Although they may occupy separate spaces on the gaming continuum, video games and casino games have a lot in common. When you strip everything back, both endeavours require a certain amount of strategy, skill, timing and luck. Beyond that, video and casino games are about having fun. Yes, the latter might have the added incentive of winning money, but the fundamental aspect of each is entertainment.
With that being the case, it’s hardly surprising that these two mediums borrow traits from each other. Indeed, when you look at modern online casino games, elements such as storylines and bonus rounds popular in the video gaming community are apparent too. Conversely, many of today’s leading video games have taken inspiration from the betting world and introduced mini-games that add an extra level of engagement to their products.
To give you an insight into how gambling has found its way into the video gaming industry, here’s a rundown of the top five games where you can place a bet or two…
1. Red Dead Redemption 2
With the release of Red Dead Redemption 2 getting gamers all a-flutter, talk of gambling mini games has resurfaced once again. As in the original, the highly anticipated sequel features poker games. As you roam the Badlands on your horse, you can visit various private games and compete against AI-powered software as well as real players. In the latest release, Blackwater is one of the first poker games you’ll come across – and is well worth a try.
2. Grand Theft Auto San Andreas
Grand Theft Auto San Andreas is perhaps one of the best video games with a gambling tinge as it features fully fledged casinos. As you’d expect, blackjack, roulette, slots and video poker are all part of the mix. What’s most interesting is that you can borrow money from the casino. Usually a service reserved for the highest of rollers, this is a neat little addition to the game and something that moves it away from being a pure gambling experience and more towards a video game. Of course, if you’re not willing to pay back the loan, the forces of bad luck will be the least of your worries.
3. Final Fantasy VIII
With the online gambling industry now worth upwards of $51 billion, it’s hard to say it’s not a part of mainstream culture. So, it makes sense to incorporate it into the virtual world of Final Fantasy. But, unlike our realm where blackjack et al are popular, Triple Triad is the gambling game of choice in Final Fantasy VIII. Using a 3x3 grid and different coloured cards, your job is to get all your cards on the board before your opponent. Do that and you’ll double your stake. Simple!
4. Fallout New Vegas
If there was one video game that lends itself to gambling mini games, it’s Fallout New Vegas. Although the famous strip is a little less salubrious than it is in real life, the casinos are still operational. In total, there are six venues where you can play blackjack, roulette and slots. Blackjack is the most popular and, as you roam the strip, you’ll find 3:2 blackjack payouts at Gomorrah and The Tops. For a 6:5 payout on blackjack, the Atomic Wrangler on Freeside will welcome you with open arms.
5. The Sims 3
Completing our round-up of gambling mini games is The Sims 3. By purchasing the casino add-on, you can try your hand at poker, slots, roulette and blackjack. Although the action isn’t as involved as it is in other games, you do get a taste of the what it’s like to gamble. In fact, the Sims 3 and our other picks are an ideal training ground for newbies that want to learn the ropes before anteing up in the online casino world for free.
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