Delving into anime, one can find a kaleidoscope of genres that defy the imagination. One such exciting genre revolves around high stakes, risks, rewards, and gambling.
Intricately crafted plotlines that balance chance and strategy, characters showcasing incredible intellect, and thrilling game scenarios are the hallmarks of gambling anime. The blend of anticipation, exhilaration, and the captivating unpredictability of each gamble keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.
With its diverse portfolio, the genre has attracted many fans worldwide. If you love the thrill of the game, the calculated risks, and the unforeseen turns of fate, these anime about gambling are sure to appeal to your taste. Let’s shuffle the deck and explore the top 30 must-watch gambling anime series.
Anime About Gambling
In this section, we dive into the heart of gambling in anime. We’ll explore the diverse series where stakes run high; every decision could mean triumph or despair. From high school gambling matches to underground casino showdowns, we reveal the allure of risk and reward that defines this compelling genre.
1. Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor
Immerse yourself in a world where life is on the line and cunning is the only way to survive. “Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor” chronicles the tale of Kaiji Itou, an impoverished young man stuck in an endless cycle of debt.
When a shady financial company offers a suspicious gambling cruise to clear his debt, Kaiji sees it as his only escape. Onboard, he faces many twisted games where a single mistake could mean loss of life.
The plot’s depth and Kaiji’s relentless spirit and sharp wit offer an intense spectacle. Witness his journey as he learns to manipulate the odds, outsmart opponents, and survive life-threatening gambles. It’s a thrilling ride that takes viewers through the brutal realities of human nature and the consequences of high-stakes gambling.
Akagi takes us into the grimy underworld of Mahjong gambling in post-WWII Japan. Our protagonist, Shigeru Akagi, is not an ordinary player; he’s a ruthless genius who plays for the thrill of it, even when his life is at stake. Through various gambles, Akagi demonstrates his impeccable skills and fearless strategy.
His innate talent for turning losing games into victories is nothing short of awe-inspiring. With its rich storytelling and complex game tactics, Akagi keeps viewers captivated from the first hand to the last. It’s a series that showcases a perfect blend of intellect, strategy, and fearlessness – a riveting watch for anyone interested in a cerebral, high-stakes anime.
3. One Outs
“One Outs” is a thrilling blend of sports and gambling, where strategy rules the game. Meet Toua Tokuchi, a professional athlete with a unique contract – his earnings depend on his performance in every game. This ace pitcher uses his sharp wit and understanding of human psychology to outsmart his opponents.
The anime merges the intense competition of baseball with the high stakes of gambling, creating an exhilarating ride filled with suspense and strategy. It’s a captivating series that explores the depth of mind games, the thrill of competition, and the calculation that comes with every decision.
Step into the prestigious Hyakkaou Private Academy, where status is determined not by academic prowess but by one’s skill in gambling. “Kakegurui” follows the story of Yumeko Jabami, a seemingly naive new student who reveals her true colors as a gambling prodigy.
After hours, the school transforms into a gambling den, with high-stakes games that can elevate a student to a ruling class or reduce them to a servile ‘house pet.’ Yumeko’s delight in taking risks and her psychological acumen make this series a nail-biting spectacle of high-stakes gambling.
5. Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Hakairoku Hen
A sequel to “Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor,” “Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Hakairoku Hen” plunges Kaiji into another vortex of high-stakes gambling. Forced to slave away in an underground labor camp to pay off a colossal debt, Kaiji’s only glimmer of hope is a risky dice game that could potentially set him free.
With its detailed psychological battles, gripping storytelling, and the protagonist’s undying spirit, this anime is a thrilling exploration of resilience in the face of despair. The stakes are higher, the gambles more perilous, and the spirit of survival more intense than ever.
6. Legendary Gambler Tetsuya
“Legendary Gambler Tetsuya” transports viewers to the post-WWII era, where gambling on Mahjong is a popular means of survival. The anime follows the story of Tetsuya, a man who effortlessly trumps his opponents until he meets Boushu-san. The experience of defeat triggers a new chapter in his gambling life, teaching him that the game isn’t just about luck but also strategy.
As he learns the art of cheating without being caught, he evolves into a legendary gambler. Tetsuya’s journey, filled with ups and downs, exemplifies the harsh reality of gambling – showcasing that victory isn’t always about playing fair. This anime intricately weaves human resilience, cunningness, and the art of gambling into a captivating narrative.
