The Best Gambling Anime – Our Top 8 Picks To Watch

The Best Gambling Anime – Our Top 8 Picks To Watch In 2024

Imagine a world where you can learn the outcome of your future with the toss of a coin. Gambling Anime has a peculiar way of elevating the stakes of even the most pedestrian games. The exhilarating, high-stakes bets and unlimited opportunities to win it all may now be found in the world of anime.

An estimated 3.5% of the global population regularly watches anime, making it one of the most popular forms of entertainment. There are hundreds of great shows out there for you to check out on your own, from Bleach to Naruto to Death Note. 

Here, we’ll discuss our favorite gambling-themed anime series and explain why they’re so great. Whether or not you’re a fan of gambling yourself, you’ll enjoy our rundown of the Eight best anime in the field of gambling.

1. Kaiji

kaiji gambling anime

Kaiji, produced by Madhouse, is the epitome of gambling anime; it has high-stakes games, treacherous betrayals, and relentless debt collectors. Kaiji It, the protagonist, is a man who thoughtlessly co-signed a debt for a former coworker. Kaiji has no means of paying back the debt due to his impoverished lifestyle, therefore he has two choices.

Nobuyuki Fukumoto’s Kaiji manga debuted in 1996 and continued to be printed in various forms until 2017. Meanwhile, Madhouse scooped up the concept and turned it into a 26-episode anime TV series titled Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor, while the original title for the show was going to be Anime: Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji.

Nippon TV chose to air a sequel, Kaiji: Against All Rules, after hearing rave reviews about the original series. Kaiji, the first installment of a live-action film trilogy based on the series, was released in October 2009 to capitalize on the growing fan base.

2. Legendary Gambler Tetsuya

Legendary Gambler Tetsuya anime

In the exciting anime series Legendary Gambler Tetsuya, we follow the exploits of a man named Tetsuya, a gambler with legendary mahjong skills. After the war in Japan, Tetsuya enters a society where gambling is not merely tolerated but celebrated. Tetsuya’s quest begins when the powerful mahjong player Boushu-san cheats him out of his money in a high-stakes game.

Tetsuya, heartbroken and penniless, resolves to master gambling and vanquish Boushu-san. Tetsuya quickly rises to fame as a feared and respected gambler because of his uncanny ability to read his opponents and comprehensive knowledge of the game.

Originally released as a manga series from 1997 to 2005 under the title The Legend of the Gambler: Tetsuya, the story was adapted for television from October 2000 to March 2001 under the title Legendary Gambler: Tetsuya. The story of Tetsuya follows the classic formula of a master and a disciple, with the student ultimately outperforming the master.

Tetsuya, a talented gambler in post-World War II Japan, plays mahjong in Shinjuku City, the setting of the anime series. Despite his many gifts, Tetsuya has no qualms about using them all to achieve victory. Tetsuya wants to cheat wherever possible, in contrast to other gambling-themed anime characters like Akagi who use strategic mind games to win. It’s only cheating if you get caught,” he said. Up to that point, it’s a surefire winner.

3. Death Parade

death parade anime

Most people go to heaven or hell when they die, but before they get there, they have to gamble their eternal fate in a series of bars. The Quindecim is one of the numerous bars in the afterlife reserved for people who passed away at the same moment. Decim, the bartender and protagonist of the series, uses a life-or-death game as a litmus test for the patrons who enter his establishment.

After passing a final test of their immortal souls, the recently deceased either reincarnate or perish forever. Decim performs his responsibilities without much enthusiasm until the amnesic black-haired woman appears, at which point he becomes curious about human emotions and begins to study them.

4. Usogui

usogui anime

The world of high-stakes gambling is rife with betrayal and treachery. In the anime series Usogui, Kagerou acts as an unbiased referee to protect the integrity of the many dangerous and violent bets that take place. The main character of the anime series Bak Madarame is a nomadic compulsive gambler known by his alias “The Lie Eater” (Usogui) who gets caught up in a web of high-stakes wagering to take control of the unbiased, powerful, and influential organization Kagerou.

IDEAL, a powerful American underground syndicate, shares Usogui’s quest for supremacy over Kagerou. IDEAL relies on terror to achieve its goals. As a result, Usogui is being used as a pawn by two powerful factions bent on mutually assured destruction.

5. Akagi

akagi anime

Another post-war anime that deals with gambling is Akagi. At a time when Japan is still reeling from the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the protagonist of Akagi is Shigeru Akagi, a young kid who, at the tender age of 13, plays and defeats members of the Yakuza at mahjong.

Quickly displaying his skill, Akagi comes to the aid of Nangou, a compulsive gambler who has amassed a debt of three million dollars. He makes a last-ditch effort to redeem his name by betting his life on a game against the mafia, but the game quickly goes against him, pushing him closer to the edge.

Nangou would still be in debt if not for Akagi’s timely arrival and odd but ultimately fruitful advice. Next, Akagi takes a seat at the table to play himself, and it quickly becomes clear that he is a genius who is destined to become one of the country’s most renowned gamblers.

However, Akagi has his issues, since he is now on the run from law enforcement. We think this is one of the best animes about gambling since it follows a young slum dweller as he achieves the American dream of playing mahjong professionally in post-war Japan.

There were two live-action movies released in 1995 and 1997 before the show premiered in 2005, and then between 2015 and 2017, a live-action TV drama inspired the figure of young Akagi.

6. No Game No Life

no game no life anime

Imagine a world where the outcome of a chess match or the toss of a coin decided who would get the house or the political situation. Disboard is the place to be, a place where everything is settled through games with real-world consequences.

