Best Gambling Games to Play with a Group of Friends

Betting on anything instantly makes it instantly more exciting. You can prove that to yourself easily enough. Find a sport on TV that you have literally no interest in. Put a bet on one of the teams to win and see how quickly your interest rises. Even if it’s only a small bet, the possibility to win some money will instantly ramp up the thrills! 

In this article, we look at some games you can play with your friends that often involve betting money. We think you’ll agree, putting a cash prize on the line is sure to increase the enjoyment you can get from these classic games. However, remember not to take it too seriously. You don’t want to lose any friends by following our suggestions!

friends play casino

There are better things to do than look at the screen


Poker is one of the most recognisable card games in the world. The game is an elegant blend of skill and luck that makes it perfect for playing with friends. Unlike games like blackjack that have distinct roles for those participating (the dealer and the players), everyone comes to the poker table equal. The rules of the game do not provide an advantage to anyone. 

Since there is no distinction between players, it’s everyone for themselves at the poker table. This makes it ideal to enjoy when you have friends over. There are various different ways you can monetise your poker games too. You can play “cash poker” where everyone brings their own money to the table and each bet is made using actual money (or chips representing actual money). Players can top up their bankroll when they run low on funds and can cash out whenever they please. 

Alternatively, you can play “tournament poker”. Here, each player buys a stack of chips for a set amount of money. Once they have bought in, the action continues until one player has all the chips. Prizes for first, second, and third positions will be decided prior to the game. You can make the buy-in as little or as large as you want too. 


Mah-jong is massive in China and has been exported around the world. It can be played for fun but is much more exciting when you get real money involved. Like poker, it blends luck, strategy, and skill, making it perfect to enjoy with friends. 

Mah-jong is a game that uses a set of 144 tiles. These are differentiated from one another with various Chinese symbols. Whilst different regions of China have slightly different rulesets, most involve players receiving 13 tiles and they must make up a winning hand using a 14th tile taken from the table. A legal hand involves four sets of three tiles and a pair. 

This article is much too short to fully describe all the rules of mah-jong. It might look a little daunting to play at first (there aren’t many Western games that use such beautifully designed tiles!) but watch a few YouTube videos and you’ll soon get an idea of how to play. If it’s your first time playing, it might be an idea to get through a few games for fun before you start betting

When you’ve a good handle on the rules of mah-jong, you can introduce some real money. Most people bet on each round of the game (most versions have 16 rounds). The bet per round can be the same each time or different. You can decide on the bets per round at the beginning of the game or between rounds. It’s entirely up to you. Alternatively, you can bet on an overall winner of the entire game. 


Believe it or not but slots can provide great entertainment with a group of friends. You might think that slots are a rather solitary pastime but they don’t have to be at all. 

Get together with your mates and club together a bankroll to take to the casino. Whatever you win, you’ll split. If you lose, you’ll all share the grief! 

casino games online

Whilst it’s possible to play slots with a group of friends huddled around a single machine in a pub or casino, we think the games are best enjoyed online. This is because you can connect your laptop to a larger screen using a HDMI port and everyone can follow the action without being bunched together around a computer or phone. 

The best thing is that you don’t need to spend money. You can play for free using free spins that are freely available at The site lists loads of different promotions that mean you and your friends can try your luck at winning real money with zero risk. If you win big, you can use the cash to fund a group outing somewhere fun. This might be a dinner in a restaurant, a trip to a brick-and-mortar casino, or whatever you and your friends decide on. If you lose, it’s no big deal. You can always signup to the next casino offering a similar promotion and try again. 

Having a seat in front of a monitor together with friends and playing slots can also be a fun way to spend an evening. You can play slots for free or real money – many new casino sites offer amazing deals and promotions for new players. Especially new online casinos in New Zealand where you can grab lots of free spins, no deposit bonuses and really great welcome bonuses.

Pitch and Toss

Pitch and Toss, Coins, Pitching Pennies, or just Pitch, is a great game that requires skill, a few coins, and little else. The court for the game is the floor. Ideally, you want an area of floor that’s pretty smooth, flat, and about six feet long with a wall at the far end. Before the game, you set a line behind which coins must be thrown from – just like the oche in the game of darts. The shorter the distance between the wall and the line, the easier the game will be.   

Each player brings their own money to a game of Pitch. The stakes are decided by the value of the coin used to play each round. Therefore, every player should use the same value coin for each round of the game played.

Players take it in turns throwing their coins the length of the pitch. The player that manages to land their coin closest to the wall will take all the money used in the round. 

It’s very simple to play and each round takes less than a minute. This means it can be perfect to pass a bit of time when waiting for a bus or train. It’s also a real party favourite and kitchens can make the ideal arenas for epic Pitch and Toss games! 


Our last great game to gamble on with friends is the card game rummy. It’s a bit like mah-jong in that there are loads of different variations of the game. It’s, therefore, important to make sure all the players are familiar with the same set of rules before you start. 

The object of the game is also similar to mah-jong. Players must pick up and put down cards to make an eligible hand. Eligible hands consist of melds. A meld can be either a set (either three or four cards of the same rank) or a run (three or four cards of the same suit in ascending numerical order).

We won’t go too far into the rules of rummy here because whichever version of the game you decide to play will dictate how you play. However, in terms of betting, you’ll typically bet on rounds prior to any cards being deal. The winner of each will take all money bet for that round. New bets will be placed prior to the next round. 

In terms of how much to bet, that depends on your friends’ appetite for risk! You could choose just a few cents or go high stakes. And if you think high stakes gambling on cards is the reserve of poker players, check out High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story. This biopic documents the life of legendary gambler Stu Ungar. Ungar made a name for himself playing rummy long before switching to poker after he beat literally all of the competition!