20 Best Gambling Manga
Have you ever read a “gambling manga”?
The brain games and psychological battles that are often depicted in these works are interesting because of the tension and thrill that only a gambling manga can provide. And in fact, there are many works in this genre that have been made into movies! It is one of the most popular manga genres.
This time, we will introduce you to the 20 best gambling manga according to Reddit!
We will divide this article into the following four categories!
- Gambling manga about “High Stakes Gambling”
- Gambling manga about “Mahjong”
- Gambling manga about “Con Games”
- Gamblingmanga about “Horse Racing and Bicycle Racing”
So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best gambling manga!
5 Gambling Manga about “High Stakes Gambling”
The dark side of gambling where large sums of money are at stake that the average person can’t even imagine. The dangerous black-market gambling, which sometimes requires risking one’s life is depicted from various perspectives. In this section, we will introduce seven recommended works from among those with gambling as their theme!
5. Junket Bank
|Published||Jul 30, 2020 to ?|
|Authors||Tanaka, Ikkou (Story & Art)|
Banker Mitarai Teki, who works at the counter of the central branch of the Crow Bank (a city bank that boasts the third largest ordinary income in Japan) spends his days in boredom.
Although he deals with large sums of money it is after all people’s money, and he is tired of chasing numbers without being allowed to make even the slightest mistake. One day, Mitarai received an order to transfer to a new position.
He is transferred to the Examination Section of the Special Operations Department, where his job is to manage and examine bank gambling. The man who is to become his new boss takes him to the basement, where he is immediately drawn into the mysterious world. There, Mitarai is confronted with a series of shocking scenes…
First of all, what is a junket? You may be wondering, “What is a junket? The reality of a junket is not always clear, but to explain it simply, a junket is a person who conducts marketing in all aspects of gambling and provides loans and collections to customers. In this manga setting the bank is responsible for this.
The story unfolds as Mitarai encounters a gambler named Maketsu Shin, in a world where gambling is conducted in the basement of a bank that is supposed to be built on trust, a world of mystery and horror. This is one of the most enjoyable aspects of gambling manga, and this work is no exception. It is thrilling to see how the opponents will play the games that Manetsu sets up, and what kind of extreme strategies they will use to win.
4. Enban Maze
An unshakable heart and a strong will, decide the match!
|Published||May 7, 2014 to Oct 12, 2016|
|Authors||Tanaka, Ikkou (Story & Art)|
The main character, darts player Karasumaru Sou (known as the devil of the maze) was active in the world of darts gambling. In this work, he is a highly popular and skilled darts player in the underworld, and he engages in heated psychological darts battles with unique enemies for large sums of money.
Like Karasuma, all the players in this manga are strong players who are so skilled that they never miss the target by even a millimeter. It is exciting to see how the players will play against these players and how they will settle their scores. This is not just a game of darts, but a psychological battle that makes full use of bluffing and bargaining.
The characters in this gambling manga are all quite unique and quirky. Although the work depicts a serious game, the facial expressions that appear here and there are surreal and amusing. The drawings are clear and easy to read, and the content itself is enjoyable enough for those who do not know anything about darts.
A survival manga about surviving in the underworld of black market casinos!
|Published||Dec 27, 2019 to Apr 2, 2021|
|Authors||Yoshida, Shirou (Art), Nozaki, Hanaichi (Story)|
The story begins when Gen Suzuki (the protagonist from an institution who worked diligently at a convenience store) learns of Mayu’s debt from the same institution and schemes to raid a black market casino.
A black market casino is a gambling establishment where games are played inside a store without a license. Since black market casinos that operate illegally cannot be reported to the police, they cannot be caught even if they stole the money.
Hearing such a story from his friends, Gen hatches a reckless plan to rob a black market casino of a large sum of money. In the end, Gen is approached by Sumito (the owner of the black market casino) and is drawn into the world of black market casinos. Sumito sees Gen’s talent and trains him to become a cheating dealer.
Gen, the protagonist of the story, is now living in the world of black market casinos where he risks his life, but he was originally an earnest young man who worked and earned his living honestly. The manga depicts such an ordinary boy struggling desperately to survive in the underworld. This is a must-read for anyone who likes gambling and survival!
