How Fallout: New Vegas’ Casinos Engaged Players

Bethesda and Obsidian Entertainment’s Fallout: New Vegas is one of the best RPGs of all time, according to critics and fans. The sheer size and scope of this game are impressive, with its complex faction system and multiple decision paths allowing players to get hundreds of hours of replayability out of the 2010 release.

Fallout: New Vegas isn’t just style and no substance, and one of the reasons why reviews of the game were so positive is that it offered an engaging world for people to play in. Being set in Vegas, a large part of that was down to the game’s casinos, which let players cool off and relax when the wasteland grew tiresome. So, here we’ll take a look at the three main venues available to players on the New Vegas strip.


Unlike the other, more swanky locations on this list, the Gomorrah casino in Fallout: New Vegas is a bit of a dump. It oozes sleaze and isn’t shy about the fact that its seedy atmosphere caters to the more shady citizens of New Vegas.

What it lacks in class, it makes up for in exploration potential. There are several main areas, including the casino itself (blackjack, roulette, and slot games are available), the Brimstone bar, the Zoara Club VIP lounge (pool tables and a bar), and a courtyard.

The casino also offers some decent prizes when you win a certain amount, which is surprising. When you get more than 2,250 chips, you’ll get two steaks; at 4,500 chips or more you’ll get two bottles of wine and some stat-boosting items; and at 6,750 chips, the casino will give you reinforced combat armor.


The incredibly luxurious Ultra-Luxe casino only offers blackjack and roulette, but it has some of the best prizes at any casino in the game with the highest payout available before you’re barred from the casino games. At 3,500 chips or more, players will get a drink; 7,500 chips or more gets you the Brahmin Wellington meal; and at 11,250 chips or more, players get access to the Bon Vivant suite. After earning 15,000+ chips, the player is barred from casino games, making this casino the most lucrative in the game.

The Ultra-Luxe pays 3:2 on blackjack and dealers have to stand on all 17s, so you will want to employ your own strategies too. Because Fallout: New Vegas is an offline game and your blackjack games are one-on-one versus the dealer (sort of like Elimination Blackjack), the usual advice for winning a blackjack tournament will not apply. In an online blackjack tournament, you may be able to pay attention to the chip stacks of other players, watching their stacks to try and match their bets. This is useful as you can focus on your own game. However, it also means that you can’t build up a chip advantage throughout the tournament. If you’re used to online blackjack then you’ll have to tailor your strategy to one-shot games rather than long games in order to succeed at the Ultra-Luxe and the other casinos in the game.

The Tops

The Tops casino in Fallout: New Vegas offers a classic kind of casino feel. The casino plays rat-pack music and has an entertaining, fun-loving vibe. Although The Tops only offers three games (blackjack, roulette, and slots), you’ll stick around for the added entertainment, which includes a theatre, restaurant, and a courtyard with a pool surrounded by gorgeous (by 2010 graphics standards) palm trees.

In The Tops, there are a few reasonable prizes that players can earn themselves. These include drinks (awarded for 2,500 chips or more), steak (awarded for getting 5,000 chips or more), and the High Roller’s suite key (awarded for 7,500 chips or more). However, as with the other casinos, this casino permanently bans the player when they earn too many chips, with 10,000+ as the middle point between Gomorrah and Ultra-Luxe.

Why Were Casinos Included in Fallout: New Vegas?

As a game that’s set in a futuristic version of Las Vegas, it makes sense that Fallout: New Vegas included so many virtual casinos for players to enjoy. However, that’s not the only reason why they’re included.

Part of the reason is that it has become increasingly important for players to feel like they are getting huge experiences out of games. Games consoles have evolved greatly over the last decade, and while the PS3 and Xbox 360 (Fallout: New Vegas’ console release platforms) aren’t as powerful as the PS4 and Xbox One, they were still incredibly capable. Likewise, powerful gaming laptops and computers also allowed developers to create more advanced worlds. Filling a game with buildings to explore like casinos, which are full of things to do and people to meet, is an example of how developers have put that technology to good use.

How Other Games Have Included Gambling

It’s for this same reason that so many other RPGs and open-world games have featured gambling mini-games as well. Red Dead Redemption 2’s Gambler challenges encourage players to play games like blackjack and five finger fillet in order to 100% the game. This helps to improve the atmosphere of the game world as gambling really is something that cowboys would have gotten up to.

Open-world game Rage also featured a secret casino with a holographic gambling game. It’s unclear if that game’s sequel, Rage 2, will bring back the same gambling mini-game, but fans of the first series entry seemed to enjoy the gameplay.

Fallout: New Vegas may be one of the most notable inclusions of gambling in a video game, but it’s far from the last. As open-world games get bigger, expect to see even more gambling mini-games in them.

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