If you don’t want to take the time at your gaming table to play out several rounds of games, you can always just use the Quick Gambling rules to determine how well a PC does. If you opt for this method, a single game takes about 5 minutes of game time to resolve. Each PC who wishes to gamble must place his bet—an amount anywhere from 1 sp on up. Have each gambling PC make a Charisma check, then compare the results of the check to the following table to determine how well the PC did. Alternatively, a character with ranks in Profession (gambler) can choose to make that check instead of a straight-up Charisma check. Failure to meet the lowest DC result indicates that the gambler lost his entire stake.
Sleight of Hand: Sleight of hand provides a +2 synergy bonus to gambling rolls for Dice Games (Not for Bounder)
Bluff: Bluff provides a +2 synergy bonus for Card Games
Players can use a sleight of hand check to try and cheat at their game when using quick gambling rules. They must pass the dealer/spotter's opposed spot check in order to cheat. If they do pass than they gain a 1-5 bonus to their gambling roll for that round, dependant on their level of success. Players can attempt to cheat at other games as well, but these require things like duplicate card decks, loaded dice, and relevant sleight of hand or spellcraft rolls in order to employ them as the situation dictates. This could range from a player using mage hand in Ghoulette, swapping out loaded dice for Bounder, or bringing spare cards to the table in Golem.
|Quick Gambling Results|
|DC 10||Loss: Lose 50% of stake.|
|DC 12||Minor Loss: Lose 20% of stake.|
|DC 14||Break Even: Regain stake.|
|DC 16||Minor Win: Regain stake plus 20%.|
|DC 18||Win: Regain stake plus 50%.|
|DC 20||Big Win: Regain stake plus 100%.|
|DC 22||Jackpot!: Regain stake plus 120%.|
|DC 24||Jackpot!: Regain stake plus 140%.|
|DC 26||Jackpot!: Regain stake plus 160%.|
|DC 28||Jackpot!: Regain stake plus 180%.|
|DC 30||Major Jackpot!: Regain stake plus 200%.|
|-10||Loss: Lose whole stake to opponent(s)|
|-5||Minor Loss: Lose half of stake to opponent(s)|
|+5||Win: Win half of opponent's loss|
|+10||Big Win: Win all of opponent's loss|
This assumes direct 1v1 betting. If in a multiple participant bet, where each participant must match bets, than make the 2nd highest number the Break Even mark and calculate off of that.
note: The house may take a percentage of the win; this changes from gambling house to house, although accepted rule is generally 5%.
Gambling at the Gold Goblin
Presented here are four of the games catering to the Gold Goblin Gambling Hall’s diverse clientele. Each game is presented in a format that allows you to run it at your game table.
“Bounder, bounder, bounder! No doubles, no doubles!”
What You’ll Need: 3d6 for the dealer and 2d20 for each player, plus coins to track bets.
How to Play: Bounder is unique among gambling games in that both the players and dealer use dice. The dealer gets three 6-sided dice, and each player gets two 20-siders.
- To start, each player bets a stake (minimum 1 sp). Each player rolls his first d20, making his “point.” After all players have rolled their points, each player may double his stake if desired.
- Then the dealer rolls 3d6. Anyone whose point the dealer matches loses his stake.
- Then each player rolls his second d20. If the player’s two dice results are on either side of the dealer’s result—one greater than and one less than the dealer’s number—he “bounds” the dealer and wins an amount equal to the amount he bet. Otherwise, he loses his stake.
- If a player rolls a 1 and a 20 (or a 20 and a 1), he wins double his bet.
Odds: The house edge in this game is 18% without any doubling. A player over time will get about 7/17 of his money back. Extreme points (1, 2, 19 and 20) are as good as 47.5%, so doubling is wiser there (but still not wise).
“What a mighty hero! Ready to rescue the ale from any mug!”
Background: Ghoulette is a roulettelike game invented by a strange rogue named Lixy Parmenter. She got the idea for the game after making an unusual discovery while robbing a grave—she found the decapitated head of Dungo the Savage. Dungo was a disillusioned bard and priest of Calistria known far and wide for his withering insults, capable of reducing the most confident lord to a shaking mass. Things did not end swimmingly for Dungo, as he was fatally munched by a ghoul. Before he succumbed to ghoul fever, he spat out one last curse: that the citizens of Riddleport would be haunted by his sharp tongue for all time. Unfortunately, his curse attracted Calistria’s attention, who was at the time in a particularly playful mood. She answered Dungo’s curse by transforming his head into a magic item. (The ghouls ate the rest of him.) Dungo retains a vestigial ability to hurl insults, even with the lack of lungs (or the need to breathe, for that matter). Lixy Parmenter found his insults to be rather amusing, and decided to turn the strange talking head into a gambling game. She mounted Dungo on a wheel and surrounded it with various categories, and players bet on the category that his head will face after each spin.