2. May’s Maiden
The ultimate erotic gamble manga!
|Published||Apr 22, 2017 to Jul 22, 2019|
|Authors||Re:lucy (Art), Gakukirio (Story)|
The story begins when Ai (a naive and innocent woman) starts working as a prostitute to pay off her debts. On Ai’s first day working as a sex worker at Maiden’s, a high-class casino where customers can receive different services if they win at gambling against the sex workers.
In such an unusual place, we meet the main character Mei. Ai is a bit uneasy about her impression of Mai, who seems to have a loose head. Together they head off to their first job. However, she easily wins against any customer who has a very unusual propensity for sex.
In fact, Mai is actually the “Iron Maiden,” an undefeated and invincible gambler. Her goal is to find the man of her dreams, who must be a stronger gambler than she is. In order to meet her destiny, she and Ai take on the bad customers who appear one after another.
In fact, it is Mei’s mother who has been sending in unusual guests behind the scenes to enjoy the entertainment. With her appearance, the game gradually escalates. The highlights of the manga are the bond between the two, which deepens through the gambling that stands in their way and Ai’s growing up to be a tough girl.
Another attraction is Mei’s crazed behavior in extreme situations, which is a complete change from her usual childlike looks. The tension of gambling combined with the eroticism of the game will keep you on the edge of your seat. The unique and powerful gamblers she meets later on as friends are also very cute and erotic.
1. Gamblers Parade
The strongest gambler who hates gambling!
|Published||Oct 10, 2018 to Jun 26, 2019|
|Authors||Nakayama, Atsushi (Art), Kodaka, Kazutaka (Story)|
The story takes place on a man-made island in Japan, known as “Tobaku Island,” where gamblers are rampant. The heroine Shinonome Karin, who has a bad luck constitution gets entangled with a group of delinquents on her first day at her new school and gets caught up in a gambling game.
Karin’s homeroom teacher, Nagisa saves her from such a predicament. Although he seems quiet, he is actually a man who hates gambling to the point of rejection and changes completely when he sees it. After winning the game with his impressive strength, Spider Hand takes an interest in Karin and invites him to join Spider Hand’s club. There, he is invited to join the Pink Spider, a gambling club known for killing gamblers.
The reason why Spider Hand, who supposedly hates gambling, has a gambling club is to completely eliminate gamblers in this world with the strongest gambling team.
Although Spider Hand seems to be a good guy, his methods are nothing but brutal. Can the Spider Hand’s way of thinking really be called justice? Even while thinking so, the brilliant way he deceives his opponents makes you read on unintentionally.
Another appeal of this manga is the characteristic drawing that catches the eye in the speedy development of the story. The horrified expressions that each character shows from time to time will take your breath away. If you are in a rut with gambling manga, this is a must-read for you!
Top 3 Gambling Manga about Mahjong
When it comes to gambling, mahjong probably comes to mind for many people. The serious game of mahjong played out in a smoke-filled mahjong parlor, is a thrilling and exciting experience. Here are three recommended mahjong-themed gambling manga!
3. Mahjong Legend Akagi
The crazier the merrier…!
|Published||Jun 1991 to Feb 1, 2018|
|Authors||Fukumoto, Nobuyuki (Story & Art)|
The story begins in 1958 at a mahjong parlor named Midori. A man named Nangou saddled with debts is playing mahjong with a large amount of money at stake and is driven to the brink of extinction by his yakuza opponents.
Then a rain-soaked boy named Shigeru Akagi enters the room. Nangou, in a desperate attempt to change the situation, lies that the unknown boy is his messenger. Nangou asked the suspicious Akagi to play for him, hoping for a straw. This is the beginning of Akagi’s legend as a mahjong player.
The story follows Akagi from a 13-year-old junior high school student to a 23-year-old adult. Even if you know nothing about the rules of mahjong, there is a good amount of explanation, so you can enjoy the tense atmosphere and the exhilaration unique to Fukumoto’s work.
