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If you’re a fan of the traditional table games like craps, poker, roulette, blackjack, or even machine games like video poker and slots, and you think that you’ve played all the casino games out there — boy, do we have news for you. There is a whole host of strange, confusing, and bizarre casino games out there, as varied as people on the planet.
Playing to win big and hitting the jackpot is always fun but with these off-the-wall games, participating or even spectating might give you the same thrill. It’s not always about winning, sometimes it’s just about fun and that’s certainly the case when you look at the games we found.
#1. Belgium Birdsong (Belgium)
Birdsong is an extremely popular betting game in Belgium. A perfect match for gamblers who can’t get enough of birdsong and bets, this game features a number of songbirds in cages around the casino floor. After scoping out the birds for a bit, players place bets on which bird they think will sing the longest and loudest.
Next, it’s time to wait patiently for the birds to sing their song. It’s not clear how they are coerced into doing so in-turn but once they do, bets are tallied, and winners are called. Whichever birds sing the loudest, longest, or both are the winning birds and bets on those birds win the wager.
There are, however, opponents to the practice of this game as well. Animal rights activists contend this game is harmful to the foul involved and have called for its elimination. Either way, it’s certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience if you do get to see it.
#2. Rodent Roulette (Worldwide)
Another no-no for animal lovers on our list is a crime against our little furry friends: Rodent Roulette.
Rodent Roulette? What on Earth are we talking about here? This game, also known as Race Race Roulette or Mouse Roulette, is a bizarre “spin” (see what I did there?) on the original game of roulette. But instead of the traditional variants of European or American roulette, the only choices here are what type of rodent goes in the middle of the wheel.
The most popular version of this game is Gerbil Roulette in which bets are placed in the usual way before a gerbil is placed in the center of a roulette wheel. When the wheel is spun, the gerbil will inevitably hide in one of the colored and numbered boxes. Whichever one he chooses is the winning bet.
This game has also sparked controversy for animal cruelty, sparking protests at many locations where the game is played throughout the years. It’s not clear that the rodent ever gets physically hurt, however, he may be a bit dizzy by the end.
#3. Dreidel (Worldwide)
Also known as sevivon in Hebrew, dreidel is a game that’s been played for two thousand years in the Jewish community. Traditionally played during Hannukah with family and friends, the wagers and winnings were usually raisins, pennies, chocolate, or matchsticks.
Before the game begins, everyone gathers 10-15 “chips” before the first person spins the dreidel. There’s no limit to how many people can play, and the only rules are as follows.
- Nun – translates to “nothing”, therefore the player gets nothing.
- Gimel – means “everything”, so the player gets everything in the pot.
- Hey – means “half”, meaning that the player gets half of the pot.
- Shin – translates to “put in”, meaning that the player needs to make an additional bet in the pot.
Whenever the pot is emptied, every player must contribute a set amount. Any player that cannot contribute after landing on a “shin” or after a fellow player lands on a “gimmel” loses.
Now, the game involved cash rather than odds and ends, it’s enjoyed by many groups of people around the world. Dreidel even has its own major league tournament in New York City.
#4. Tic-Tac-Toe Chicken (Atlantic City)
The last game on our list is even stranger for the mere fact that it has its own mascot! If ever you take a trip to the Tropicana Hotel in Casino in Atlantic City, be prepared to challenge the great “Ginger” to a head-to-beak match of Tic-Tac-Toe (or Naughts and Crosses).
Also known as the “Chicken Challenge,” this is no simple game of Tic-Tac-Toe. After making your mark on the board, you must wait patiently for Ginger to peck around her cage for a bit. Ultimately, she’ll press a button that determines where her “X” or “O” will be placed on the grid. If you win, the cash prize is a substantial $10,000!
Think it’s easy? Think again. Ginger has been known to destroy her opposition, defeating almost everyone she’s ever played. But if you have the “pluck,” you can certainly win big.
This particular match-up has also ruffled the feathers of animal activists due to the involvement of an animal in a casino game. But Ginger is a popular icon and travels around the United States, wowing audiences with her spectacular record.
As you can see, there are some odd games out there for players to try their luck. There are plenty more too, these just happened to be our all-time favorites. So, if you ever get the urge to play something a bit more offbeat, now you know where to look.