7. Rio: Rainbow Gate!
“Rio: Rainbow Gate!” is a delightful mix of comedy, adventure, and the thrill of gambling. The story revolves around Rio Rollins, a popular casino dealer renowned for bringing good fortune to her clients, earning her the nickname “Goddess of Victory”.
The plot thickens as she’s drawn into mysterious games to collect 13 legendary gate cards that promise to make her the most valuable casino dealer. It’s a vibrant and entertaining series that encapsulates the glamour and thrill of casino life, with a twist of fantasy and comedy.
“Saki” combines the intensity of high school competition with the thrill of gambling. It introduces viewers to Saki Miyanaga, a young girl with a complex relationship with Mahjong; she has a unique ability to score zero in every game, neither winning nor losing. When her friend discovers this, Saki is pulled into the school’s Mahjong club and the world of competitive Mahjong.
Throughout the series, viewers witness Mahjong’s depth of strategy and skill and how Saki’s ‘zero’ strategy becomes a game-changing asset. “Saki” is an intriguing blend of friendship, competition, and the strategic world of Mahjong gambling.
“Usogui” or “The Lie Eater” is an intense psychological thriller revolving around high-stakes games managed by an organization known as Kagerou. Baku Madarame, the cunning and ruthless protagonist known as Usogui, aims to outwit Kagerou and become the king of this treacherous world.
The anime beautifully intertwines strategy, wit, and a penchant for risk-taking in the brutal world of gambling. With clever twists, intellectual games, and its nail-biting plotline, Usogui takes the audience on an unforgettable journey into the darker side of gambling.
10. Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji
Also known as “Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji,” “Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji” offers a thrilling portrayal of high-stakes gambling. When Kaiji Ito, a lowlife slacker, is tricked into taking on a huge debt, he must risk his life in a series of dangerous gambles to repay it. Each game is a psychological battle where Kaiji must strategize against deceit, betrayal, and his worst fears.
The anime paints a vivid picture of the dread and thrill of high-risk gambling while exploring the depths of human psychology. With its suspenseful plot and intense character development, this series delivers a riveting exploration of survival within the merciless world of gambling.
11. Touhai Densetsu Akagi: Yami ni Maiorita Tensai
Stepping into the world of “Touhai Densetsu Akagi: Yami ni Maiorita Tensai,” viewers find themselves gripped by the intense, high-stakes game of Mahjong. The anime features Akagi, a young boy with a natural talent for turning the tides in his favor, regardless of the odds stacked against him.
His skill and fearlessness draw him into the underworld, where he engages in life-or-death Mahjong games. The genius gambler becomes a legend, inspiring fear and awe in all who dare to challenge him. This anime showcases a riveting mix of dark realities, intricate strategy, and the thrilling drama of underground gambling.
12. Kakegurui XX
The sequel to “Kakegurui”, “Kakegurui XX” turns the gambling fervor up a notch as the student council elections in Hyakkaou Private Academy introduce new, powerful gamblers. The games become fiercer, and the stakes higher. Yumeko Jabami continues to stun with her high-risk gambles and unyielding love for the thrill of betting.
With new characters introducing their unique gambles, the plot thickens, and the excitement doubles. It’s a compelling continuation that promises more twists and turns, exploring the extremes of the human psyche when faced with risk and reward.
13. Liar Game
“Liar Game” plunges viewers into a mysterious tournament where deceit is the key to victory. Nao Kanzaki, an honest and naive girl, is coerced into participating, and she quickly finds herself out of her depth in a game that revolves around lying and cheating. Enter Shinichi Akiyama, a brilliant con artist, who becomes her only hope.
The pair navigate through a series of complex games that test their wit, trust, and cunning. “Liar Game” is a cerebral treat that explores the manipulation, deceit, and strategy in high-stakes gambling, promising a thrilling ride with every episode.
14. Phi Brain: Puzzle of God
“Phi Brain: Puzzle of God” offers a unique twist on gambling, where stakes run high not in cards or dice but in puzzles. The story revolves around Kaito Daimon, a puzzle-solving prodigy who is invited to battle against the mysterious organization POG in a series of deadly games.
Each puzzle Kaito solves takes him closer to uncovering the truth behind POG and their deadly ‘Philosopher’s Puzzles.’ The anime skillfully blends the intellectual thrill of puzzle-solving with the high stakes of gambling, creating a unique, thrilling narrative.