Also, the out-of-the-ordinary atmosphere of the main character, Akagi, and his deadly games with his opponents are the charms of this work. Does a junior high school student cheat against a yakuza from the very beginning? You can’t help but be thrilled by this development. The genius Akagi’s competitive spirit and the darkness of his heart also draw you in.
This is one of the best mahjong manga, that you will definitely read in one sitting.
2. Legendary Gambler Tetsuya
Eat or be eaten, hell if you lose
|Published||Jul 16, 1997 to Dec 8, 2004|
|Authors||Sai, Fuumei (Story), Hoshino, Yasushi (Art)|
The story takes place in Japan during World War II, when the 15-year-old protagonist Tetsuya Asada, is a student working at a munitions factory. Tetsuya learns from an old man he meets at the factory that “everything is luck”. Tetsuya became very conscious of luck, and after the war, he felt it even more strongly at a certain gambling game. From there, Tetsuya began his path as a winner and grew up to be called a jansei.
This work is said to be based on the novels “Mahjong Hōrōki” and “Dosaken Bakuchi Jigoku” written by Takehiro Irokawa, who is both a mahjong player and a novelist, and reconstructed them. Therefore, the characters from those works are also depicted, making it even more enjoyable for those who have read the novels.
The characters in the manga are strong and very attractive. They are full of personality and have a strangely realistic feel to them. Tetsuya in particular is portrayed as a cool guy, but the glimpses of melancholy he gives off are very cool.
Also, the historical background begins in wartime and is quite old-fashioned, but that is also a nice touch. The dark atmosphere of the gambling hall is a perfect match, and you can’t help but be swept up in the atmosphere.
This is a masterpiece that is more than just a mahjong gambling manga, so please read it!
1. Mahjong Hishoden: Naki no Ryuu
|Published||1985 to 1991|
|Authors||Noujou, Junichi (Story & Art)|
The main character is a man called the Wailing Dragon. He is called the Weeping Dragon because he is good at Naruki Mahjong. His real name and other personal information have not been revealed.
Ryuu is not only a skilled mahjong player, but also a man of amazing luck. In the story, scary yakuza men appear to take advantage of his luck, and before Ryu knows it he is caught up in a yakuza war.
Unusually for a gambling manga, no cheating takes place. While the story depicts a serious game played solely by pure mahjong skill and luck, the dirty side of the underworld is depicted outside the board. This contrast makes each part of the story stand out even more.
Ryuu is a cool character who does not talk much, but his occasional lines of wisdom are also a highlight of this work. The facial expressions of the characters, including the dragon, are drawn with a very delicate touch.
It is a completed masterpiece, so take this opportunity to read it!
8 Gambling Manga about Con Games
Con Game is a genre in which players outwit their opponents through tricks such as traps and bluffs. In gambling, where people fight for large sums of money or even their lives, the most interesting aspect of the game is the surprising trickery that fools the reader into thinking that he or she is being tricked. Here we introduce eight gambling manga that showcases deception through clever tricks!
8. Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji
A milestone in gambling manga.
|Published||Feb 10, 1996 to Jul 26, 1999|
|Authors||Fukumoto, Nobuyuki (Story & Art)|
The protagonist of the story is Kaiji Itou (Kaiji), a young man leading a self-indulgent life. He suddenly finds himself heavily in debt because he became a guarantor for a friend. Endo a financier, comes to him and invites him to a gambling ship, the Espoir. If he wins the gambling game on the ship his debt will be canceled. Kaiji gets on board the Espoir, and from there he challenges various gambles that could destroy his life.
Various original gambles appear in this work, and they are excellent. There is a good balance between the exploitable part and the gambling element, and you must use a combination of trickery and luck to win. Therefore, the psychological state of the cornered characters is carefully depicted, and the game is highly readable. You will find yourself on the edge of your seat as you read.
Another characteristic of this gambling manga is the appearance of onomatopoeic sounds such as “Zawa-zawa-zawa-zawa”. It may sound somewhat silly, but this loose onomatopoeia conveys a sense of restlessness.
