Real Money Games – Advanced Guide To Games You Can Play for Cash Prizes

If you’re looking to play games for real money, there are plenty of options.

The possibility is there, but to win actual cash at real money games you need to be highly skilled in whichever game you choose (or at least better than your opponents) or you’ll need a lump of luck on your side. Often a combination of both.

Games for cash are easy to find and often straightforward to play, whether you’re in the USA, UK, India, Canada, Australia, or wherever. Often you can play with local currency too.

You can play anything from bingo to blackjack to 8 ball pool on a vast number of gaming websites or download apps, bet on many different types of games, or choose from dozens of video game titles where winning can be based on skill or luck.

There are single player games, head to head contests, or multi player competitions such as tournaments – all of which can be played on Iphones, Android, laptops, iPads, or PC.

Winning itself is not that easy, but there are ways to improve your chances depending on which types of games you play and how you play them. With a clever approach, you may be able to take home the dough. Playing the right types of games in the right circumstances can give chances to win some serious amounts.  

So where to start? 

For sure, you’ll first need to get a good idea of the options and work out which one(s) suit you best.

Do you have skills in a certain type of game?

Are you feeling lucky and prepared to take chances?

Or are you just looking for some free entertainment which might also give a cash return?

If you can answer one of these three questions with a strong conviction, you’re already on the way and ready for the list of different types of games which you can play for hard cash.

21 of them in fact, and there is something for everyone….. 

The 3 Top Level Real Money Gaming Categories

There are three top level categories under which each of the game types sit. These are made up of skill gaming, luck-based games, and free-to-play games.


Free Games

Read More

Fully free to play.

You won’t be risking any of your own cash, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t still play for valuable real money prizes.

Key Games – Poker |Casino | Sweepstakes | Trivia |Virtual World Games

Games Of Chance

Games Of Chance

Read More

Winning is in the lap of the gods.

You can sometimes improve your chances with the optimum strategic approach but it’s luck that’s the overriding factor.

Key Games – Casino | Bingo |

Lotteries | Instant Win Scratchcards

Real Money Skill Games

Games Of Skill

Read More

Be the best and win.

Influence the outcome with your skills and/or by exploiting the difference in skill level between you and your opponent(s). 

Key Games – Console Video Games | Esports | Word & Puzzle Games | Trivia

The 3 Top Level Real Money Gaming Categories

There are three top level categories under which each of the game types sit. These are made up of skill gaming, luck-based games, and free-to-play games.


Free Games

Read More

Fully free to play.

You won’t be risking any of your own cash, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t still play for valuable real money prizes.

Key Games – Poker |Casino | Sweepstakes | Trivia |Virtual World Games

Games Of Chance

Games Of Chance

Read More

Winning is in the lap of the gods.

You can sometimes improve your chances with the optimum strategic approach but it’s luck that’s the overriding factor.

Key Games – Casino | Bingo | Lotteries | Instant Win Scratchcards

Real Money Skill Games

Games Of Skill

Read More

Be the best and win.

Influence the outcome with your skills and/or by exploiting the difference in skill level between you and your opponent(s). 

Key Games – Console Video Games | Esports | Word & Puzzle Games | Trivia

This video is enticingly titled ‘6 games that will make you a millionaire’. I wouldn’t say it’s the best video to kick of a real money gaming investigation, but it does illustrate some key points.

It focuses on Esports type video games, although – as we’ll see further on – there are plenty of other game types where there is potential to win big money.

Real Money Games – 21 Ways To Play Games For Money

If you’re looking for ways to play games for money – or even just because you’re curious about what types of real money games can be played for cash prizes – you’re going to be surprised at just how many different opportunities there are.

The list of cash prize and gambling games – including poker, casino, bingo, fantasy, video game esports, and skill gaming – is an extensive one, I could name dozens and still not cover them all.

So it’s obvious that when we start looking at which games can be played for money, we’re not going to be able to cover it in just a few lines.

On this page we’ll take an in depth look at what real money games are all about. We’ll need to break it down into the different game types. Some of them are obvious, but there are a whole lot more that are not so well known. They’re all worth investigation in their own way….

Latest News

November 2020 – New person to person betting platform for video game contests

Currently at completion of a seed funding round, this skill-based platform from PLLAY will allow players to place bets on the outcomes of their own game contests with other players. If it goes fully live it promises to be a powerful video game wagering platform. Using the PLLAY mobile application and a gaming console, players will have instant access to real money head to head video game competitions. 

The platform will monitor contests, track the games for real-time analysis, identify the winners, and issue prize money into players’ accounts almost immediately. 

