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Best Gambling Anime 2020 – The Top 10 Anime About Gambling

By: Cat MarshallAugust 26, 2020

Gambling isn’t just people playing cards or spinning slots. Many of them feature various games, where people sometimes gamble their lives, all to achieve a grand goal. If all this sounds interesting, then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive into the best gambling anime in 2020.

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List of Top 10 Anime About Gambling

For easier reference, we have provided a list of the anime you will find in this post. All the anime are fantastic to watch, but this will help you easily find the ones you’re most interested in. Here’s the list, allowing for quick navigation:

What is Anime?

Before we begin with the list, we would like to take some time and reflect on what exactly anime is and why it has gotten so popular in recent years. Anime is a term used when referring to hand-drawn or computer animation. The term is mostly used in the west, to distinguish western animation from Japanese animation. It started out in the 20th Century as an emulation of western cartoons such as Disney animations. However, it has now become its own thing, captivating people since the 70s.

It used to be a niche in the early 2000s, but watching anime has now become a widely popular hobby for many young people in the west. As the term refers to all animation, there is a variety of different genres. Anime can be about fantastical magic lands, mundane life, sports and even mature mysteries. Anyone can enjoy anime and find something they like. Aside from the fluid animation, anime is also beloved for its wonderful characters and dramatic stories.

It might seem like gambling doesn’t have much to do with cartoons, but anime incorporates it well, even in non-gambling shows. Stories about kids trapped in a game world or men betting their whole lives on a game of mahjong are frequent occurrences.

The thrill of gambling is captured perfectly with realistic characters, keeping you invested in the outcome of the story, just like when you spin a slot machine. Hopefully, this has excited you for the following top 10 gambling anime in our list.

1.Yu Gi Oh – Season 0

We start off strong, with a classic show that many people have watched growing up. The story is about Yugi Muto, a young kid who discovers an ancient artefact containing the soul of a lost pharaoh. Now he goes about his daily life, battling evildoers who intend to hurt his friends. As he challenges them to various Shadow Games (Yami no Game), Yugi must uncover the secret of the puzzle.

Most people know Yu Gi Oh as a trading card game. While that series does have wonderful characters and high-stakes games, this show is an entirely different beast. Season 0 follows the first few chapters of the manga, created by Kazuki Takahashi in 1996. The anime itself ran from April 4th to October 10th 1998.

The adventures are more episodic, without a real overarching plot. However, each episode is exciting as the characters face terrifying punishments if they lose. Drama and excitement await you, with a variety of games, from Mahjong to Yo-yos. Sitting at 27 episodes, it’s a fun and short gambling anime that will keep you watching.

2. Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler

It’s not a list of anime about gambling without mentioning Kakegurui. Also known as the Compulsive Gambler anime, this series has plenty of excitement and drama to go around. The setting is a high-school for kids of the wealthiest and most influential people in the world. But these kids aren’t just there to study and become world leaders themselves.

They gamble with their wealth, and the losers end up as pets for the winner. Some might even become indebted for life. However, all that changes when a transfer student by the name of Yumeko Jabami enters the school. What happens when a compulsive gambler, playing for the sheer fun of it, faces off against people desperate to win?

The manga, written by Homura Kawamoto, was first serialized in 2014 and is still on-going. There are currently two seasons of the anime, the first released in 2017 and the second in 2019, with 12 episodes each. What makes this show so interesting is the psychological aspect.

Yumeko is a compulsive gambler, who can perceive a rigged game and will do anything for one more gamble. Mary Saotome is a rival turned friend who aims to become the school president. Although short, there’s much to enjoy in this wonderful gambling school anime. We hope more seasons will appear in the future.

3. Kaiji – Against All Rules

The popular series about a down on his luck gambler has returned. After his experience at Espoir, Kaiji is once again in deep debt. This time he is working at an underground labour camp and is paid a pitiful amount of money. Wishing to save both himself and his fellow workers, Kaiji now aims to go back to the surface and earn enough money through gambling to pay off his debt. But first, he must earn a pass to go outside, and that involves some underground Cee-lo gambling.

Anime gambling isn’t just kids playing games. Kaiji is a wonderful series that takes a mature spin on gambling. The main character has lost his money due to the Japanese recession and now constantly risks his life to make ends meet. Gambling is just the tool through which he achieves that goal.

This wonderful dark tale with a hint of hope has been entertaining people since 1996 and is still going. Based on the work of Nobuyuki Fukumoto, the manga was first adapted into a 26 episode season in 2007, covering the first two arcs.