This is a gambling manga that will make you feel happy and sad together with the characters, from the bottom of your heart!
7. Gambling Emperor Legend Zero
Gambling for a thrilling life!
|Published||Sep 5, 2007 to Feb 25, 2009|
|Authors||Fukumoto, Nobuyuki (Story & Art)|
The protagonist of the story is 17-year-old Ukai Zero (Zero), who is intelligent and athletic. Zero is one of the top three students in his class at a super-advanced school and he also has a strong sense of justice. As a righteous person, he saves the victims of bank transfer scams.
But one day, one of his friends Mitsuru is kidnapped by a group of bank transfer scammers. While rescuing Mitsuru, he meets the president of the Zaizen Group Zaizen Muyo, and is forced to participate in a “test to become king”. This is where Zero’s gamble with his life begins.
The test to become king, prepared by Zaizen, takes place at the “Dream Kingdom,” an amusement park with gambling elements. Gambling here is full of tension, as there is a risk of losing a part of your body or your life if you lose. The characters are numb to the great game in which they put their lives on the line.
The unique atmosphere of Fukumoto’s works is still present, and the attraction is that it draws you in in a mysterious way. As in the Kaiji series, special onomatopoeia and black clothes appear, but there is a strange sense of security. LOL!
This work is not that well known, but if you like the Kaiji series, you will definitely get hooked! If you want to be on the edge of your seat with gambling with your life on the line, you should read it.
6. Silver and Gold
|Published||1992 to 1996|
|Authors||Fukumoto, Nobuyuki (Story & Art)|
The protagonist of the story is Tetsuo Morita, a gambling addict. The story begins when he is offered a job at a racetrack by a man named Hirai Ginji (Gin-san). Morita is offered a job carrying a box of oranges for 100,000 yen a day, but when he secretly looks inside he finds a large sum of money.
In fact, Gin-san is a fixer in the underworld and the money was for loans to politicians and powerful people. Morita sees Gin-san and feels that he too wants to live in the underworld, so he takes on jobs from Gin-san and commits evil acts in order to make his way in the underworld.
Basically, their actions are to collect money from others. So generally speaking they are villains, but it is cool to see them fighting toward their goal while fully utilizing their own abilities. The way the villains are active and the so-called picaresque romance-like development is one of the charms of this work.
Another feature of this work is the human appeal of Morita, who never forgets to be a human being in the midst of all this. Although he sometimes finds himself in a tight spot or suffering a loss because of this, we are drawn to his character that is able to consider others in the midst of all the villains.
It is not just a gambling manga, but a very interesting work that develops through politics and power, but it is a pity that it was completed in the form of a hiatus. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s still interesting though. So if you’re interested by all means, read it!
5. Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler
An insane school ruled by a class system based on gambling
|Published||Mar 22, 2014 to ?|
|Authors||Naomura, Tooru (Art), Kawamoto, Homura (Story)|
The story takes place at Hyakkaou Academy, a private school where the children of political, financial, and upper-class families gather. There the student council president Kirari Momobami (who has an outstanding talent for gambling) has established a class system based on gambling.
The main character, Yumeko transfers to such a crazy school. At first glance, Yumeko appears to be a calm and normal student but in fact, she is a crazy gambler. Yumeko demonstrates her gambling madness and fights against the student council that rules the school.
The main attraction of this work is Yumeko’s craziness. No matter how much money is at stake, she always enjoys gambling. In fact, she even says with an ecstatic expression on her face that gambling is fun precisely because it doesn’t go the way she wants it to. It is very interesting to see how she finds all the pleasure in life in gambling.
The other characters in the manga also have strong personalities, and the confrontations with them are fascinating. Even though they fight as enemies with a lot of money at stake, they gradually become friends which is very interesting.
4. Tomodachi Game
Can you win tomodachi in the midst of traitors!
|Published||Dec 9, 2013 to ?|
|Authors||Yamaguchi, Mikoto (Story), Satou, Yuuki (Art)|
The protagonist of the story is Yuuichi Katagiri, a high school boy who values friendship. Although he lives alone and is poor, he leads a fulfilling school life with his classmates Tenchi Mikasa, Shiho Sawaragi, Makoto Shikibu, and Yuri Shinki.