October 2020 – New Cash Prize Video Quiz Contests 

There’s been significant interest in recent years around trivia or quiz contests with real money prizes. The latest on the scene is known as Fanplay, an India based startup that has plans to introduce a new form of these type contests which combines video and social media influencers with some cleverly crafted quiz questions. 

New Skill Based Video Games

We've talked extensively elsewhere on about skill gaming being the most potentially lucrative way of playing games for money. One aspect of this that's been talked about for some time is whether casino games - in particular either slots or other types...

5 Most Popular Video Slots Released in 2020

2020 has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride and as we  head into 2021 who knows what more is in store. There's been a lot in the news recently about how much gaming in general has grown while we've all been in various states of lockdowns, and that of course...

Real Money Games List

Under our top level categories of real money gaming we have a whole raft of different game types. In fact the sheer range of choices can lead to overload. No top 10 list here, we have a top 21!

Seems a lot, but understanding them is not as daunting as it looks and we need to start somewhere, so let’s begin by looking at our list of 21….and we’ll be covering these in the order of their general popularity. For some you’ll need skill to be able to play successfully, for some you’ll need a mixture of skill and luck, and others will just be solely based on chance……

1. Video Games

2. Poker Games

3. Casino Games

4. Bingo

5. Instant Win – Scratchcards

6. Lotteries

7. Sweepstakes

8. Arcade Games

9. Mobile Games

10. Virtual World Games

11. Board Games

12. Virtual Reality

13. Trivia

14. Esports

15. Augmented Reality

16. Card Games

17. Trading Games

18. Virtual Sports

19. Puzzle

20. Pools

21. Pay To Play Rewards


With different websites offering competitive console-based video games growing rapidly in number, this is one of the fastest evolving ways to play real money games, and one that appeals to the greatest range of potential players.

We’ve all played video games on consoles right!  But not everyone knows is that popular games titles like FIFA, Madden, NBA 2K, NFL, and Call of Duty can all be played for cash prizes either in one against one matches or multiplayer/team tournaments.

These contests can be played singly on dedicated sites, but once you’ve made it into the top echelons you’ll be moving into the world of Esports – big business video gaming competitions where teams of players battle it out in big live or virtual arenas.

Online Poker Cards & chips


If you’re looking for a game that involves deep-thinking strategy, a cool head, and the ability to out-think your opponents, then poker needs to be on your list.

With fairly straightforward rules, they say it’s a game that’s easy to play but takes a lifetime to master. For this reason, it sits high on the list of money making games. But only if you can master it to a level which puts you ahead of your opponents.

Playing poker online has some great advantages. There is so much to learn that you’re unlikely to ever get bored, and if you can master the game you’ll be in pole position to make some cash out of it.


Playing the real money games you’ll find in an online casino is one of the most entertaining ways you’re ever going to get to try and win some extra cash. On top of that, there’s an outside chance of hitting it big and landing a valuable jackpot-sized prize.

The problem?

It’s all down to luck, although there are one or two casino games where strategy is important too. Unless you’re very lucky, there are big risks that they’ll wipe out your bankroll.

Casino’s are built to take your money and they’re very good at it. In the long run it’s likely you’ll lose. But you’ll get plenty of enjoyment, and the best way to get the most out of casino gaming is to stick to playing games you enjoy, take care of your bankroll, and only play for money on trusted, good quality sites.

If your target is just to win money, then either avoid the casino and choose a more skillful option, or choose one game and go for a one hit big win.

Biggest Problem

One of the biggest problems with online casinos is in depositing money into your account. It’s a problem which isn’t prevalent in the UK but might affect you in other countries. This is probably a reason why one of the most asked questions about casino deposit methods is ‘do any online casinos accept Paypal‘. The answer is that there are a fair number of them, including some of those driven by Microgaming software – 32red, Ruby Fortune and Spin Palace are all examples.

There’s a dedicated page on deposit methods that covers Paypal and other deposit types.

Most Popular Real Money Games In Online Casinos

Without a doubt it’s slots that earn this title. There are literally thousands to choose from and they’re wildly popular both in online and land-based casinos.

Can you make money on online slots?

Although they can drink your money fast they can also offer the chance for frequent wins. Occasionally very big ones.

The reality though is that you’re much more likely to lose a bankroll playing slots than come out winning. You’ll get lots of entertainment value though and the possibility of a winning session is always there.

One place to play slots to your hearts content is at House Of Fun. This is one of the social gaming sites where play is free. You won’t be winning real money here and the answer to ‘Can you win real money on House of Fun?‘ is a resounding no, but it is a great place to try out a range of titles and be ready for some cash games on slots when you fancy trying your luck.