15. Death Parade
“Death Parade” brings viewers to a mysterious bar where the deceased participate in a high-stakes game to determine their afterlife. The series introduces a unique blend of life-and-death gambles that delve into human emotions and morality. The bartender, Decim, judges the souls based on their actions during these games.
The anime masterfully intertwines the thrill of gambling with profound philosophical inquiries into the human condition, making each episode a suspenseful, thought-provoking experience. It’s a compelling journey through life, death, and the grey areas in between.
16. The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
“The Money of Soul and Possibility Control,” often called [C]: Control, presents a unique spin on financial gambling set within an alternate reality. This reality, known as the Financial District, invites people to compete in weekly “deals” battles.” Victory provides enormous wealth, but defeat results in a life of ruin, even altering the real world’s timeline.
Our protagonist, Kimimaro Yoga, gets drawn into this high-stakes realm, becoming an “Entre” (short for entrepreneur). The anime masterfully blends economics, strategy, and risk to create a unique type of gamble. It raises thought-provoking questions about the nature of money and the human soul, making it a captivating watch.
17. Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor
In “Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor”, Kaiji Itou finds himself in a vicious cycle of debt. He’s offered a lifeline: a suspicious gambling cruise that could clear his debt if he can survive. The anime explores Kaiji’s struggle as he learns to navigate this brutal world, outsmarting opponents through numerous high-risk gambles.
The suspense of each game is masterfully crafted, keeping viewers on edge throughout. It’s a thrilling exploration of human nature, resilience, and the brutal reality of high-stakes gambling.
18. Mahjong Legend Akagi: The Genius Who Descended into the Darkness
“Mahjong Legend Akagi: The Genius Who Descended into the Darkness” immerses viewers in post-WWII Japan’s gritty underworld, where Mahjong gambling is king. The anime follows the ruthless genius Akagi, who, even at the risk of his life, plays for the thrill of it.
He turns losing games into victories with his strategic brilliance and fearless approach, making this anime a perfect blend of intellect, strategy, and fearlessness. It’s a compelling watch for fans of cerebral, high-stakes anime.
19. Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler
“Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler” occurs in Hyakkaou Private Academy, where social status is determined by gambling prowess rather than academic performance. The anime follows Yumeko Jabami, a seemingly innocent student who reveals herself as a gambling prodigy.
She indulges in high-stakes games, enjoying disrupting the academy’s hierarchy. The narrative unfolds as Yumeko challenges the student council members, each specializing in different gambling games. The series expertly showcases strategic gambles, psychological battles, and the intensity of risk-taking.
20. Saki Achiga-hen episode of Side-A
“Saki Achiga-hen episode of Side-A” is a spin-off of the original Saki series, bringing back the intense competition and high school Mahjong gambling strategy. It focuses on Achiga Girls’ Academy, whose Mahjong club was disbanded until a group of girls reestablished it to reach the national tournament and face their childhood friend in Saki’s team.
The anime brilliantly portrays the girls’ journey, struggles, triumphs, and evolving game strategies. It beautifully blends the spirit of friendship, competition, and high-stakes Mahjong gambling, making it a must-watch for fans of the original series and newcomers alike.
21. Rio: Rainbow Gate! Special
“Rio: Rainbow Gate! Special” adds a new layer of entertainment to the original series. Set in a glamorous casino, it follows the adventures of Rio Rollins, a dealer known for her ability to bring good luck to her clients. The special episodes continue her quest to become the most valuable casino dealer by collecting legendary gate cards.
Through her battles against formidable opponents, the series captures the thrill and allure of high-stakes games, creating a vibrant, gripping spectacle. With a mix of comedy, fantasy, and the casino’s glittering allure, this special edition is a must-watch for fans of the original series and newcomers alike.
22. No Game No Life
“No Game No Life” presents a unique take on high-stakes gaming. Sora and Shiro, two hikikomori step-siblings known as the unbeatable gamer duo “Blank,” are transported to a world where games determine everything.
As they aim to defeat the “God of Games,” they engage in battles that are intellectual, strategic, and filled with exciting twists. From chess games with a living board to word games where reality shifts with each turn, the anime masterfully weaves strategy and wit into an intricate tapestry of gambling.
23. C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
In the alternate reality of the Financial District, fortunes are made and lost in battles known as “deals.” “C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control” follows Kimimaro Yoga, an average college student who becomes an “Entre” (entrepreneur) in this world.