Then one day, an incident occurs in Yuuichi’s class in which 2 million yen collected from everyone for a school trip is stolen. Then, Yuuichi and five other students are set into a trap by someone and forced to participate in a “Tomodachi Game”.
They learn that one of them owes a debt of 20 million yen and was forced to participate in the Tomodachi Game in order to repay it. Moreover, the participation fee was 2 million yen, which means that one of the members stole the money for the school trip. Yuuichi, who has always valued his friends, is now forced to take on the Tomodachi Game in the presence of a traitor.
At first glance, Yuuichi seems to be suffering from this development but in fact, Yuuichi is a sneaky and methodical person. In the Tomodachi Game, Yuuichi gradually reveals his true nature. And because he is very clever, he skillfully leads his opponents into a trap. The high level of brain games that go above and beyond expectations is fascinating.
The other characters also have their own backstories, and as the story progresses, new revelations are uncovered. With everyone seeming to be a traitor, will they be able to keep going? It’s a manga you won’t be able to put down your hands on as you wonder what’s going to happen next!
3. The Lie Eater (Usogui)
A genius gambler who eats up his opponent’s lies and bluffs!
|Published||May 11, 2006 to Dec 21, 2017|
|Authors||Sako, Toshio (Story & Art)|
The story begins when Takaomi Kaji (a young man sitting next to the main character) talks to the main character Madarame Baku. Who was about to miss a hit because he did not understand the slot machine’s direction. Kaji, who tells him that he had actually hit the jackpot, is actually a gambler with multiple debts. Because of his kindness, Baku helps him to pay off his debts.
He then heads for an illegal casino. There, Baku and Kaji win big by skillfully guiding the dealer. In fact, Baku was a legendary genius gambler who had won at the black market gambling “Betaro”. Baku then enlists Kaji to join him in another gambling challenge.
The title “lie-eater” comes from the fact that the main character, Baku eats up his opponent’s lies to win the game. It is thrilling to see how he takes advantage of his opponent’s lies and bluffs and even uses them as a springboard to deceive everyone on the spot.
In addition to simple brain and psychological battles, there are also many battle scenes. The gambling ring has a “witness” who is in charge of gambling and must have high combat skills so that he can deal with any problems that may arise. One of the manga is the advanced battles among the highly skilled witnesses.
This is a gambling manga that combines the best of both worlds with spectacular battles of brains, psychology, and bullets.
2. Alice in Borderland
|Published||Nov 25, 2010 to Mar 2, 2016|
|Authors||Aso, Haro (Story & Art)|
The main character Ryouhei Arisu (Alice), is a high school student who is living an ordinary life. One day, she and her friends Chota Segawa and Daikichi Karibe (Karube) are staying late at a bar owned by Karube when they are suddenly enveloped by a strange light and wander into the mysterious world of Borderland”.
Alice, hoping to escape from her depressing life, is secretly happy to be there but it turns out that she has to clear a deadly game to survive in this world. From this point on, Alice and her friends must challenge the game in order to survive.
The people who wander into the Borderland are all people who have felt hopelessness and emotional trauma in their real lives. As these people fight for survival in the game, each decision they make is very important. The psychological aspects of these characters, weighing their own lives against the lives of others and struggling with the events of the past, is the charm of this work.
I recommend this work for its skillful depiction of human relationships in the face of despair.
1. Liar Game
|Published||Feb 17, 2005 to Jan 22, 2015|
|Authors||Kaitani, Shinobu (Story & Art)|
The story begins with an honest college student, Nao Kanzaki, who suddenly comes into possession of 100 million yen. There is a letter in it that reads, “Thank you for participating in LIAR GAME”. She is told to take this 100 million yen and compete with his opponent for the money.
Moreover, once you open the letter, you cannot cancel your entry. Nao, who has been having sleepless nights with a huge sum of money suddenly in his possession is relieved to learn that his opponent is Fujisawa (his homeroom teacher from junior high school).
