The Video Games That Allowed You To Wager Big

Doubtless, if you’ve perused the internet much looking at console minigames, you will have been greeted with articles talking about poker and casinos.

That’s the usual vehicle for minigames that allow you to boost in-game currency and is exemplified by Red Dead Redemption 2, a blockbuster title released in 2019. On Rockstar’s Wild West romp, you could walk into a tavern and raise your in-game currency by throwing down a few dollars and being successful at poker or not stabbing yourself in the hands.

However, some games take things a little further, presenting not just an opportunity to win a game of chance but providing a more authentic wagering experience that feels close to real life. We’ve stripped away some bespoke card games and steered clear of poker and spinning reels to find you three great video games that offered a slightly different wagering experience.


Grand Theft Auto San Andreas (2004)

Grand Theft Auto V had a bit of everything for the discerning punter; casino games, poker, even betting on golf and horse racing. Many do not know that you could head over to Inside Track long before Trevor and Michael were feuding. In 2004, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas dropped, featuring Inside Track as a standalone store. You could head into an outlet and place in-game currency on the outcome of a race, then watch as you either won (rarely) or lost (often). It must have worked, as nine years later, Rockstar included it as part of their GTA V juggernaut. Also, if you want to see Inside Track now, it does feature on the recently remastered games, although Gaming Bible reports the title is a bit glitchy.

Ultimate Soccer Manager (1995)

Ultimate Soccer Manager wouldn’t get released today. Whilst content such as gore, blood and the like is on the increase; no soccer game could have the features of USM and license real players. Why? Because it revealed the darker side of management at the time. For a start, you could offer another manager a bung to sign a player or even rig a match. You could also place a wager on a game if you wish. Wagering in soccer is popular. Leading platform Ladbrokes offers live in-play facilities to customers, but these are unavailable to the players and managers. USM brushed that aside and let you place a wager on your team! If you were successful, you could reinvest the money into the ground. There was no live in-play function, nor does it feature in any modern soccer games.

Daily Double Horse Racing (1989)

Daily Double Horse Racing felt like the original title that GTA based Inside Track on. The idea was simple; this was a simulation of a day at the races, long before we saw Rockstar’s shiny new game. Daily Double Horse Racing loaded on disc, but in 1989 it had groundbreaking graphics and tempted a new demographic of gamers to their computer; horse racing fans. It’s fair to say it’s an undersupported genre, which is why retro gamers still visit DDHR today, rather than one of the newer games, of which there are very few.