Mini games have been a part of video games for a long time. Even one of the earliest Final Fantasy games had one involving a tile puzzle in its 1987 release. The ’90s hit game series Streetfighter also had time-bound mini games in between some levels, where you had to smash up cars and barrels. These mini games range from puzzle games to level extensions, and now to casino games. From slot machines and blackjack, to poker, we’ve rounded up some video games with the best casino mini games in recent years:
Stardew Valley: CalicoJack
Stardew Valley is an open-end farming RPG created by a one-man team. Despite its humble beginnings, Stardew Valley has achieved cult status within the gaming community. The creator, Concerned Ape, has become a celebrity in the indie gaming world and has amassed a loyal following. The game is chock-full of mini games and surprises, but some of the most notable ones are the ones featured in the Casino on the map’s Calico Desert.
To unlock the location, you must first finish the ‘Mysterious Qi Quest’, which gains you entry into the speakeasy Casino. The Casino operates on its own currency called Qi coins, which you can then wager on a Stardew Valley variant of blackjack called CalicoJack. The mechanics are pretty much the same as traditional blackjack where players are dealt cards, racing each other to reach a hand equal to—or at least get as close as possible to—21. In Stardew Valley’s case, you’ll be playing against AI. The Casino gives a nice contrast against the laid-back farming main gameplay and provides a change of pace and playing style.
Red Dead Redemption 2: Poker Challenges
After a well-received release of the original Red Dead Redemption comes the sequel, Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2). It’s still set in cut-throat American towns in the earlier part of the 20th century, but as our review on Red Dead Redemption 2 noted you’re now playing as Arthur instead of John Marston.
One of the ways to earn some bucks is finishing the ten gambling challenges— three of them are Texas Hold’em poker games. To finish the poker challenges, you’ll need to win three hands of poker in a row. This means that you’ll need a decent run of cards to win. And this is no easy feat, as good hands in poker are hard to come by. The odds against a royal flush, the strongest hand in poker is 31,000-to-1, while the chances of getting one of the most common winning hands, a two pair, is 7.62%. You need strong poker skills and patience to maintain that winning streak. Beyond just poker, RDR2 lets you join in lively games of blackjack in Saint Denis and Blackwater.
Grand Theft Auto Online: Diamond Casino
Lauded as one of the most popular action-adventure games, Grand Theft Auto (GTA) has gone online and lets you become a virtual renegade in the fictional state of San Andreas. The state has everything a player could want for entertainment and mayhem.
To give players more entertainment options, GTA Online recently launched a virtual casino that’s not too unlike a real online casino lounge. A Forbes article called this the metaverse as players can hang out and use real dollars to gamble in the Diamond Casino & Resort. You can play a slew of classic casino games like poker, wheel of fortune, slots, and blackjack, which could help you earn game currency to advance your play.
Casino mini games make gaming that much more compelling and intriguing. They amp up the suspense and unpredictability!