His every decision affects reality itself, adding high stakes to every battle. The anime offers a unique blend of economics and gambling, posing thought-provoking questions about the true value of money and the cost of ambition.
“Tetsunoshin” takes a lighter approach to the gambling theme. It revolves around a dog named Tetsunoshin, who, along with his family, wins a lottery and moves to the rich part of town. This anime portrays the adventures and misadventures of Tetsunoshin in his new life, filled with humor and heartwarming moments.
Although it doesn’t focus on intense gambling scenarios, the series shows the transformative power of sudden wealth, making it an enjoyable watch for viewers looking for a softer approach to the theme of fortune.
25. The Labyrinth of Grisaia
“The Labyrinth of Grisaia” serves as a sequel and prequel to the original series, further exploring protagonist Yuuji Kazami’s past and present life at Mihama Academy.
Although not primarily centered around gambling, this anime showcases the high-stakes choices Yuuji has to make as a professional assassin, resembling a gamble where his life is at stake. Each decision carries weight and consequences, keeping viewers on edge and delivering an intense narrative journey through Yuuji’s complex life.
26. Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor – Live Action
The live-action adaptation of “Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor” successfully translates the anime’s gripping tension and psychological drama to the big screen. It retains the essence of Kaiji Itou’s harrowing journey as he’s thrust into the cruel world of debt and high-stakes gambling. Viewers will be on the edge of their seats as Kaiji navigates through mind-boggling games, risking everything to erase his debt.
The unique charm of live-action adds a new dimension of realism, bringing the characters’ despair, triumph, and resilience to life. The live-action movie is intense and rewarding for anime fans or newcomers to Kaiji’s world.
27. Tobaku Haouden Zero
“Tobaku Haouden Zero” is a thrilling series that revolves around Zero, a genius gambler who claims he never bets unless he is guaranteed a 100% win. Each arc presents a new game, opponent, and puzzle for Zero to unravel. The anime uniquely combines mystery-solving with gambling, keeping viewers hooked.
It’s a cerebral and strategic game of cat and mouse that showcases Zero’s impeccable analytical skills and his flair for dramatics. The stakes get higher with each gamble, creating a suspenseful and exhilarating viewing experience.
28. Mudazumo Naki Kaikaku
“Mudazumo Naki Kaikaku” is a unique blend of political satire and high-stakes Mahjong gambling. The protagonist, former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, engages in intense Mahjong battles against other global political leaders to resolve international conflicts.
The anime’s audacious mix of political humor and the thrill of Mahjong makes it an unforgettable watch. The satirical portrayal of world leaders, combined with the strategic intricacies of Mahjong, creates a unique, entertaining narrative. It’s a highly recommended watch for those seeking a fresh and humorous take on the gambling genre.
29. Tokyo Vice
“Tokyo Vice” is an anime that weaves elements of crime and gambling into an engaging narrative. While it’s not centered around gambling, the characters’ high-stakes decisions to navigate through Tokyo’s dangerous underworld resemble a gamble.
Every choice is a high-risk, high-reward decision that can have far-reaching consequences. The series is a thrilling exploration of Tokyo’s crime scene, presenting a tense, dangerous game where everyone is trying to come out on top.
30. Kaiji 2
The sequel to the thrilling “Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor”, “Kaiji 2” further intensifies the high-stakes gambling drama. The series continues to follow Kaiji Itou as he is once again pulled into the ruthless gambling world to clear a massive debt. The stakes are higher, the games more dangerous, and the opponents more cunning.
Kaiji’s strategic brilliance and unyielding spirit against adversity make every episode suspenseful. The sequel delves deeper into the psychology of gambling and the desperate lengths people will go to overcome their circumstances, making “Kaiji 2” a must-watch for fans of the first season.
As we’ve journeyed through these high-stakes worlds of anime about gambling, it’s clear that the genre presents a diverse array of characters and plots, each unique in its way.
From classic series like “Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor” and “Akagi” to fresh takes such as “No Game No Life” and “The Money of Soul and Possibility Control,” we’ve seen how each series brilliantly combines suspense, strategy, and the human element into captivating narratives.
Whether it’s the thrill of the gamble, the intricacies of strategy, or the exploration of human nature, these 30 series offer a thrilling viewing experience sure to captivate any anime fan.