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Gambling games for your D&D campaign

No D&D campaign is complete without a little bit of gambling! Here's a few easy gambling games that you can incorporate into your campaign, using nothing but the dice your players already have.

1. Doubles or nothing

Here's a really simple betting game, that I came up with (but has almost certainly been thought up before!). Normally you'd be rolling against the house in a casino or gambling den - but it would also work against another individual who's willing to take the other side of your bet. Here's the rules:

You (or the house) decide the stake and then you roll 2 d6. Doubles pay out as follows:

Double 1 - You get your stake back, plus 1x what you bet

Double 2 - You get your stake back, plus 2x what you bet

Double 3 - You get your stake back, plus 3x what you bet

Double 4 - You get your stake back, plus 4x what you bet

Double 5 - You get your stake back, plus 5x what you bet

Double 6 - You get your stake back, plus 6x what you bet

If you fail to roll a double, you lose whatever you staked.

2. 38s

This is a great game, similar to poker, but using dice. I first came across it in this thread (thanks AdventureFight!)

Basically, each player will roll a d20, a d12 and a d6 separately, over three rounds. A total of 38 (20,12 & 6) will beat anything, a 3 (1,1 &1) beats anything else, and from there onwards it's the highest total that wins (if there's a tie, each player can roll a d20 to break it). Each player must pay a blind before rolling the d20, and then there are rounds of betting after rolling each of the d20, the d12 and the d6. During these rounds, as in poker, each player gets the chance to call, raise or fold in response to the other players' bets.

3. Lucky 7s

Again, this is something that I've sort of invented/tweaked - but different variations of it exist, with different levels of complexity. Mine is quite a simple variation, and again would usually be played against the house (rather than two of your players playing against each other).

Basically, the player rolls 2 d6. If the dice add up to 7, the players gets double what they staked. If they narrowly miss, with either a 6 or an 8, they receive back their stake, but don't win anything further. If they roll any other total, they lose what they staked.

4. Gladiator dice

This is another great game that I found online here (thanks, TheShrubberyKing!). Basically, you need 3d6s of different colours. Two of these will represent battling gladiators, while the third is what's known as the cheat die.

Players have to pay an ante to play, and then there is twenty seconds during which players can up the stakes for whichever of the two gladiators they think will win. After the twenty seconds are up, all three dice are rolled. The gladiator with the highest roll wins, unless his opponent's die matches what's on the cheat die. In that scenario, the gladiator die which matches the cheat die uses underhanded methods to win. If both gladiator die match the cheat die, then the cheating becomes obvious, and everybody loses (giving the money to the house/ tavern owner etc). If both gladiators roll the same number (but don't match the cheat die) then the fight continues and the gladiator dice (but not the cheat die) are re-rolled.

5. Dragon's Hoard

This is another awesome game I found on reddit - you can find the original post here (thanks, Mr_Sacks!). Basically, each player in this game needs 3d6, which they roll in secret. The aim is to have the highest combined total. However, the twist is that there is one public dice which is rolled - and any of your dice that match the public dice do not count. For example, if you rolled a 4, a 5 and a 6 you'd have a score of 15. If the public dice was a 6 though, that would knock out your 6, leaving you with a score of 9.

The players have to pay an ante to play (say 1 gold piece) and then there are rounds of betting before rolling your 3d6s, between rolling these and rolling the public dice, and after rolling the public dice. Like poker, each player can call, raise or fold during these rounds. After the final round of betting, anyone still in reveals their dice, with the winner taking the pot. Ties can either split the pot or roll a d20 to break the tie.

So, there you go - I hope you and your players enjoy these games and you get some exciting gambling moments in your campaign! And if gambling's not really your thing, check out this post for other fun things your players might get up to in a tavern instead.

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