Unique Forms of Gambling

min read
A box filled with Mahjong tiles placed on a table.
BetMGM Aug 30, 2023, 3:11 PM

One of the many wonders of online casinos is the variety of games available. Like a conveyer belt in a sushi restaurant, something fresh and exciting is always on the horizon. In contrast, brick-and-mortar casinos usually have the same layout, tables and machines for years. 

A common theme among gamblers who play their favorite game avidly is that they start becoming bored and unmotivated to play. Exploring the world of unique gambling games can inject enjoyment and excitement into your gambling life. This article showcases some of the quirkiest forms of gambling.

The Beauty of Playing Unique Gambling Games 

 An excellent escape for adventurous gamblers, online gambling sites like BetMGM host various unusual but entertaining games. Great for gambling with friends, the concept surrounding unique games is to offer gamblers something they’ve never played before. Few things are more rewarding in gambling than discovering a thrilling and unique game, much like finding a new song no one’s heard of. 

Stepping away from traditional games like poker, blackjack and roulette is a brilliant way to avoid becoming disinterested from overplaying and spark the same level of excitement one had as a kid when playing new games. 

Additionally, unique games can bring back nostalgia, making players more interested and captivated. For instance, there’s a variety of Nintendo casino games, including Golden Nugget 64 and Caesars Palace, which were released in 1991 and 1998 respectively. 

The Different Types of Unique Games

Another intriguing part of finding unique games is unearthing the historical significance some have. Modern alternatives that haven’t been released before can also be interesting. Here are some surprising new games you can gamble on.


Having originated in China in the 1800s, Mahjong has been around for centuries. Although the game only gained mainstream attention beyond the nation’s borders in the 1900s, once it did, its popularity rose rapidly. For those wondering how to play Mahjong, read on.

Often played with four players, it requires two dice and 144 tiles numbered from 1–9. Additionally, there are three suits — dots (36 tiles,) bamboo (36 tiles) and characters (108 tiles) — which each have four tiles. Then there are the honor tiles: 

  • Three dragon tiles: red, green and white.
  • Eight supreme honor tiles: the four seasons (winter, autumn, spring, summer) and four flower tiles.
  • Four tiles representing the different winds: East wind, South wind, West wind and North wind.
  • Eight Jokers.

The tiles are arranged in a pile in the middle of the table and each player takes 13 tiles. The player who goes first takes an extra tile from the pile to start the game. When it’s your turn, you have two options: draw an additional tile from the pile or take a discarded tile from an opponent. The winner is the player who achieves “Mahjong,” having found four suits and a pair. If you’re playing in person, you shout the phrase while making the winning move. 

Suits are made by creating melds; there are four types:

  • Pair: Two tiles of the same suit.
  • Chi: Like a straight in poker, but here you need three consecutive tiles (such as 3-4-5) of the same suit.
  • Kong: Four identical tiles of the same suit.
  • Pong: Three identical tiles of the same suit.

Pitching Pennies

A game that dates back to Ancient Greece, pitching pennies entails players standing behind a designated line — usually four feet away — and throwing a penny (coin) against the wall. While there are several game variations, traditionally, the player who gathers all the coins is crowned the winner.

To steal an opponent’s penny, you must hit their coin with your own. In the next round, the first turn goes to the player who has taken a penny. The game is complete once a single player has collected all the pennies.

Ancient games which are still played today and gambled on are nothing new. As one of the first societies to introduce sports betting, the Romans enjoyed gambling. They’re also responsible for the creation of backgammon and chess.

Hand Game

Created by the Native Americans, the Hand Game, also known as the Stick Game, can be played by any number of people. Once the players are established, they’re split into the hiding and guessing teams.

Traditionally played with two pairs of bones, a round entails a team member holding a bone in one hand. While this happens, the rest of the team can sing, dance and play instruments to distract the opposing team. 

From here, a member of the guessing team attempts to guess which hand the bone is in. If they’re correct, they receive a point. If not, the point goes to the hiders. Before a game, a point target will be set and the team that reaches it first wins. 

Explore Unique Games on BetMGM

Want to explore the realm of unique casino games? With a wide selection of variety games, BetMGM online casino is the perfect platform to immerse yourself in exciting and quirky games.

Register today and enjoy a selection of skill games, themed tables, social games and live dealer games. From baccarat, poker and bingo to roulette and blackjack, play anytime, from anywhere.

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.