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Why Simulations of Gambling Have Always Been Popular in Video Games

Over the past ten years, some of the world’s biggest video games have included casinos, where you can simulate gambling by playing poker, blackjack slots, and other casino classics. 

Here is a closer look at why simulations of gambling, also known as mini games or games within games, have always been popular in video games like Fallout: New Vegas, Red Dead Redemption 2, and many other triple-A video games. 

Why do some of today’s most famous video games feature gambling simulation elements?

If you have spent plenty of time playing certain major video game franchises like Fallout or Red Dead Redemption, you may have noticed they feature simulations of casinos, where you can play slot machines or classic table & card games like poker and blackjack. 

The question being asked here is, why do studios feel the need to add these traditional casino games into their storylines? The answer is relatively straightforward. Mini games like this found in video games (also known as games within games) increase player enjoyment. 

Adding these casino simulation games helps stave off the boredom that can sometimes hit when playing them. They add an element of excitement and can break up the monotony after completing a task or challenge, even if only for a minute or two. 

The only downside to these mini games is that you can’t win real money. However, you can sometimes play poker or slots to boost your health, win in-game credits, or unlock other in-game achievements. 

They are fun to play, and they are optional. 

Don’t forget that the games which include simulated casino games normally come with a PEGI-18 age restriction, meaning the studios are not trying to promote gambling to minors by adding them because under 18s shouldn’t be playing in the first place. 

The money used to gamble in video game casino mini games has no monetary value in the real world, much like how sweepstakes casinos (aka social casinos) operate. Sweepstakes are basically the same as regular [real money] online casinos, but without the gambling part. 

Instead, people who play at sweepstakes casinos, like those featured here on the, use a naive digital currency that can only be used on that website. They act as a way to play, without having to spend real money.

Apart from RDR2 and New Vegas, what other famous video games feature mini casino game simulation experiences?

Apart from RDR2, and Fallout: New Vegas, some of the other hit titles that also have mini casino game simulation experience at certain points of the game are the following:

  • Grand Theft Auto 5
  • Tales of Vesperia
  • Hard West II
  • Watch Dogs
  • Dragon Quest 11
  • Far Cry 3
  • Yakuza Kiwami
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The casino games you can play in these hit titles are fun to play, but only for a few minutes before eventually getting bored of them and wanting to continue with regular play. 

However, they will often have games that you won’t find in real life. For example, the Red Dead Redemption series features both Liar’s Dice, and Five Finger Fillet. In-game, you can meet NPC’s who will play the games with you, and you can win money from them. 

They’re generally more of a novelty than a way of actually making money, as the developers won’t want to break the game’s currency. In Red Dead Redemption 2, you can play poker to your hearts content, but the developers have made it so that you’ll rarely win any large amount of money.

Are there any other casino emulators I can play without gambling real money?

Yes. Android smartphone and tablet users can also find a few casino simulation games to play on their devices. The most notable ones are Vegas Casino and Slots, Classic Slots, Casino X – Casino Simulator, and Vegas Grand Slots.

Others include Bravo Classic Slots, Winning Slots Las Vegas Casino, Clubillion Vegas Casino Slots, and Jackpot Boom Free Slots, to name a few. 

As mentioned, people who are looking for a more realistic casino experience are better off playing either at sweepstakes casinos or regular online casinos, the latter of which have thousands of computer-generated and live dealer games from numerous award-winning providers.

Final thoughts

Traditional casino games will no doubt continue to be added to future video game releases because they are a fun element, and, based on player feedback, people really enjoy playing them.