If you have any experience with playing casino games, chances are you already know about poker, slots, blackjack and baccarat. However, the world of gambling is so much more diverse than just a handful of games, especially if you travel further afield to Asia, Europe and beyond. Here are some of the world’s most unusual niche casino games to explore on your next overseas vacation – or online, if you can find them!
#1: Pachinko – Japan
Pachinko is Japan’s favorite casino game by far, in part due to its flashy lights, bright colors, and lots of intriguing sound effects. Pachinko machines are often compared to pinball machines, and there are gaming parlors throughout Asia dedicated to this fascinating real money game. In some cases, pachinko rewards you with cash for winning, while in other cases, you may receive a small prize or item instead. Either way, you will be surprised to know that gambling and racing betting sites were only legalized in 2016 in Japan, so before then, residents of the country had to play their favorite arcade machine on the sly!
#2: The Chicken Challenge – Atlantic City
Do you consider yourself a reigning champion at ‘Noughts and Crosses’? If so, you might want to test your skills in a game that’s played against the world’s reigning champion in the game… a chicken by the name of Ginger. Yes, you read that correctly – travel to Atlantic City and you could end up battling it out in a game of tic-tac-toe with a real live chicken at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino! If you manage to win against the talented hen, you could end up taking home a hefty prize of $10,000, but be warned; Ginger definitely doesn’t cluck around…
#3: Bird Song Bets – Belgium
Not all forms of casino gambling in the world are confined to land-based gaming floors or online sites. If you are looking for a totally unique way to wager your cash, check out bird song betting in Belgium. The concept of the game is very simple; birds are put into cages within local casinos, and visitors can bet on which birds will sing the loudest and the longest. This unusual game is actually a very popular addition to most Belgian casinos, and it is admittedly quite novel to watch the birds take their turns to sing for their spectators.
#4: Rodent Roulette – Global
Animals feature surprisingly often in betting games around the world, and rodent roulette is particularly popular. If you aren’t afraid of rats, mice or gerbils, have a go at this weird and wonderful pastime, which involves rodents being places in boxes within roulette wheels. Specialized wheels that contain large numbers of boxes are used, and when the wheel is spin, the critters will walk around and choose a box to hide in. If you placed a bet on that specific box, you’ll win an instant payout!
#5: Dreidel – Global
This is actually a very historical game which is typically enjoyed by the Jewish community at Hanukkah. Many families will place bets on the dreidel using raisins or small change, but on a larger scale, casinos are also beginning to offer it as a cash game within special small betting rooms. All you need to do to play Dreidel is to have all the players involved pop cash into a ‘pot’ at the center of the table, and then spin the device, which has four sections. If it lands on ‘nun’, the player gets nothing, and if it lands on ‘gimel’, they will receive the entire pot! Landing on ‘hey’ will win you half of the pot, and landing on ‘shin’ will prompt you to add an additional bet to the communal pot.