Kaiji: Against All Rules is the second season of this anime, made in 2011 and covering the next few arcs. The show is a fascinating tale about a man, going beyond his own weakness, saving himself and his friends from eternal debt. There are real stakes involved in this gambling anime, which will keep you on the edge of your seat. We hope there will be more seasons in the future of this anime.

4. Mardock Scramble: The Second Combustion

Gambling anime can be more than just short seasonal shows. Action movies have always blended well with gambling. The second in a trilogy of films, Mardock Scramble is about a woman called Rune Balot, who has been turned into a cyborg after nearly dying in an explosion. Now she will do anything in her power to bring her killer, a notorious gambler, to justice.

In order to do that, she must win four 1 million dollar casino chips, that contain data on the killer’s victims. This leads to an intense game, where every move counts. A truly marvellous trilogy of movies, with suspense and drama at every corner. You will be kept at the edge of your seat, waiting to see how this story will unfold.

As mentioned, Second Combustion is the second of 3 movies that adapt the 2003 novel by Tow Ubukata. Each film is 70 minutes long, and you’ll need to see all of them for the complete story. The first was released in 2010, while the last was released in 2012. Enjoy a thrilling cyberpunk story, with justice being the ultimate prize.

5. Death Billiards

We finish the first 5 anime with an absolute masterpiece, that deserves your attention. A young man and an old man appear in a luxurious bar. After a few drinks, the bar is revealed to be something much greater. The two men can’t leave until they play a game of billiards. However, only one of them will leave alive. A true gamble of life and death begins.

This fantastic anime is actually 25 minutes long, first shown at Anime Mirai 2013. Anime Mirai is an annual event where young animators, trained by various companies get to show off their hard work after an intense training period. This short is the wonderful product of such animators working for Madhouse. The short was so popular, it spawned its own TV series called Death Parade.

What makes this short so wonderful is that there is no battle between good or evil. Only two men with different lives, trying to survive. It feels very human and realistic to how someone would act in that situation. The psychological aspect is also much better than the compulsive gambler anime. Suspensful, mysterious, and yet oddly relaxing, this short is worth the time.

6. One Outs

Gambling itself isn’t just about slots and casinos. One Outs is a wonderful gambling anime that incorporates the world of baseball into a thrilling tale. The Lycaons are the weakest team in the Japanese league and need serious help in order to make it to the championship. To do this, the manager hires Toa Takuchi, a man with no experience but incredible skill in pitching.

He plays a simple version of baseball, the titular One Outs, where you get only one chance to hit the ball or you’re out. Takuchi forms a contract, where each out earns him 5 million yen and every run the opponent gets, loses him 50 million yen. With a fortune on the line and just one shot to make it, can Takuchi bring the team to the championship?

First appearing as a manga in 1998 written by Shinobu Kaitani, One Outs was adapted as a 25 episode anime in 2008. This gambling anime is more like the old sports movies about a failing team. It’s an interesting story, with plenty of twists to keep it engaging. The quick games keep a fast and exhilarating pace, leaving more time for character development. Keep your eyes on the ball and don’t miss a second of this show!

7. Legendary Gambler Tetsuya

For our next anime, we have an older tale, before bright and fancy casinos. In 1947, Japanese people can barely make ends meet after the war. This has created a land of deceit and fierce competition, with people resorting to gambling in order to survive. In a quiet mahjong parlour, Tetsuya is an undisputed champion until an adversary named Boushu defeats him. Now polishing his skills, Tetsuya aims to get a rematch and restore his glory.

The manga written by Fumei Sai ran from 1997 to 2005. It got a 20 episode anime in 2000, so you won’t get the full story. Nevertheless, it is an interesting tale about life immediately after the war. Characters struggle to survive in a desolate world, destroyed by years of war. It may be an old anime about an older period of time, but the characters are just as real and entertaining today.

8. One Piece Film:Gold

Despite how shocking it may be, an anime about pirates going on adventures and seeking treasure would naturally have something to do with gambling. One Piece is an extremely popular series in both the west and Japan, created by Eiichiro Oda. It started in 1997 and is still ongoing. This film in, particular, was released in 2016 with a 120-minute runtime.

The story of the movie is about the Strawhat Pirates, arriving on a ship that works as a huge entertainment city. After being greeted by the concierge Baccarat and earning a fortune at the casino, the group meets Gild Tesoro, owner of the ship. He challenges them to a dice game and cheats them out of their winnings, putting them in debt. Now the gang must try to work out the debt and escape the casino, before their captured friend is killed.

