Menu

A Closer Look At Gambling In Decentral Games’ Casinos

Since the birth of blockchain technology, online gambling has changed significantly: from the meteoric rise of crypto gambling to the concept of decentralized gambling. And now, casinos in Decentraland have become the newest wave in the gambling world.

Hearing news such as Atari – the pioneer company in arcade games – opening their own casino with Decentral Games, or that the Tominoya casino hired real people instead of using bots, I was overcome with curiosity as to how sophisticated Decentral Games’ casinos would be. So, I packed up my virtual bag and headed on to Decentraland.

What is Decentral Games?

Decentral Games (DG) is a play-to-earn DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) whose focus is on developing 3D metaverse blockchain games, which include wager-based games that are casinos.

walking through decentral casino

All casinos that Decentral Games created or partners with are built on Decentraland, a shared virtual world spanning 90,000 customizable plots of land. Decentral Games’ casinos only take up a tiny portion of this virtual world.

First Impression, Available Games and Features

The Tominoya Casino is the main casino of Decentral Games (read our comprehensive casino review here). It has a Japanese aesthetic with pastel and wood colors, a cherry blossom tree and a few Lamborghini for decoration. I could see other people walking around in real time and hear the sound of coins clinking every time someone wins – the experience definitely resembles a land-based casino more than an online one.

There are 4 types of casino games available: blackjack, roulette, poker and slots. With blackjack, there are 4 spots for each table and around 10 tables in total: that’s plenty of room so I never had trouble finding a table. However, a table cannot mix free coins and crypto, so it’s up to the first player at the table to decide the currency. This is also true for roulette while slots and poker only allow free coins.

black jack table

Blackjack has the best house edge of 0.73%. The rules are the standard, used in most casinos: dealer hits soft 17, blackjack pays 3 to 2 and all the normal options of double-down, split, insurance… I was quite surprised to see all the dealers are Pepe the Frog, the comic book character most popular on Twitch. The strangeness of this brings a surreal edge to the atmosphere which makes the experience even more intriguing.

Along with blackjack, roulette is extremely popular in Tominoya. It follows the rules of standard European roulette with a 2.7% house edge. The thing I love most about the roulette table is how they have a board showing previous spin results. Even though previous spins don’t affect the next (don’t fall for gamblers’ fallacy!), it’s a nice feature to have nonetheless. 

roulette in decentral csainos

The game lets you press ‘V’ to switch between first and third perspective. The third perspective lets you see your virtual self and widens your field of vision while the first perspective is usually the preferred mode when playing because it makes it easier to view things on the table.

The minimum bet is around $1: that should be friendly enough for most kinds of budgets. Furthermore, the free coin option is amazing for beginners to practice with. Not only is it free, the coins automatically accumulate the more time you spend in the casino so you’re never really afraid of running out.

Slots and poker are the most underwhelming games in the Tominoya casino. With slots (15.8% house edge), you can’t play with real money at the moment, and there’s no paytable to see what features there are. In fact, I never got any bonus features or free spins at all in my time playing it.

slot in decetral casinos

Poker can still be fun with free coins but you have to get 2+ people on a table to play. This makes setting up a game a little inconvenient because you can’t always jump right in unless you already have friends to play with.

Veering away from the Tominoya Casino, we got the Atari Casino and The Aquarium. Each casino possesses a different aesthetic but the games are almost identical. Generally, the Tominoya is still the best option since it tends to have the most people at the moment.

If the name Atari triggers some nostalgia for you, it’s because their game Pong was the first commercially successful video game. However, after the video game crash in 1983, Atari suffered from huge losses and had to look for a new buyer.

card table in decentral casino

Fast forward to 2020, Atari (now known as French software publisher Atari SA) found new momentum in the rise of cryptocurrencies and launched the Atari Token. In May 2021, the company partnered with Decentral Games to launch the Atari Casino in Decentraland with famous names like DJ Dillon Francis joining the launch party.

There are 2 other special venues that play poker exclusively: the ICE poker Dext Lounge and Stronghold. However, you have to have ICE NFTs wearable to join the game. While these wearables can go up to 4 digits in price, you can choose delegation instead. What that means is any NFT wearable holder can delegate their NFT to another player and the ICE rewards will be split 30-70 for the owner and player respectively. Join Decentral Games discord to find delegation opportunities.

The Experience of Gambling In Decentral Games’ casinos 

The biggest attraction for the Tominoya Casino is definitely its social atmosphere. You can chat to other players through mic or text, add them as friends, cheer for them, etc. 

There’s something special about being able to ‘physically’ move around a digital 3D space and see all the individuals in that room. 

From my experience, the community in Tominoya is very welcoming. You can ask any question in the chat and the casino employee or players will help you with it. Many people seem shy and don’t talk much but some will gladly invite you to join their table.

assets table

Another perk of gambling in Decentraland is that you can mine DG by wagering with MANA or DAI. The play-to-mine rate is 1 DG for every 200 DAI wagered, but there are many bonuses for affiliates (wagers placed through wallet addresses a player refers), 2+ people playing at the same table and NFT wearable bonus.

The Drawbacks

There are a few issues that quite hinder the experience at many Decentral Games’ casinos. First of all, whenever the gas fee rises higher than normal (which is quite often), the transactions are postponed. This leads to players waiting an extra 3-5 seconds before their hands are dealt. At first it’s nothing more than a minor inconvenience but there are times when it keeps repeating again and again.

An even bigger problem is the fact that many roulette tables experience bugs that prevent players from placing crypto bets. Once I went from table to table and only 2 out of a dozen worked for me. Moreover, at the Atari Casino and The Aquarium, the tables worked for 1 hand and then stopped, resulting in me having to go back and forth between 2 tables to keep playing.

How to Gamble With Real Money in Decentral Games

There are 4 eligible currencies to choose from: MANA, DAI, ETH, and ICE. There is also DG (Decentral Games) coming soon, which you can stake to earn up to 40% in yield rewards and vote in the DAO for new games and features.

currencies in decentral casinos

Once you’ve purchased your preferred crypto, you have to log in to Decentral Games and click the casino balance in ‘Account’. There you will see a table of 4 different coins and you must choose ‘Enable’ a coin before gambling with it. Even though it’s compulsory to use the Ethereum mainnet to enter Decentraland, you can still store all your coins on Polygon and the game will take your funds from that.

When you’re already in the game, you will see currency options on the bottom right of the screen. It’s set to free coins by default so go ahead and change it to MANA, DAI, ETH or ICE.

Bet Size Table

 

Coin Type

Minimum Bet

Chip Sizes

ETH

0.001

0.001

0.005

0.025

0.1

MANA

1

1

5

25

100

DAI

1

1

5

25

100

ICE

10

10

50

250

1000

 

As you can see, DAI and ICE are much more forgiving to low budgets since the minimum bet is around $1 while that of MANA and ETH is above $3.

Conclusion

Aside from a few issues, which are technical and should be very fixable, gambling in Decentral Games’ casinos was a really fun experience. It extends the concept of social gambling beyond any form of online gambling we’ve seen before. Also, none of the games felt scripted and they paid out fine.

When it comes to having a good time with friends through gambling, it’s hard to beat the real physical experience of a land-based casino, but Decentral Games might as well be the next best thing.