A glimpse at casino scenes in online gaming

Casino gaming is something that most people have at least passing familiarity with, and it’s common for online titles and open world video games to include casino mini-games as a fun distraction or even a plot device. If you’re a gambling fan, then you may enjoy playing slot machines in Borderlands, poker in Red Dead Redemption, slots in Watch Dogs or roulette in Grand Theft Auto.

These casino games offer a change of pace from crafting, driving, flying vehicles or shooting people, and the rewards can be pretty impressive too. If you want to make your virtual character rich or win some blinged-out weapons for them, then why not try your luck in the game’s casino?

Who watches the Watch Dog playing slots?

Who watches the Watch Dog playing slots?

Two of the biggest releases this year have gambling in them. Watch Dogs features a slot machine, but it’s a very simple one with just a small number of paylines and limited features compared to real video slots. You make your bet, spin the three reels and see what you win.

There are just three reels, but there are a lot of potential winning symbols. If the Watch Dogs slot machine game were to be reviewed like a real slots game, then most people would lament the lack of a large number of paylines or fancy bonus games. However, if you treat this as a classic slots game, then Watch Dogs has done a good job.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, one of the classic and still popular editions of the GTA series, features a complete casino, including slots, blackjack and a roulette game. Players can explore the casino, walk up to the tables that they want to play at, place their bets and watch as the game plays out.

GTA — Gamble and Shoot.

GTA — Gamble and Shoot.

The implementation of roulette and blackjack in GTA: San Andreas is exceptionally accurate, and if you can forgive the relatively dated-looking graphics, you could say that it is almost on a par with “Live Dealer” casino games when it comes to replicating the casino feeling in your living room. Admittedly, controlling bet amounts with a controller is hardly ideal, but for a casino gaming fan, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a brilliant experience. Besides, if you lose, you can go on a GTA-style rampage and have some action gaming fun.

So the next time you get the urge to play a casino game, why not fire up your PC (or console) and see if you can get some achievements at the same time? You can always play online for real money if you feel like you want the real thing. But the traditional video game industry has done a good job of emulating casino games – you can have a lot of fun with the idea of a “game within a game.” Some massively multiplayer online games have entire micro-economies built up around gambling. And of course, if you don’t want to gamble real money, you can always gamble on the fortunes of your virtual avatar instead.

the author

Managing Editor of ManaPool, Peter lives in York, UK and is a great fan and master of turn-based strategy games. If he isn't playing one of those, you'll probably find him in a role-playing game instead. He's definitely not afraid to provide a straight up opinion on any game and has a strong like for indie developers. We all start small, after all.