When you think of Las Vegas gambling, you fantasize about high stakes, beautiful women, huge prizes and danger. In New Vegas, you get internet poker minus other players.

I know, its not a core part of the game, but why add it then? It takes so long to make even the simplest features in a game, especially a big title like Fallout (don’t believe me? do a game jam).

There are a few things I wish happened with the Gambling Mechanic in Fallout New Vegas:

  • Gamble Benny for the Platinum Chip: The first time the player encounters Benny at the Tops, I wish I could have tried to gamble the platinum chip from him instead of walking into a trap (an obvious and unavoidable trap). Even if I couldn’t get it, it would have been cool. Seeing Benny on the other end of the table, trying to guess his tell. It would be a moment right out of a movie. And just before you beat him, he pulls a gun, fires blindly (you duck) and he bails with the chip.
  • Gamble to Free Slaves: One of my favorite things to do in Fallout 3 was free slaves and kill slavers with Lincoln’s repeater rifle. In New Vegas, I wanted to encounter a makeshift, slaver-run casino where the player can win slaves (and maybe free them).
  • Strip Poker: The game has prostitutes dancing in the streets topless, but doesn’t have strip poker. It’s a great mechanic for winning unique armor or rare clothes at the risk of losing whatever you  have equipped (you can always get it back anyway).
  • Gambling for your Life: Imagine entering a poker tournament where there is an awesome grand prize for a single winner, but all losers become slaves and has to battle in an arena to escape or find another way out.
  • Side Quest: Player discovers Caps Wild, a make-shift casino run by a group of slavers. There, the player meets a woman in a Vault 49 jumpsuit trapped in a cage. The owner and head of the slavers, a guy named “Bad Luck” is hosting a poker tournament where the winner receives a free penthouse room and a slave of their choice. However, there can be only one winner, and all losers become slaves and must fight in the pit. Any pit fighter who kills all other losers earns back their freedom. The player can also attempt to pick the lock and sneak out.

(I have not played “Dead Money” yet. I read a review and watched the trailer. It doesn’t look like it uses the gambling mechanic.)