Gambling Rules

Gambling Modifiers

Complexity Of Game Modifier

Very Simple +2
Simple +1
Average +0
Complex -2
Very Complex -4

Character’s Experience Modifier

Has never played game before -3
Has played game once before -2
Has played game 2-4 times before -1
Has played game 5+ times before -0

Other Modifiers Modifier

House advantage (see text) -1 to -3

Simulate a night of gambling

In many cases, the games for which characters make Gambling rolls are games on which the players bet money. The GM should establish a “stake” amount that represents the value of bets placed in the game. For a friendly neighborhood poker game it might be five dollars; for a high-stakes professional or back room poker game it might be $10,000, $100,000, or even a cool million dollars.

Add up the amount by which all characters who failed their rolls did so, then multiply that by the stake to get a “pot.” Add up the amount by which all the characters who succeeded with their rolls did so, then divide the pot by that amount to determine “shares.” Every character who succeeded with his roll receives one share for each point he made his roll by. In the event that no character fails his roll, the GM determines some threshold for “losing” (such as “all characters who didn’t make their roll by 4 or more are considered losers”) and then determines the shares as described above.


Fat Louie, Eddie the Weasel, Big Vic, Joey Craps, Nickie T, and Red sit down to play a few hands of poker. Eddie, Joey, and Red are experienced card players who have Gambling (Card Games); the others just like to play cards (they have PS: Play Poker). It’s a fairly high-stakes game, though, so the GM sets the “stake” at $100. All the characters make their Gambling or PS: Play Poker rolls (the latter suffer a -2 penalty). The GM rules that poker is a game of “Average” complexity, so no penalty applies for that, and all the players have played many times before. Fat Louie makes his roll by 3, Eddie makes his by 6, Big Vic fails by 2, Joey fails by 3, Nickie makes his by 1, and Red makes his by 2. The total points by which rolls were missed is 5 (Vic’s 2 and Joey’s 3), so the pot is (5 x $100 =) $500. The total points by which rolls were made is 12, so everyone who made his roll wins ($500/12 =) $41.67 per point he made his roll by. For example, Eddie’s the big winner on the night with $250.02 in his pocket.

Gambling Rules

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