The Gambling Games of Video Games
While different Video Games might include their own versions of popular gambling games as well as the original “core” versions, with slight modifications, we can see a number of different gambling games, or forms of risk taking, that are most commonly found through numerous titles. We have discussed in previous articles the reason why gambling appear in video games, and we did offer a few examples of their general utility, in relation to the story and the gameplay mechanic as a whole. In this article we will take a quick glance at the different most popular Gambling Games and mechanics that we typically find in Video Games.
There is no doubt that Texas Hold’Em is one of the most popular card games in the Video Game world. It has mildly simple rules and it fits numerous settings, starting at the Wild West (or even before that) to modern times. It is also one of the most popular stand-alone social games. Numerous companies have capitalized on the use of Texas Hold’em, since a person who once learns the rules of this most popular Poker game will be able to play in any casino, video game or even just with friends.
Some of the most notable examples of Texas Hold’em can be found in such popular titles like Far Cry 3, Poker Night at the Inventory and Red Dead Redemption. While other card games are close seconds, Blackjack being the second most popular card game in Video Games I presume, it is Texas Hold’Em that eventually reaches the podium, because it’s not only easy to learn, but it can also contribute to the setting greatly.
Many games could have their own Card games. Fallout: New Vegas had Caravan, which to me had incredibly complicated rules, but it was still a Card Game where you played for money.
Now, this has to be broadened out a bit. The Roulette, as a core game, appears, or is mentioned, in numerous different video games. However, it is usually not included in most Video Games because the odds are strongly against the player. In some games, such as Fallout: New Vegas, there were ways to bend the odds to your benefit, but in most cases it’s a very difficult game to “win” at. Compared to Texas Hold’em where you have to eliminate your opponents the Roulette is a game of pure luck.
Games that tend to have playable Casinos of some description will also have a Roulette wheel, but while it’s a popular gimmick it’s not exactly that profitable (unless you actually win). It also deserves a spot here, because even though you cannot always play at the Roulette Wheel you are bound to see one in any game where gambling is present (even if the player himself cannot take part).
While taking part in Fights and Races for prizes is not gambling some games do offer the opportunity to gamble or bet your coin on specific participants to win or lose. Since you have no direct influence over the course of the race or fight you may just be presented with the odds of your pick winning, or you might know nothing at all! In Oblivion, for example, you could bet on either the Blue or Red team warrior. They might had been identical when you bet your money on either one of them, and you were never told whether one of them was better than the other. In a similar fashion you could bet on identical creatures in Fallout: New Vegas fighting against each other. You might had as well flipped a coin, since you would not know which side would win.
Other games, such as Sleeping Dogs had Cock Fights where the odds of either rooster winning or losing were present. While these odds did not always guarantee your victory they certainly presented you with a slightly better picture than a hypothetical coin toss scenario.
Yet other games, such as Mount and Blade, offered the opportunity to place bets on yourself. By doing so you might had won a tournament and left with much greater winnings than just the prize money for winning the tournament.