Slotomania is another social gaming site that offers a great range of slots. Can you win money at Slotomania? Again no! But there’s lots of fun to be had and as with House Of Fun, it’s a good way to play to get ready for some real cash attempts at winning.


Closely related to lottery games and with similar long odds against landing one of the big cash prizes, scratchcards have seen an increase in popularity in recent years.

Although you’re unlikely to win big there are possibilities, and there are plenty of low value cash wins on the table for fairly low outlays.


Normally sports-related, these fantasy games entail the selection and management of teams of players. Choose a side in either daily, weekly, or season long contests where you’re essentially the manager of a team. You’ll select from multiple options of players, and those players are awarded (or subtracted) points based on their real life performances.


Straightforward and easy to play, chances are you’ll first have experienced bingo playing with your gran as a child on pieces of card covered in random numbers, and with a bag full of small cards containing all the different numbers.

Today’s electronic online bingo is more complex, but still just as easy to play. Games are fast and can be played cheaply, while prizes vary in value from low to big amounts.


Highly popular for the combination of chances to win life-changing sums and affordable outlays to do so, lotteries are one of the least entertaining ways to play gambling type games.

Prospects of winning rest solely on luck and the fortunes of choosing a bunch of numbers that might come up in a draw.

Not my idea of fun and one way to play games for cash that you will definitely not find glorified in any way here on


Often requiring no skill or knowledge, cash sweepstakes are often run as promotions run by businesses that involve being entered in prize draws. They’re often run as some form of promotion, and are a great way for getting knowledge of a new product or service out to as many prospective Customers as possible.

The values of the prizes vary, you won’t find only money on offer. In fact the prizes can vary from cash, homes, and electronic goods through to cars, holidays, and other such items.

Participating in sweepstake games is a great opportunity to win things for free. Most require no purchase and might reward you with grand prizes in exchange for nothing. It is a great de-stressor and can be a fun way to pass your time.


With the exposive growth in smartphone numbers over recent years, the games developers have placed some intensive focus on making sure that gameplay can be optimised for small screen devices. There’s a whole industry built up around making sure that games using mobile apps can be played easily from wherever you want to be.

Of course virtually all of the different types of real money games we’ve covered can be played on mobile phones, with the operators providing software that makes their platforms render equally well whether you’re on a PC, laptop, tablet, or phone.

But there are some game titles that have been developed specifically for mobile phones, with apps designed to make them load easily and play intuitively.  Popular titles in this area include Money Birds and Octa Glow.


The opportunities to play out roles in virtual worlds has grown at a stunning pace over the last few years, culminating in a list of around a dozen ‘worlds’ where you can play for money in environments ranging from war zones and building financial empires through to sports team management.

These virtual world real money games can often be played for free, but they’re not easy ways to make some extra cash and probably the best way to approach them is to consider the gaming as entertainment with the chance of making some small profits.

All that said, if you’re really strong at a specific title and are well practiced in the vagaries of role playing games, there are some options for making it pay well.


Including such old time favourites as checkers, backgammon, and chess, this category will perhaps appeal to the broadest range of gaming fans. We’ve all played the majority of them and in some cases since a very age.

Many fans will find it strange playing board games where money prizes are involved given that the entertainment value is highly prized. Equally these games may suit some expert players who are looking to move on to a competitive level.


Virtual reality games run on powerful software that puts you in the heart of the action. It’s still early days for the technology and real money VR games are limited for now, but the potential is outstanding.

For now, it’s casino gaming as the only real choice – there are a few online casinos that are already venturing into the world of virtual reality casino gambling.


If puzzle games grabbed your interest, then their quiz-based cousins surely will too. Designed to test your general and specific-subject knowledge, not many trivia-type quiz fans know that they could be playing for cash in competition with others rather than jusy for the glory of being the champion. Take a look at and learn how it all works.

It’s human nature to want to answer questions, and the latest trivia apps offer the perfect way to test out and prove your level of general knowledge. Trivia games for cash have been around for some time, but new entrants into the arena have really captured the attention of many fans.


Share trading games can be looked at in a few different ways. The first is in financial trading and references those games that call for a good understanding of financial markets. The second – and probably most interesting for us – are the stockmarket-style sports trading games, which might involve investing in teams or individual players.

With either, you can put your knowledge of trading in stocks and shares to good use and play games that call for a strong judgement on where the markets are heading.

Another type of trading is covered in our virtual world games section and covers how you can make money from trading items or services inside the games themselves.


