Codex Gamicus

Vegas Stakes is a 1993 Gambling simulation video game by HAL Laboratory, for the Super Nintendo. Vegas Stakes was later released for the Game Boy in 1995, and on the Wii Virtual Console in 2007. It is the sequel to the 1990 NES game Vegas Dream.


Vegas Stakes gives the player $1,000, with the goal being to successfully garner a total of $10,000,000 by playing Craps, Roulette, Blackjack, Poker, and Slots through numerous Las Vegas casinos.


The player can choose to play either a single-player or multi-player game. In the single-player game a computerized friend accompanies the player around the various casinos. In the multi-player game, poker cannot be played since everyone could see everyone else's cards. There are no random encounters in multi-player mode. The multi-player mode is not included in the Game Boy version.

At the beginning of the single-player game a car is seen driving to Las Vegas. The various "friends" of the player are introduced as Cliff, Maria, Isabelle and Richard. All are eager to begin gambling. The "friends" are not present in the Game Boy version.

One of the biggest draws of Vegas Stakes is the situations the player must deal with aside from the gaming tables. Essentially, players will have interactions with their traveling party and casino patrons. Some are innocent; for example, one of your friends is going to the sports book and asks if you want to place a wager. However, some can have significant positive or negative consequences. Random patrons will approach you and depending on your choices, you may wind up making (or losing) a lot of money. These include:

  • A patron bumps into you as they pass by. You suspect that may be a pickpocket, and check your wallet. It may have been stolen.
  • A patron tells you they have a sick daughter and they need to take her to the hospital. This has two potential outcomes. Either the patron is a con artist and they will take your money and walk away, or they will have been sincere and will return several minutes later to thank you and present you a reward.
  • A patron will offer to sell you a lottery ticket since he/she is leaving for the night. If you choose to purchase it, the casino will announce the winning numbers several minutes later. If your numbers match, you win a cash prize.
  • A patron tells you he/she is down on his luck and asks to borrow some money to make one final bet on the roulette tables. If you choose to help out and the patron wins, they will return and give you a reward for helping them. If they lose, they will return and inform you but you will receive no reward.
  • A patron says that he/she has blown all their money, including their return fare home, and offers to sell you a watch for $200 ($327.62 in today's money). If you choose to buy it, another patron may come along and offer to buy it for $1,000 ($1,638.1 in today's money).
  • A patron will try to sell you a diamond. He/she suggests a price, and you counteroffer, until you either agree to a deal or the patron walks away. If you buy it, another patron will come along, and either buy the diamond for a huge profit, or laugh at you for purchasing a fake.
  • Your friend will find a wallet and ask if you want to keep it or turn it in to hotel security. If you turn it in, the owner may offer you a large reward.

There are several more random patron interaction situations in the Game Boy version, including the ability to wager on boxing matches or horse races.


  • The Hideaway - Probably based on the Gold Spike Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas - This casino is fairly run down and has the lowest maximum bets in the game.
  • Golden Paradise - Based in part on the Golden Nugget and the California Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas - An average casino and the first casino of the game.
  • Buffalo Head - Based on Bill's Gamblin' Hall and Saloon, formally the Barbary Coast Hotel and Casino Casino at the time of the game's creation - A western themed casino. Slightly higher betting limits than the Golden Paradise. Omitted from the Game Boy version.
  • 2020 - This casino is futuristic with the highest betting maximum until the Laurel Palace is unlocked. The closest real-world analog to the 2020 would be the CityCenter's Aria Casino, which was built about 16 years after the game was published.
  • Laurel Palace - Based on Caesars Palace - The Laurel Palace is unlocked once the player wins $100,000 ($163,810.18 in today's money). This casino has no betting maximum. The player moves from the Golden Paradise to a complimentary room here. If the player falls below $1,000 they are kicked out and must unlock the casino again by winning $1 million ($1,638,101.82 in today's money).


Good ending[]

If the player wins more than $10 million a large "Congratulations" comes on screen, and (in the SNES version) whichever friend the player is with asks what the player will now do with his winnings. The player is then able to input his dreams, and the friend confirms that it is an excellent dream. The credits then roll. At the end of the credits, the screen prints out "You will" followed by the dream you typed prior to the credits. In the Game Boy version, a man is in a car with his wife and talks about a new casino that he sees. The game will then scroll from the bottom to the top of the casino with (The Player's name)'s Casino.

Bad endings[]

In the Japanese version, the letters in the word GAME OVER keep spinning in a clockwise formation. However, the North American (English) version shows a man in his jeans standing near the famous Las Vegas sign, pulling out his empty pockets. The Mode 7 effects of the Japanese "game over" screen could not be used in the North American version due to memory constraints.


Reception & Legacy[]




External links[]