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The Big Gamble – Adding gambling to an RPG

I’ve been playing a lot of Texas Hold ‘Em Poker lately, and wanting to add some casino games into a D&D campaign that I am running. I know there are guides out there for this and started doing research, and plan out the casino. (Shawn did one in the past: https://www.tribality.com/2019/09/06/tips-and-rules-for-gambling).

Now I know that some players will not be at the same table at any given time, or not want to gamble at all. So I had to set it up as an invitation on a separate night from the regular game time. This allows us to play a few games in “real life” with real money, and then attribute that to their characters. If you’re not playing with “real money” then you can add some D&D type shenanigans like slight of hand, or wisdom checks to pump up the games. Playing with money can cause hurt feelings so make sure every has an understanding of this.

Texas Hold ‘Em Poker

The game I really like to play is Texas Hold ‘Em Poker. It is can be very competitive and takes some skill to play your hand with less risk. I like it since it is a community card game, easy to set up, and simple rules.  I think requires a lot more skill to play than the randomness of Roulette, Craps, or Slot games.

This might require a little bit of prep to show the tiers of card hands and at least one person that can be asked questions on best case on betting. But there are a lot of tutorials out there for people to learn how to play. Here is one: https://www.pokernews.com/poker-rules/texas-holdem.htm and here’s a video:


As I said the setup can be easy. You’ll need a deck of playing cards and poker chips, print out some rules with h. Determine the value of the chips beforehand in relation to each other. The typical setup value with 4 colors can be the following, or you can adjust to suit your game:

  1. Red Chips Copper: Give each player 10 (1o CP)
  2. White Chips Silver: 10 to each player  (100 CP)
  3. Green Chips Gold: 2 chips to each (200 CP)
  4. Black Chips Platinum: 1 chip to each (1000 CP)

If you have 5 colors then you can add electrum into the mix with a blue chip. Make sure to have some extra chips in the bank so you can give out change.

A tournament style play might be the most fun since it usually doesn’t allow more buy-in. Everyone throws in $5 or $10 or even $25 and that will be the used for payout to the winners. Then hand out the chips that you determined beforehand and split them evenly, and then you keep playing until you have one winner. But you can always  set a rule to allow someone to buy in once or twice. It just increases the winning pot that will be used for payout at the end. Just set a rule for it at the beginning. Allowing a re-buy though will make the tournament last longer so be cognizant of the time. Some tournaments allow re-entry but only if you go to zero chips.

You can determine place of finishing by when someone went out and I like the following payout with only payout to the top 3 places if you are playing with 8 players.

1st 50%
2nd 35%
3rd 15%


Texas Hold ‘Em Poker set on Amazon