Esports is the term that’s been given to professional competitive video gaming, and it’s big big business. There’s been phenomenal growth in the industry in recent years, and it’s become truly global with teams from different countries battling it out in arenas and online in tournaments and head to head matches.

To make money you can either play Esports (if you’re a highly skilled gamer) or bet on events (if you have good knowledge about the teams involved).


You’ll often find many of them these types of games co-residing on various cash-gaming websites like King, Royal Games, and Gamesville. Falling broadly into the category of fun video games we all know and love, they can call for a mix of skills based on manual dexterity and experience. You’ll generally need good hand-eye coordination in order to do well.

Some examples are Collapse, Mini-Golf, and table games like pool or billiards. Some shooting and racing games also fall into this category, as do well known titles such as Bejeweled and Tetris Burst.


We’ve covered 16 of the most popular types of real money games in the list above, but there are a handful more which should make it on to any exhaustive list…..

  • Augmented Reality – The future of gaming? Augmented reality games have already hit the big stage courtesy of the Pokemon phenomenon. There is huge potential for development of other AR gaming platforms, and it’s only a matter of time before a fair number of them offer the chance to play for cash. Two already in the game include Snatch HQ and Captain Blinky.
  • Card Games – Containing a range of different types, most card games are well know to all of us and we often play them for fun in different guises from a very early age. As we get older the focus turns more to their competitive nature, in particular where we can wager on the outcomes and turns of the cards. Poker, spades, rummy, gin rummy, and tonk are all versions which offer real money play.
  • Pay To Play Rewards – There are a handful of sites where you essentially get paid for playing their range of games. You won’t be earning big money but if you enjoy gaming then why not try to make a little extra cash out of the experience? try out QuickRewards, Pogo, LalaLoot, CashDazzle, InboxDollars, or Swagbucks for some good examples.
  • Virtual Sports – Sports games are heavily prevalent in the gaming industry. Of course you can play your favourite sports-based titles like NBA 2K and FIFA on console-based contest websites, but there are other sites dedicated to specific virtual sports such as horse racing and golf which also offer cash wins for making the right choices. Horse racing is particularly well-represented with websites like,, and all getting in on the action. Golf fans can get similar at Many big sportsbetting firms offer betting on various forms of virtual sports too.
  • Puzzle – Plenty of us enjoy mental challenges, and with puzzle games you’ll get just that. They may call for some quick- thinking, quick-moving reflexes too. Try out – a puzzle-based game that’s designed specifically to be played anywhere on mobile.
  • Pools – If you’re from the UK and recognise the names Littlewoods and Vernons then you’ll know all about football pools. These contests are based on multiple players making a paid entry based on a prediction of the outcome of a series of events (usually matches in the football world, but could be anything). All the entry fees go into a pool, the operator takes a small cut, and the rest goes to the winner (and sometimes runners up). The fairly new operator iPools is the place to go to try out the contests.

How To Play

By now you’ll have a strong idea of your options. If you’re considering trying out a new type of game to make some cash then most likely you’ll be choosing from one of the listed game types. We’ll assume one has piqued your interest that meets your needs either for being skill-based, free to play, or if you just want to chance to luck.

The next question is likely to be something along the lines of ‘OK, so how exactly do I play my chosen real money game?’

Obviously the process of actually playing the game will rest heavily on what it is and the rules that it’s based on. These are both best covered by visiting individual game sections and then visiting dedicated game pages, but what we can explore here are the options for how to play from both device and where to play perspectives.


We all play games on different devices right, so it follows that we could use a list:

  • Android/Samsung
  • iOS/iPhone
  • iPad
  • PC

Clearly cash games can be played on each, and it depends on where you’re going to play (ie the game operator or the game itself) on whether multiple different options are available or whether that particular game is designed specifically for one or more device types.

Where To Play

We’re working on the general assumption here that most gaming we’ve covered will be getting its attention online, though of course there are plenty of ways to play for money in real life. Land-based casinos and poker rooms are two perfect examples.

Online there are options. Going straight to the website of an operator is an obvious one, but there are at least two other places to go which are equally valuable to be aware of.

App Stores

Google Play and iTunes are the big names, and it’s a fair bet you’ll already know them. Both offer real money gaming in different guises.


Facebook are understandably cautious about any association with gambling, but as we’ve seen not all games fall directly into the gambling games classification. Consequently there are plenty of FB pages which offer games with cash prizes attached.

How To Get To Them

There are two main ways of getting to play, you’re either going to have to download software to your device, or play in your browser.


The word download can be a little frightening at times, especially given the fears of downloading some sort of virus. The reality is though that as long as you’re careful and only interact with well known games providers, you shouldn’t encounter any problems through downloading any software.

