We are sure that most fanatic console players are familiar with so-called mini-games. These games are short and more simplistic game modes within the main video game. While they mainly serve the purpose of providing some extra entertainment outside of the main game, sometimes these game modes offer the player an opportunity to earn extra points, credits, or coins. These extra points can be earned by for example completing a small side-mission, participating in activities like racing, fishing, bowling, and card games.

Surprisingly, a general surge in interest for the latter activity has significantly affected some of the most popular console titles on the Xbox and PlayStation. Therefore, we have picked out five of the best console games where having a wager is all part of the strategy.

1) Payday 2 

One of the most beloved and successful heist games of all time, Payday 2 allows you to carefully plan and execute intricate heists that could easily rival any you’ve seen on a Hollywood movie.

In a game where the main objective is to take huge risks to rob banks, it is not a huge surprise that they have added more elements of risk-taking. Take for example the Golden Grin DLC where it is possible to play progressive games while you’re shooting your way through the mission. Anyone familiar with the way these normally work, knows that these games like to surprise you with cool prizes now and then.

Furthermore, after every successful heist, players will have the opportunity to pick one of three different cards they can receive, with each card serving a different purpose and offering different capabilities.

However, completing missions in not the only way in which players can receive cards. By using their Offshore account on Crime.net, players can decide to use their funds in their offshore accounts to play on the offshore arcade which, if successful, will pay out in cards. You will basically be laundering your offshore money (which cannot just be withdrawn and spent since it is dirty) into useful prizes, skipping the need to complete missions to get them.

2) Yakuza Kiwami

The latest incarnation in the Yakuza series follows a similar plot to the original Yakuza, as you explore Kamurocho, a fictitious district of Tokyo, seeking to bring down the bad guys, while battling random adversaries and completing missions along the way.

Like most games in the genre, the free-form nature of gameplay and the ability to explore at will can give rise to some side missions and hidden features that are just as engaging as the overarching quest.

These include a hidden arcade, where you can take time out to play all the games you would expect them to offer. To find the place, you first need to progress to Chapter 4, where you will encounter a sub story called The Price of an F-Cup. Here, you need to rescue a damsel in distress. When you have done so, follow her to the bar. Join her for a drink, and you will soon find yourself drawn into another fight. You’ll have to take down every last gang member, but do so successfully, and they will give you directions and the password to get in to the secret venue.

3) Grand Theft Auto 5

Of course, Yakuza bears more than a fleeting resemblance to GTA. One of the most commonly asked questions regarding GTA 5 relates to the Vinewood venue.

It might be almost five years since GTA 5 hit the shelves, but the ability to download new content through DLC’s has kept the game feeling fresh, by making new vehicles available and opening up unused areas. With each update, gamers rush to see if the tantalizing “opening soon” signs have been removed from the mysterious Vinewood venue and they can finally get in for a game.

The most popular rumour in the GTA 5 community is that a DLC will be the final release before a brand-new version of GTA is released. But for those who can’t wait, one enterprising fan with a vast YouTube following has found a way to get a peek inside.

4) Watch Dogs

Among the most popular action / adventures to come out in 2014, Watch Dogs takes place in a barely disguised Chicago and was immediately praised for its depth and attention to detail. One area in which it takes some poetic license, however, is that the Windy City of the game is clearly not subject to the gaming laws of Illinois.

The card games throughout the city do not just provide a little light relief from the combative action – they also give you one of the best ways of topping up your bankroll. In addition, gamers who want to achieve a 100% ranking will need to complete a little-known card game mission, which is to clear the table of three opponents during one match up. 

5) The Witcher 3 

Another hugely successful franchise, The Witcher 3 follows the open world adventures of Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter – or Witcher, rather – who is searching for his missing adopted daughter.

But defeating monsters is not the only thing Geralt must do during his travels in The Continent, as he must also complete quests to gain experience points and gold. One way to do this is to play a game called Gwent, one of the most addictive pastimes throughout all the kingdoms. Played with the same “hand” ranking system as real-life card games, Gwent has players roll 5 dice on two rounds to try and beat their opponent’s “hand”. Like traditional card games you will either play on the strength of your hand or try to bluff your opponent.

While NPC’s gameplay has been improved in updates, Gwent is still a fantastic way for a cunning Witcher to make some extra money on the side to finance some additional items.