Star Wars – a universe of endless possibilities with spaceships soaring through space and a mystical Force binding everything – enthralled fans of all ages and backgrounds worldwide. Looking beyond the original movies, you could see Han Solo and Lando Calrissian playing Sabacc. This shows how gambling games helped shape Star Wars prequels, spinoffs, and sequels. In Star Wars, citizens engaged in various types of gaming in the Galactic Empire and the Old Republic. But today, Midjourney can help all fans imagine anything! This article explores the intersection of AI and gambling in a galaxy far, far away.
The Allure of Gambling in a Galaxy Far, Far Away
Gambling played a vital role in weaving various plots in the Star Wars movies. For instance, Qui-Gon Jinn won Anakin Skywalker’s freedom in a repulsorcraft race, and Han Solo acquired the Millennium Falcon through gambling. However, not all of you know about the Canto Bight, often regarded as the Las Vegas of Star Wars. Canto Bight was the opulent capital city of Cantonica, situated on the shores of the Grand Sea of Cantonica – the galaxy’s largest synthetic (artificial) ocean. It attracted wealthy tourists, war profiteers, and gamblers.
“So! Canto Bight! Playground of the most glamorous beings in the galaxy! Big-money card games and high-stakes fathier races! The galaxy’s biggest artificial ocean! And the fanciest food this side of Coruscant.”-Kedpin Shoklop
In the city, child workers mounted fathiers (quadruped creatures) during racetrack events. The law enforcement was overseen by the “Canto Bight Police Department,” while the “Sixth Kin” criminal group had its base in the “South Stretch Worker’s District.” During the war between the First Order and the Resistance, Rose Tico and Finn from the Resistance visited Canto Bight. At that time, the city was renowned for hosting the most luxurious casinos, with individuals like Ronen Tagge owning extravagant penthouses and hosting parties there. Let’s explore some of the popular gambling games in Star Wars.
In a galaxy far, far away, slot machines are a popular gambling game, similar to the well-known Fire Joker and other Earth slot machines. Casinos across various planets offer these games during nightlife events and special occasions. For instance, on Nar Shaddaa’s Club Vertica and Star Cluster casinos, you can find “Kingpin” and “Smugglers Luck” slot machines, particularly popular during the annual Soovada celebration. The Royal Casino on Cloud City and Grande Game Casino of Depatar also have a variety of slot machines for visitors to enjoy. Even Jabba, the Hutt’s palace on Tatooine, features several slot machines. The Canto Casino of Cantonica has its share of slot machines as well. Their quantum-layered carbonite shell sets them apart, designed to prevent tampering or cheating. However, not all slot machines are fair. At Vranki’s Hotel and Casino, the algorithms of their slot machines had been modified to make winning nearly impossible.
Sabacc comes in a plethora of variations. It’s a fascinating gambling game often played in casinos which involves two to eight players competing against each other. The goal is to either rely on luck or employ strategic skills – similar to blackjack – to reach a total of 23 points or something close to it, but not exceeding it. The standard Sabacc deck consists of 76 cards, comprising 60 cards in four suits and 16 special cards, each with its specific value. However, different versions may use alternative decks, and some variants allow the value and suit-of-a-card to change unexpectedly during play, except if the card is placed in an interference field. In the iconic Star Wars scene, Han Solo outplays Lando Calrissian in the game of Corellian Spike Sabacc, securing ownership of the Millennium Falcon.
Pazaak is a fun, easy-betting game requiring players to reach 20 to win. If a punter achieves 3 wins, they win the overall game. The game uses two decks: the “Main Deck,” with cards numbered 1-10, and the “Side Deck,” where players choose ten ‘unique’ cards before the game starts. At the outset of every game, four cards are randomly selected for punters to keep and use when they wish. Here are a few other cards used in Pazaak:
- Plus cards
- Minus cards
- Plus-minus cards
- Flip cards
- Double cards
- The tie-breaker card
This exciting game is also featured in “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.”
Also called holochess or Space chess, Dejarik is an increasingly popular two-player game on the holochess table, where holographic creatures engage in battles. If you’re looking for an exclusive, fun gambling game, Dejarik fits the bill. It shares a similar concept to chess, as it’s played on the hologram checkerboard, but instead of traditional chess pieces like knights and soldiers, holo-monsters are used. At the start, each player arranges four pieces, positioning them on the second to fifth spaces within their half-boards. This holo-graphic board game has been a hit among starship crews and households throughout the galaxy for a long time, from the Clone Wars era to the reign of the Empire. Dejarik is featured many times in Star Wars films, including its first appearance in ‘A New Hope,’ where R2D2 and Chewbacca played a fierce, intense game. Additionally, paying Dejarik involves employing strategic tactics akin to the “Kintan Strider Death,” where players use gambit strategies to eliminate holo-monsters. Apart from various Star Wars scenes, Dejarik can also be found in “The Millennium Falcon” and “The Shadow Hunter.
Podracing betting appeared on planets like Theron, Malastare, Kergans, Cantonica, and Tatooine. These involved multiple laps on dangerous tracks and were broadcasted for entertainment all across the galaxy. Fathiers, quadrupeds native to the galaxy, served as mounts and were ridden in competitions by wealthy residents of Cantonica and Kergans. Meanwhile, droid-fighting was an illicit sport held in a ring on Nal Hutta, allowing spectators to gamble on the outcomes. From podracing to droids, all these bets are placed on Galator III – a casino planet.
Also called a die, Chance Cube consists of a cube with three sides painted in red and the other three in blue, though some variations may have different patterns. These cubes appear in Star Wars scenes like “Sphere of Influence,” “Rite of Passage,” “The Old Republic,” and “Jedi Twilight.” Han Solo had a pair of Chance Cubes adorning the cockpit of his famous starship, the Millennium Falcon. Chewbacca had also hung these cubes inside a ship’s cockpit many years before the “Battle of Yavin.”
“I just happen to have a chance cube here. Blue-it’s the boy. Red-his mother.”-Watto, deciding whether to wager Anakin Skywalker or his mother in a bet