In the anime No Game No Life, the protagonists travel to a place called Disboard after being called there because of their legendary gaming prowess. The Imanity race of humans is the lowest-ranking of Disboard’s 16 species. The brothers Shiro and Sora risk everything to bring Imanity to the top.

7. Kakegurui

kakegurui anime

When it comes to gambling-themed anime, Kakegurui is the best you’ll find. The entire Netflix show is based on Homura Kawamoto’s comic about gambling. The narrative takes place in Hyakkaou Private Academy, a fictional high school where students are graded exclusively on their ability to gamble.

The strangest part is that the institution selects its future leaders and experts based on how well they do in various forms of gambling. The students who bring their funds to school either succeed and rise above their peers or fail and fall under them.

Even worse, in Kakegurui, students who don’t rapidly rise through the ranks are referred to as “house pets.” Enter Yumeko Jabami, a stunning first-year transfer student who is hiding a terrible secret. She’s not interested in money or prestige, so she joined Hyakkaou. She’s a gambling addict who enjoys the activity immensely.

No matter the shape it takes or the degree of danger she faces, it will happen. Yumeko’s desire to keep playing gambling games has put her in a position where she poses a threat to the existing school hierarchy. The student council, seeing an enemy in Yumeko, will try to silence her, but she has far too many aces on her sleeve.

Two outstanding seasons have established this show as the best gambling anime currently available on Netflix.

8. Saki

saki anime

Saki, drawing inspiration from both Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler and Akagi, is a fantastic gambling-themed anime. Saki Miyanaga is a high school student who despises mahjong because of the bad impact it has had on her life. However, her buddy Kyoutarou Suga introduces her to the school’s mahjong club, and young Saki immediately demonstrates her natural ability to see patterns and excel at the game.

Club president Hisa Takei sees through Saki’s attempts to conceal her vow. Saki’s unique approach to the game is her greatest asset. Because of this, she has earned the enmity of Nodoka Haramura, a gifted club member and last year’s champion.

Throughout the series, Saki gets over her initial apprehension about mahjong and resolves to challenge herself by entering national tournaments. Young Saki’s renewed interest in the game is fueled in part by her friendship with Haramura, with whom she makes up.

Where Did Anime Come From, and Why Is It So Well-Liked?

One of Japan’s most influential cultural exports is anime. Whether you’re interested in Japanese culture or not, the first time you see an anime you like—be it Naruto or Full Metal Alchemist—you’ll be hooked. The use of lanterns to simulate motion in shows called Utushi-e dates back to the nineteenth century, marking the beginning of the modern animation business.

However, in 1945, during World War II, Momotar: Umi no Shinpei became the first anime feature film to be released. The country’s animation industry began to build up with the founding of Toei Animation and Mushi Production, two of the oldest animation studios in the country.

Because of the genre’s adaptability, there are now horror shows, epic sagas, martial shows, and even shows set in a high school. In 2019, Japan’s animation business was valued at an estimated $19 billion annually.

There have been more than 11,000 series produced since the business began airing series in the middle of the 20th century, with some reaching hundreds of episodes like Bleach and Naruto.

Our top picks for the best gambling anime showcase a diverse range of themes, from psychological battles and strategic wagers to intricate mind games that keep audiences on the edge of their seats. 

These anime not only explore the intricate world of gambling but also delve into the depths of human psychology, highlighting the consequences of risky decisions and the pursuit of victory against all odds.


What are some of the best gambling anime series to watch?

Our top picks for the best gambling anime include “Kakegurui,” “Akagi,” “One Outs,” “Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor,” and “Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Hakairoku-hen.” These series offer thrilling stories centered around high-stakes gambling and intense psychological battles.

Is “Kakegurui” a good starting point for someone new to gambling anime?

Yes, “Kakegurui” is a great starting point for newcomers. The series is known for its stylish animation, unique character designs, and a mix of suspense and psychological tension that make it engaging and entertaining.

Are these gambling anime suitable for all audiences?

Most gambling anime are targeted towards a mature audience due to their themes of gambling, psychological manipulation, and sometimes explicit content. Viewer discretion is advised, and these series may not be suitable for younger viewers.

What makes “Akagi” stand out among gambling anime?

“Akagi” stands out for its intense and strategic mahjong gameplay, as well as its focus on the psychological battles between players. The titular character, Shigeru Akagi, is a genius gambler who fearlessly takes on opponents, making it a must-watch for fans of strategy and suspense.

Is “One Outs” only about baseball, or does it involve gambling too?

While “One Outs” is primarily centered around baseball, it incorporates elements of gambling and psychological manipulation. The protagonist, Toua Tokuchi, uses his strategic mind and betting tactics to outwit his opponents both on and off the field.

Are these anime series based on real gambling games?

Yes, many of these series are based on real gambling games like poker, mahjong, and various casino games. However, they often embellish the rules and strategies for dramatic effect.

How realistic are the portrayals of gambling in these anime?

While these anime series take creative liberties for dramatic storytelling, they do capture some aspects of the psychology, strategy, and thrill associated with gambling. However, real-life gambling involves a lot more chance and unpredictability.

Is “Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor” a complete story, or does it have multiple seasons?

“Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor” has multiple seasons. The first season introduces the main character, Kaiji, and his experiences with various high-stakes gambling scenarios. The subsequent seasons continue his journey and challenges.

Are there any other gambling anime worth mentioning?

Certainly! “Legendary Gambler Tetsuya,” “Rio: Rainbow Gate,” and “Gin to Kin” are a few more gambling-themed anime that you might find intriguing.

Where can I watch these gambling anime series?

These anime series are available on various streaming platforms, including Crunchyroll, Funimation, Hulu, and Netflix. Availability may vary depending on your region, so be sure to check the platforms available in your area.

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