The Best Gambling-Themed Anime: A Comprehensive Guide

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two red dice bouncing on a green felt surface with stacks of poker chips in the background
BetMGM Jun 10, 2023, 10:44 PM

Anime, a captivating style of animation originating in Japan, has captured the hearts of billions worldwide. Beloved for its distinct aesthetic of vibrant visuals, fantastical worldscapes and colorful, exaggerated characters, anime spans a diverse spectrum of genres. Within this vast universe, gambling has carved its niche. Gambling-themed anime series bring the electric atmosphere of in-person casinos, online casino games and strategic betting to the small screen.

Through captivating storytelling and dazzling gameplay, these shows delve into the intricate dance between risk-taking, strategic thinking and the fascinating depths of the human psyche in the face of uncertainty.

Where Anime Meets Gambling

Whether it’s finding yourself on the edge of your seat during intense poker showdowns or enthralled by exhilarating mahjong matches, gambling and casino-themed anime offers an unmatched immersive experience for fans of both worlds. 

Best Gambling Anime

If you’re new to the genre and unsure where to start, you need not fear. Whether the plots involve intense card games or strategic gambling adventures, this guide will introduce you to the ever-expanding world of gambling-themed anime. Prepare yourself for an unforgettable voyage into the riveting realm where anime and gambling collide.

Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor

“Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor” is a masterpiece in storytelling and character development. Based on the famous gambling manga series by Nobuyuki Fukumoto, this gripping anime follows the journey of Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji, a down-on-his-luck deadbeat who finds himself caught in a treacherous game of wits with loan sharks.

As the weight of a coworker’s debt falls on his shoulders, Kaiji is thrust into a ruthless world of deception, in which survival becomes his only goal. With its intricate plot twists, nerve-wracking suspense and profound exploration of the human mind, Kaiji offers an unparalleled experience for fans of psychological thrillers.

“Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor” spans two soul-stirring seasons, packed with a total of 26 arresting episodes and is available to stream by US audiences on Crunchyroll, Funimation and Netflix.

Akagi: The Genius Who Descended Into Darkness

“Akagi: The Genius Who Descended into Darkness” is a captivating spin-off and prequel to the main story of Kaiji. Set in a fictional 1950s-era Japan, this enthralling anime follows the enigmatic teenage protagonist, Shigeru Akagi, and his extraordinary (and accidental) foray into the enticing underworld of mahjong.

On a dark and stormy night, as the story often goes, a rain-soaked Akagi stumbles into a mahjong parlor in a foolish attempt to evade police officers pursuing him. Little does he know that this particular establishment is under the iron grip of the notorious Yakuza. Once inside, he crosses paths with Nangou, an experienced gambler trapped in a perilous losing streak that could cost him his very life. Intrigued by the unfolding drama, Akagi watches the games unfold before his eyes, assessing the situation.

Driven by a mixture of curiosity and audacity, Akagi boldly offers to take Nangou’s place in the game. Unbeknownst to him, this impulsive decision will thrust him onto a treacherous path where danger lurks at every turn.

“Akagi: The Genius Who Descended into Darkness” consists of 26 thrilling episodes and can be easily accessed for streaming on popular platforms like Crunchyroll and Funimation for US viewers.

Legendary Gambler Tetsuya

In the economically devastated streets of post-World War II Shinjuku, a tale of the student surpassing his master begins to unfold. Meet Tetsuya, a skilled gambler who, after a string of losses at his workplace, seizes an opportunity to play mahjong against American soldiers stationed in a different city. Driven by the allure of challenging formidable opponents and winning substantial sums of money, Tetsuya eagerly embarks on a series of high-stakes matches.

As the story develops, Tetsuya’s journey as a gambler takes shape within the framework of a master and disciple narrative. His burning desire to surpass his mentor, Boushu, fuels his relentless pursuit of becoming an even greater gambler by any means necessary.

What sets “Legendary Gambler Tetsuya” apart from other casino anime is the protagonist’s unique approach to gameplay. While others rely on strategy and mind games, Tetsuya embraces a different path, including cheating as an integral part of his winning strategy. With mind-bending games and unexpected twists, this series delivers an exhilarating experience that keeps viewers guessing until the very end.

The anime consists of one season with a total of 20 episodes. It is available for streaming on various platforms for US audiences, including Crunchyroll and Funimation.


“Kakegurui” is an intense, darkly comedic anime series based on the manga by Homura Kawamoto. The story takes place at Hyakkaou Private Academy, an elite high school where students are socially ranked based on their gambling prowess. Winners gain status and power, while the losers become indebted and subject to the whims of the influential student council.

The plot follows Yumeko Jabami, a remarkable transfer student possessing a love of gambling and the talent of easily reading her opponents. Yumeko disrupts the established hierarchy of the school with her unpredictable and daring strategies, challenging both the student council and reigning top-tier players. The series explores the concept of psychological manipulation and the consequences of obsession.

US audiences can enjoy all 12 episodes of both seasons of “Kakegurui” on popular streaming platforms, including Netflix.

No Game No Life

“No Game No Life” is a light-hearted anime series that follows the story of two siblings: brilliant, extroverted Sora and highly intelligent, introverted Shiro, famous gamers known as “Blank” in the online gaming world. They are invited to a mysterious world called Disboard, where all conflicts can be resolved through games instead of violence and war. In Disboard, Sora and Shiro aspire to conquer all, becoming the ultimate rulers of the mystical kingdom.

The plot revolves around Shiro and Sora’s strategic, almost superhuman gifts as they take part in gaming challenges in order to outsmart their opponents. They form important alliances, participate in nail-biting showdowns and navigate a world filled with complex rules and eccentric characters with unique, unearthly abilities.

US audiences can watch “No Game No Life” on popular streaming platforms such as Crunchyroll and Funimation. The anime has one season consisting of 12 episodes.

Play Casino Games Online at BetMGM

From the psychological battles of “Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor” to the strategic mahjong gameplay in “Akagi: The Genius Who Descended into Darkness,” these anime series offer audiences an expansive range of narratives and characters to lose themselves in. 

While watching these anime, you may feel inspired to try your luck with casino games online. Platforms like BetMGM offer a wide range of games where you can experience the excitement from the comfort of your own home.

If you’re interested in exploring the world of casino games further or seeking more information about the gambling industry, the BetMGM blog provides valuable insights. You can learn about common misconceptions in movies and series about gambling, as well as read up about some of the most iconic films in the genre.

To embark on your own casino adventure, sign up with BetMGM today and explore their wide range of online slots and casino games. Register and begin your thrilling gambling experience.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.