What Are the Common Types of Gambling?

Did you know that 26% of the world’s population has gambled before? Playing games is fun enough already, but when you add some money to the mix, it’s easy to see why people like to bet!

Considering that gambling’s an age-old hobby, it’s expected that it’s evolved throughout the years. Born out of our creativity, new games have captured the attention of people worldwide.

So if you’re curious, then never fear, as there are so many types of gambling to explore. You can dabble in all sorts to see which avenues speak to you.

Don’t know where to start though? Then keep reading. Here are some common types of gambling you should know about!

Casino Gambling

This is the type of gambling most people are familiar with. After all, all you have to say is the word “gambling” and you’ll instantly conjure up images of bright lights, exciting sounds, and slot machines.

There are actually subtypes within casino gambling though, so let’s explore each in detail.

Slot Machines

These are the machines you’ll find everywhere in any casino. They have reels and you’d typically pull the lever to spin them, although most (if not all) modern machines have you push a button.

This game is totally luck-based, as it just depends on what turns up on the reels. You can play, 3, 5, or 7 reel machines, and in addition to classic slots, you can also play progressive, single, and multiple pay lines, and even 3D and video slots. You can also try fruit machines, which as the name suggests, displays fruit on their reels!

In some places, you can find licensed slots games. These are themed to certain popular things, such as video games, movies, and celebrities.

Video Poker

Video poker is similar to slots, but there’s a better chance of winning and it involves some skill. If you already know how to play poker, then you’ll have an easy time, as the rules are the same.

If you’re looking for some casual and relaxed play, then this is it, as each hand doesn’t cost much to play. However, it may not be fun for social gamblers, as you’ll sit alone as you do for slots.

Table Games

As expected, you’d sit down at a table with other players for table games. You can experience either card games or other fun games.

The most popular card games you’ll find in casinos include blackjack, baccarat, and poker. Within poker, there are several variations, such as pai gow, Texas hold ’em, let it ride, and three-card poker.

If you want to try your hand at card games, we’d suggest starting with blackjack. It’s very easy; you need to get your card total as close to 21 without going over. Plus, all players are playing against the dealer, so your table mates will be more than happy to give you some advice if you need some.

Baccarat is also relatively easy, as it’s similar to blackjack. You have to get your card total as close to 9 as possible.

As for non-card table games, the popular ones include roulette and craps. Both are luck-based games where you bet on the outcome. With roulette, you can place wagers on which number and/or color the ball will land on, and with craps, you can make similar bets.

Non-Casino Gambling

Usually, people don’t realize this, but you can “bet” outside of a casino as well. In fact, many games you’re familiar with are considered gambling! You probably don’t put down real money for them though.

One prime example is carnival games. For example, you pay to pop some balloons and see if you uncover any prizes.

Another example is confidence trick games. The most common one is the shell game, and it’s usually used as a way to scam the audience out of money.

You might also be familiar with coin-tossing games. It’s pretty easy; you toss up coins into the air, then you bet on which way they’ll face when landing.

Lastly, there are dice-based games. While there are many variations you can play, they all usually involve wagering on the outcome of the dice. Some examples include threes, liar’s dice, and backgammon.


The lottery is a fun way to throw caution to the wind, as it’s completely based on luck. Plus, it’s very simple to participate! All you need to do is buy a ticket and then wait for the results to come out in the future.

All you have to do is go to your local supermarket and you can buy a wide array of lottery tickets. They don’t cost much, and there are different themes, so if one catches your eye, why not go for it?

In many countries, there are state and/or federal lotteries. These help the state or nation with funds, so it’s a win-win situation if you win!


Scratchcards are more exciting than regular lotto tickets since you get to scratch off the surface and uncover symbols. Typically, you have to match at least 3, or you can uncover 1 special symbol to instantly win.

Again, there are different themes for scratchcards, so you can choose those that are most appealing to you. While you can buy one for just $1, there are more expensive ones that go up to $10 or more per card (in Texas, you can buy one for $100 a ticket!). But the more you pay, the bigger prizes you’ll get, so consider that carefully!


Most people think of bingo as a seniors’ game, but it’s also a type of gambling. Not only does it keep your mind sharp, but it can also win you some nice pocket money.

To play, you buy a card with 25 squares, then listen along as the caller draws numbers from a ball cage. If you line up 5 in a row, you then shout “bingo!” to indicate you’ve won.

To make things more challenging, and to increase your chances of winning, you can buy and play more than 1 card at a time!

Sports Betting

If you already watch sports, then this can add an element of excitement to the games! Of course, you can always bet on whether your team will win, but the wagers can get more complicated than that.

For instance, you can bet on the exact outcome of the game, such as a 3-1 score. In soccer, you can bet on things like the number of corners taken, how many shots are on target for the team or a particular player, and how many red or yellow cards are given.

The more specific you get, the higher your chances of winning. But do note that striking it rich with these kinds of bets is rare!

To place a bet, you’d go into a betting shop, which is a brick-and-mortar setting. They’re not very common in the US, but in countries like the UK, you’ll find betting shops all over the place.

If you aren’t able to find a betting shop, then no worries. If you go online, you can get the best sports betting options (more on this in the next section).

Online Gambling

What’s great about the internet is that nowadays, many physical gambling games are online! This means you won’t have to travel out of the comfort of your home to place bets. Or if you’re always on the go, you can wager while waiting for the bus or eating lunch at work.

Practically anything you can think of, you’ve got it on online casinos. You can play slots, blackjack, roulette, and poker, as well as purchase digital scratchcards and place sports bets.

In fact, you can even participate in live dealer games, which are immersive! Basically, dealers will live stream in either a real casino room or a room that’s been decorated to look like one. You’ll play online, but the dealers will interact with you and the other players so it feels like you’re sitting in a casino.

These websites will let you put limits on your playtime, whether it’s money or time spent. This can help curb problematic gambling and prevent you from financial doom.

Try These Types of Gambling

There’s a whole world out there if you’ve got some extra cash to spend. With all these types of gambling, you’ll have a fun time exploring games and chasing those jackpots!

However, do remember to gamble responsibly. Gambling addiction is a real thing, so if you find your new hobby is getting out of control, try to dial it down. If you’re finding it difficult, then seeking professional help can be a great help.

Check out the rest of our blog page for more fun reads!


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