Nao turns to Fujisawa, but was tricked by him and loses the 100 million yen. In despair, Nao remembers what she was told half-jokingly when she consulted a lawyer “Talk to a swindler“. On the same day, Shinichi Akiyama (infamous swindler) was released from prison. Nao goes to the Akiyama and begs for his help. From this point on, Nao and Akiyama are in the muddy waters of the LIAR GAME.
In this work, various games are played for large sums of money most of which are original to the author Kaitani. Psychological elements are incorporated into the story, and it is interesting to watch the characters fight each other.
In addition, Nao Kanzaki is very different in the “LIAR GAME” a game that tests one’s ability to tell a lie. She takes up the challenge straight away, no matter what the situation. Her character is dazzling as the only one who remains honest amidst all the lies. And because she is like that, she also moves the hearts of the other participants.
It is a very popular gambling manga with numerous media adaptations.
2 Gambling Manga about “Horse and Bicycle Racing”
The gambling that you are most familiar with is probably public gambling, such as horse racing and bicycle racing. Many gambling manga take unimaginable turns but in this genre, there are many works that are very familiar to readers. Here are two recommended manga dealing with such public gambling (bicycle and horse racing)!
2. Welcome to the Winner’s Circle
|Published||Jul 25, 2011 to Oct 28, 2016|
|Authors||Kaitani, Shinobu (Story & Art)|
The protagonist of the story is Nanao Yamakawa, a dull college student who aspires to become a manga artist. He takes the manga he has drawn to an editing company but the story is heavily criticized and he gives up on his dream.
On the recommendation of a fortune teller, Nanao heads to the racetrack where he happens to make the acquaintance of the members of the “Winner’s Circle“. They are a group of people who aim to become winners by earning money through horse racing and they notice a certain ability in Nanao. It is his ability to recognize minute changes, which he has developed through comic books.
Nanao uses this ability to look at pictures of past horses and horses in the paddock before a race and guess which one is likely to win. His accuracy is quite high, so much so that most of the horses he picks win first to third place. Because of this ability, Nanao became a member of the winner’s circle and became immersed in the world of horse racing.
Since Nanao is a complete amateur at horse racing, he is taught the key points when looking at horses and how to buy tickets. Therefore, even readers who know nothing about horse racing can learn together with Nanao. This book is perfect for those who want to learn more about horse racing, as they will become more and more familiar with horse racing just by reading the book.
Another appeal of this work is that the characters are unique. The interaction between Beniko (the leader of the winner’s circle) and Beniko’s natural younger sister, Midori is very interesting. Each person has his or her own unique way of predicting races. Each person is carefully drawn, so the more you read, the more you are drawn into the story.
A horse racing manga with a comedic touch… read it!
1. Gamble Racer
A work depicting the life of a bicycle racer who is crazy about gambling
|Published||from 1988 to 2002|
The protagonist of the story is a bicycle racer named Masakatsu Seki. He is a highly accomplished cyclist, winning about 40 million in prize money. However, he is a serious gambler and spends his days arguing with his wife Kaneko, when he loses large sums of money at various gambling games such as horse races, boat races, and pachinko (Japanese pinball).
The main character Seki, and the other characters are very unique. Especially Seki, who is a typical scumbag father. He is a true scumbag who gambles and verbally abuses his wife, but the gag-style depiction of Seki is very funny.
Although the theme of the manga is bicycle racing, at the beginning of the series Seki’s daily life as scum is depicted with a gag style and bicycle racing itself is not depicted very much.
In the latter half of the series more and more bicycle races are depicted such as the races of Seki, other bicycle racers, and Seki’s son, Yuichi. If you want to enjoy this bicycle racing manga, we recommend that you read it all the way to the end and not give up at the beginning!
So, what do you think? The best part of gambling manga is the tense bargaining scenes. The deceptions that go on behind the scenes and the psychological battles and mind games that make your hands sweat.
If you find a manga that interests you, by all means read it! You may get the impression that many of them are long, but you’ll be done reading them in no time at all!
This article is only intended to recommend interesting gambling manga. Please note that this article is not an endorsement of gambling itself.