games made to date.
Fun fact: the role-playing aspect of the title heavily factors into your video game gambling experience as the Luck stat directly impacts how your attempts work out at the tables, which you can upgrade directly or by wearing stat-increasing items.
Though you can initially only spend time and resources on the proprietary card game Caravan, you will eventually make it to the other side of the Mojave Desert where Las Vegas used to be and find that the Strip is very much still standing, offering all the classic casino games you’d expect from the place in present-day real life.
It turns out there is quite a lot of video game betting and other gambling opportunities built into AAA titles all across the industry, regardless of the genre in question. Those interested in this activity should have no problem finding a game that indulges their curiosity about the world of gambling alongside their main questline and mechanics.