What You’ll Need: A spinner or a d12, plus markers and coins to track bets. (Iphone App)
How to Play: To play, each player puts a marker and any number of coins on one or more of the spaces on the ghoulette wheel (minimum 10 cp per space). The croupier then spins Dungo until he comes to a stop. Dungo then issues an enraged insult at someone based on the particular topic he is looking at on the wheel. Any player who has coins on the subject matter of this insult is paid the amount of coins he bet in the next highest denomination—copper gets paid in silver (e.g., a 15 cp bet gets 15 sp), silver in gold, gold in platinum, and platinum in ten times the amount. If Dungo says “something nice,” each player gets a consolation prize of the amount of coins he bet in the next lowest denomination, rounded down (e.g., a 15 cp bet gets back 1 cp). Then the croupier presses a button that tilts the edges of the wheel slightly inward, and all original bets (regardless of win or loss) slide into slots under Dungo’s head and into the coffer under the table.
Odds: The house edge in this game is 8.33%. Over time, a player earns back 11/12 of his money, or very slightly less if he bets in anything other than increments of 10 due to rounding down on “something nice.”
Savage-Tongued Ghoul Head
Aura Strong necromancy; CL 3rd
Slot—; Price 1,000 gp
Alignment CE; Ego 3
Senses 30 ft. vision and hearing; Int 11, Wis 10, Cha 12
Dungo possesses only one power: the ability to insult. To determine an insult, roll 1d12 and apply the results to the following chart.
- “Something Nice”
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, magic mouth;
Cost 500 gp, 40 XP
“It’s you verses the greedy golem! Test your skill and take the monster’s pot!”
What You’ll Need: A deck of cards, plus an amulet and coins to track bets. A golem deck is identical to a realworld poker deck, except the cards go from 1 to 13 in four suits: flesh (hearts), clay (spades), stone (diamonds), and iron (clubs).
How to Play: Golem is a player-vs.-player card game similar to five-card draw poker, but with a “golem hand.” Golem is played in a series of games; one game must be completely resolved before the next begins. The player to the right of the dealer gets the amulet to start the night.
- The dealer deals five cards to each player. Starting at the amulet, each player can bet, raise one coin, or fold. Anyone who folds is out of the game, and can’t come back in until a new game begins.
- Next, each player may discard up to two cards and receive that many back from the dealer. These discarded cards go facedown on the center of the table.
- Another round of betting occurs, starting at the amulet. If, at any point, only one player hasn’t folded, he wins the pot—the house taking 5 percent—and the game is over.
- If at least two players are still in after all bets are called, those players reveal their hands. Then the dealer “ups the golem.” The golem hand—those cards discarded when players had the chance to draw new cards—is revealed, and if the player with the best hand beats the golem, he wins the pot, and the game is over. But if the player with the best hand does not beat the golem, that player must put into the pot an amount of coins equal to what’s already in the pot, and all cards are collected so that a new hand can be dealt for the players who were still in at the end. This continues until someone wins the pot. The house takes 5 percent of the final pot, and then the amulet moves one position to the right and a new game is dealt.
Odds: The house takes 5 percent of each final pot; otherwise, the odds of winning are determined by the other players.
“Step up to the lake and get your racers ready! There’s a storm a’comin’!”
What You’ll Need: A three-by-three grid (or a set of nine small boxes of the same size), a large bowl, and a different-colored set of 25 identical tokens, beads, cubes, or chips for up to eight players.
How to Play: Skiffs is a halfling gambling game played on a three-by-three board or set of boxes (the “lake”).
- Each player puts up in 25 tokens (“skiffs”).
- The dealer takes one skiff (the “racer”) from each player and then places the rest in a bowl called the “storm.”
- The storm is flipped over the lake in one smooth motion, so each of the skiffs falls into one of the 9 boxes. (If a skiff falls between parts of the lake, the dealer places it where more than half of it lies, choosing randomly between the two boxes if it isn’t clear.)
- The dealer places the racers in the bowl. Then the dealer pulls out one racer at a time, and that player takes a turn.
On your turn you must do exactly one of the following, if you can:
• Remove any one skiff.
• Remove one of your skiffs and any one skiff from anywhere on the board.
• Remove one of your skiffs and any two skiffs from the same box.
• Move one skiff to an adjacent box.
When a box contains exactly one skiff, that skiff is “anchored.” An anchored skiff can’t be removed except by its owner, and no one can move a skiff into that box except the anchored skiff’s owner.
In all cases, each skiff you remove is worth one coin, regardless of whose it is.
After everyone has taken a turn, the dealer puts the racers back in the bowl, and starts a new round of turns.
- The game can end in two ways. The first way is if anyone has the only skiffs in a straight line vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. In this case, that player wins all the skiffs still on the board. The house keeps the racers.
- The second way is if each box contains skiffs of just one color, or none at all. In that case, the game ends, the house keeps the racers, and points are counted. You get one point for each skiff on the board, and one point for every box in which you have the only skiff(s). Whoever has the most points on the board takes all the remaining skiffs. In the case of a tie, those skiffs are split evenly between the tied players.
Odds: This is mostly a skill game, so there are no precise odds. It’s also not a fair game, meaning others can pick on you if you tick them off. But the house doesn’t care, since it takes the racers (one coin per player).