Gambling mini-games have been a part of video games for a long time now, and old-time classics like Leisure Suit Larry already featured casino games. Whether you like roulette or blackjack, these mini-games always presented simple gameplays and provided much fun and an authentic feeling to gamers. From Final Fantasy gambling activities to Grand Theft Auto casinos, these are some of the coolest casino mini-games featured in video games.
Final Fantasy is one of the most popular video game franchises ever, and one of the best-selling series in the industry, with more than 159 million copies sold worldwide. And gambling is a recurring element in the series, with some games even featuring special gambling abilities and classes. Through a number of mini-games, players are able to spend money or items to play games and win prizes. The most common mini-games are chocobo racing, or other similar races, and several casino games in different instalments of the franchise.
In Final Fantasy VI, Setzer, the character known as The Wandering Gambler, commands a flying casino airship called Blackjack, where roulette and blackjack tables can be played. The airship becomes available after players reach the Opera House to meet with the Impresario. Final Fantasy VIII introduced Triple Triad. Although not one of the traditional casino games featured in the series, Triple Triad became a popular gambling mini-game within the franchise, and players could even obtain rare items through it.
In Final Fantasy XIII-2, Serendipity, the location labelled as the Palace of Pleasure, offers a number of different gambling mini-games, including slot machines and Serendipity Poker, a version of Texas Hold’em. Final Fantasy XIV featured the Manderville Gold Saucer, a version of the location on Final Fantasy VII, where players could find a lot of gambling activities. Besides, players could even run their own casino to earn gil.
Grand Theft Auto
The Grand Theft Auto franchise has been revolutionizing video games since the release of its first instalment in 1997, and the third title Grand Theft Auto III is considered a landmark in the game industry. And gambling always played a big role in these games, with different activities like street races and horse racing.
But GTA: San Andreas introduced the first casinos in the franchise. In a fictionalized version of Las Vegas, called Las Venturas, players could visit three casino venues and wager on roulette and blackjack tables, slot machines and wheels of fortune, with bet limits increasing as CJ’s gambling skill is upgraded.
GTA Online, the online component of Grand Theft Auto V, brought us The Diamond Casino & Resort, where players can engage in several gambling activities in a luxurious casino setting. The games featured were the same as in GTA: San Andreas, with the addition of three card poker.
Released in 2010, Fallout: New Vegas became an instant success, both critically and commercially, with more than 12 million copies sold worldwide, being regarded by some as one of the best RPGs of all time. Set in an open-world environment consisting of Arizona, California and Nevada, players took control of a character known as the Courier and could visit a post-apocalyptic version of Las Vegas.
In the six casinos featured in the game, players were allowed to bet in roulette and blackjack tables with different payouts, and slot machines, although every casino tried to steal the player’s money. It was possible to exchange caps, the game’s standard currency, for casino chips, and when the character’s Luck meter was full, the chances of winning substantially improved.
Fallout: New Vegas also featured Caravan, a low-stakes card game using loose playing cards that could be found throughout the map, played by caravan guards and other travelers outside New Vegas. The objective was to outbid the opponent by building caravans of numbered cards.
The Sims 3
The acclaimed series of life simulation games The Sims was always praised for its immersive gameplay that offered endless activities for gamers and their Sims. Its third instalment, The Sims 3, introduced the Lucky Simoleon Casino add-on. With it, players were able to develop the new gambling skill of Sims, and visit the Lucky Simoleon Casino to play poker, blackjack, roulette and slot machines. But the best feature in the DLC was the possibility for players to build and manage their own casino.