The movie shows a lighter and more exaggerated side of gambling as it is made for young boys. The cast of characters is colourful and fun, as they explore an entire city made of gold, trying to win big and having fun. Bring out your inner pirate with this fantastic adventure story set in a lavish casino ship.

9. Akagi

We go back to the underworld of gambling with Akagi. The story is about a young boy who, to escape the police, ends up in a mahjong parlour. There he meets a man called Nango, who is losing badly against the yakuza in a game of mahjong.

Using his intellect and genius strategies, Akagi manages to win and earns a ton of money in the process. But the story is not over yet, as soon Akagi is thrust into a mysterious world of serial killers and yakuza. With many twists and turns, this story will keep you watching, to find out the next move in this exciting tale.

This anime, which aired for 26 episodes starting in 2005, was adapted from a manga series written by Nobuyuki Fukumoto in 1991. That’s right – this is the same author who made Kaiji. This guarantees a high-quality story, filled with suspense and drama. While Akagi is a spinoff prequel story about a supporting character in the manga Ten, it can be enjoyed all on its own. Just like Kaiji, the anime does not cover the full story. We hope to see more seasons in the future.

10. Rio: Rainbow Gate

Anime gambling can seem like a very dark place. Most stories are depressing tales about survival or feature criminal organizations. That is why our list ends with a wonderfully light-hearted anime. A fitting end, considering this is an anime based on characters from a pachinko-slot machine. Produced in 2011 by studio Xebec, this comedic anime with 14 episodes is a light and fun spin on gambling.

Rio Rollins is a young, attractive girl who works as a dealer at Howard Resort. Her unusual aura allows her to bring good luck to players, simply by being around them. This has made the casino a popular destination for gamblers. Rio soon learns that she holds a Gate card. Whoever collects all 13 will be granted one wish and become the best dealer in the world. Now Rio must face many challenges in hopes of collecting all the cards and bringing good fortune to all.

Naturally, the premise is high fantasy as a dealer who can guarantee a player’s victory wouldn’t bring much revenue to a casino. The gate battles, where characters compete in games to earn the gate cards, are also much more comedic than usual gambling anime. One opponent even loses by eating spicy food.

However, the positive tone is a refreshing change from the usual gloom of gambling. Rio is a strategic genius, being well-versed in the tricks her opponents use. There’s also a hint of mystery surrounding the cards and Rio’s own mother. It’s a fun anime, with colourful characters that perfectly captures the joy of winning at a casino.

Conclusion – Fun Anime Gambling

As this list has shown, anime is a very diverse medium, that can incorporate multiple genres into a single story. Gambling anime shows exciting and dramatic stories about the power of human will and determination. Even the gloomiest tales have a hint of hope that maybe this one hand will bring ultimate victory. The excitement of gambling blends with amazing characters and an exciting plot to make some truly unforgettable stories.

That’s all from us for now. Real-life gambling might not have magic cards, but the excitement and fun are all the same. Make sure to check out the rest of our site for more gambling-related news and articles. You can even find some wonderful free slots to play. See you next time!

FAQ section

In this short section, we will answer some pressing questions you may have regarding the gambling anime. Take a quick look for more detailed information on the topic. For those new to anime, this will be very informational, while those more experienced will find some additional details.

❓ What is gambling anime?

Gambling anime is simply a genre of animated movies and shows that prominently feature gambling. It can either be a plot device or a major theme, and it is not always related to traditional casino gambling. Anime itself can have many different genres, as explained in our "what is anime" section.

πŸ‘Ž Why Kakegurui is a bad gambling anime?

The reason it's considered a bad gambling anime is the stakes. Even if they lose, the kids have tons of money to pay off their debts and are usually fine. However, we believe the gambling school anime is sufficiently enjoyable. The interaction between characters and psychological aspect is the most enjoyable part, as mentioned in the Kakegurui section.

πŸ“Ί Are there other gambling anime?

The anime listed in here are just some of the many gambling anime you can find. As mentioned in the One Outs section, gambling is not just about casinos, but high-risk situations with a large payoff. Once you are done with these, you will find even more shows to enjoy.

πŸ—ΊοΈ Where is gambling anime the most popular?

Gambling anime originates from Japan, so it has more popularity there. However, anime, in general, has become much more popular in Europe and America in recent years. You can easily find anime to watch on the internet, from any point in the world. You can start, by choosing one of our recommended gambling anime shows.

πŸ’­ Why are most anime adapted from manga?

Manga is the older and more popular medium in Japan. While there are many great original anime shows, most are adaptations to promote the manga. One popular example of this is One Piece, which has garnered a cult following, due to its amazing story and characters.