Since gambling is one of the oldest ways people used to entertain themselves, it’s no wonder that it sparked imagination outside of its core industry. That’s why gambling became a very popular motif in various art forms, ranging from songs and movies to paintings and comics.

Japan, in particular, is well-known for its passion for gambling. Add to that the fact that Japan is one of the leading countries when comics are concerned, it really comes as no surprise that this country is the birthplace of some of the best gambling-related comics.

That being said, let’s see what are some of the top gambling comics that will surely keep you entertained and make you laugh.

Akagi

Akagi is one of the first manga series that is entirely dedicated to gambling. Originally published in 1991, Akagi follows the story of Shigeru Akagi, a passionate mahjong player. The story takes a deep dive into the world of Yakuza – the Japanese mafia, and underground gambling. Our protagonist commonly finds himself playing mahjong against various high-level Yakuza characters – and winning against every single one of them. Needless to say, like any good protagonist, Shigeru Akagi has an archenemy called Ivao Washizu who he commonly comes across on his journey. This manga inspired numerous live-action movies and TV shows. With more than 12 million copies sold, Akagi is arguably one of the most popular manga series in Japan.

One Outs

One Outs is a psychological thriller that focuses on exploring the minds of gamblers. The protagonist of this story is Toa Takeuchi – a baseball player and famous pitcher from Japan. Takeuchi is offered to pitch for a team called Lycaons. The deal is more than appealing as he is promised to win 5 million Yen for every “out” he manages to score. However, Takeuchi will also lose 50 million Yen for every “run” he lands. With such high stakes, this comic offers edge-of-the-seat action. Even though this comic is not about superheroes and people with superpowers, it’s still quite a thrilling title, that any fan of gambling should definitely check out.

Betting Man

For any traditional superhero story lovers, Betting Man will probably be a perfect choice. Visually speaking, this series draws strong inspiration from Marvel comics, which makes it quite popular even among Western readers. Jin-Goo, the main protagonist of Betting Man, has a unique superpower – he can see through objects. The funny thing here is that, unlike the traditional superhero, Jin-Goo doesn’t necessarily use his powers for good. Instead, he uses his powers to look at naked girls. However, he soon realizes the potential that his superpowers can bring, particularly when gambling is concerned. Needless to say, he soon decides to try his luck with gambling, but things don’t really turn out the way he planned. This humorous story revolves around a gambler who – even though he can see his opponent’s cards – struggles to win a game. Full of humor and featuring some of the best gambling jokes, Betting Man is a true gem.

Gamble Fish

If you’re only looking to get into the world of gambling comics, Gamble Fish may be a great place to start. Even though this comic is quite short, and the series has ended, it’s still quite enjoyable. Tom Shirasagi, a mysterious student that joins Shishidou Academy – an elite school for rich kids, has extraordinary gambling skills. To no one’s surprise, Tom challenges his schoolmates to gambling duels which he manages to win every time. As the story unravels, readers will learn more about Tom’s mysterious past, as well as secrets the school would rather leave buried. Full of interesting characters and great dialogues, shrouded in mystery, and jam-packed with great action, Gamble Fish is definitely worth a read.

Kaiji

Released in 1996, Kaiji is still going strong. This title is probably one of the longest-running manga series that has gambling as the main motif. Needless to say, this manga was featured on the silver screen twice, and the adaptations brought more than 50 million dollars in profits. On top of that, it’s also got its own TV show which is a huge hit in Japan. The story of this manga follows Kaiji, a talented conman, and a gambler. One day, Kaiji makes a poorly-calculated decision and borrows money from the wrong people. Needless to say, once he realizes he’s unable to repay his debts, he sets off on a long journey to try and not only repay his debts but keep his head on the shoulders as well. Since the series has been around for a long time, you can expect many interesting plot twists and spins, which will certainly keep you hooked and coming back for more.

Kakegurui

Kakegurui is not quite a jolly manga that will make you laugh, but it’s certainly worth your while. This dystopian story is also set in a school for rich and elite kids – Hyakkaou Academy. The interesting thing about this school is that there are no traditional lessons students attend. Instead, all of them are gambling with their fortunes against one another. Winners of the games are allowed to “graduate”, while the losers become practically slaves for other students. However, everything is about to change once a student, called Yumeko Jabami, arrives at Hyakkaou Academy. Once again, if you enjoy a somewhat dark story set in a dystopian world, Kakegurui will be right up your alley.

With dozens upon dozens of gambling-related comics, you will easily find something that suits your tastes. You can easily choose among comics that will make you laugh with every turn of the page, or you can enjoy somewhat darker stories if that’s something that suits your taste better. Either way, make sure your check some – if not all – of these comics out and let us know what you think.

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Since gambling is one of the oldest ways people used to entertain themselves, it’s no wonder that it sparked imagination outside of its core industry. That’s why gambling became a very popular motif in various art forms, ranging from songs and movies to paintings and comics. Japan, in particular, is...