In Browser

The following section on software types is applicable here, with HTML5 restrictions on interworking with some browser versions. At high level though you should be able to play anything you want to in your browser if that’s the way it’s been designed.

And if you can’t? Well there are plenty of ways of searching for solutions to known problems…and enough game types that moving on shouldn’t be too much of a decision.

Software Types

Obviously games run on software, and two types which are important to be aware of are Flash and HTML5.

Flash Games For Money

Everyone’s heard of Flash. It’s a platform developed by Adobe, another name you’ll recognise. Games developed in Flash are built especially for display and play on and in websites, and because of this a Flash game’s final file size can be much smaller than those of games developed on other platforms. Smaller file size generally = better performance. Note: At the end of 2020 Adobe will be withdrawing Flash support. Many major browsers will issue updates that will disable it, so if you want to continue playing anything that relies on Flash you’ll probably need to find and use a different browser

HTML5 Real Money Games

HTML5 may sound new, but actually it’s been around for a few years. Even though it offers some advantages, it’s had to fight hard against Flash given the older technology has had a 10+ year head start.

One area where HTML5 games have made big headway is in mobile gaming including laptops and tablets as well as smartphones, with mobile manufacturers having opted to build their devices over coming years to take advantage. The big reason for this is around battery life – HTML5 games draw less power and won’t leave you with a dead portable device as often.

On desktop devices there are benefits too. You’ve probably hit problems with Flash versions before. Well, no such issues with HTML5.

The webpage at FlashvsHTML shows an interesting comparison of the two.

As we mentioned, Flash is about to go out of support.

Depositing To Play

Unless you’re playing for free or you’re taking advantage of a no deposit bonus offer or promotion, you’re going to need to make a deposit. This is your stake money.

Depositing is a big subject, and can take us into the realms of legal gambling.

Essentially though there are plenty of deposit methods. Some work better for players in some regions, others are preferred or prevalent elsewhere.

This is a subject best covered in depth on dedicated pages to gambling in specific countries.

One way that’s becoming widely used throughout the world though is Paypal. One of the wallet type money transfer services, Paypal holds a high position in the list.

Is It Gambling?

It can be an important question. ‘Is playing games for real money gambling?

Well let’s consider a definition…

Gambling is the betting or wagering of money or goods (and maybe even services) on the outcome of an event in the hope of winning something.

So if we consider that in relation to real money gaming then the initial answer is ‘yes, of course it is’.

But that’s a high level point of view.

Certainly any game that involves the betting or wagering of money where pure luck determines the outcome will fall into this bracket. Casino gaming is a perfect example.

But what about skill-based games?

I’d argue not….and in fact that’s an agument that’s born out by some regulatory bodies classifying games of skill so that they fall outside of gambling-related laws.

When you’re using skill you’re in control. The word investment springs to mind. You’re investing in an activity to achieve a desired outcome.

So is it gambling?

I think the question should be – ‘does it really matter?’

There’s a stigma associated with the word gambling, and arguably rightly so in some specific situations. The label could in fact help some of us recognise and come to terms with a problem that can have far reaching consequences.

But personally I don’t believe that stigma is right. There’s nothing wrong as such with gambling…..unless it controls you. There are some notable professions, situations, and events where it can benefit you to be under some form of control of course, but generally anything that controls your actions with potentially negative results is not going to be good for you.

And that’s what gambling can do. It can control your actions on an almost subconscious level.

The trick of course – and I recognise this is easier said than done for some of us – is to be consciously in control. This is possible to achieve – although not for all of us admittedly. To get to that position, you need to be aware of the risks explored below…and what you can do about alleviating them.

Be Careful – Recognise The Risks

Before we go too much further, I just want to make sure this point hits home – most of the ways of trying to win money playing games (but not all) involve risking money you already have. As we’ve just seen, this definition essentially makes the playing of games for money gambling.

Gambling involves risks. The risk of losing cash you can’t afford to lose, the risk of becoming addicted, and the risk of both those having negative effects on friends and family members.

Read the RealMoney.Games responsible gambling page before you make any attempt to deposit money and play – it’ll help you understand what’s at stake, what to avoid, and where to get help if you get into any problems.

Best Real Money Games

If you want to work out what the best of anything is, you’ll quickly become aware that there’s not always a straightforward answer. What’s best for any individual (ie you) can vary from person to person depending on a range of criteria.

Everyone’s going to want to know what the best games are for winning money, right?

So this is a subject that we could write a thousand words on and still not have a concise answer, because that answer heavily depends on the perspective you’re looking at it from.

In fact it depends on whether you’re searching for the best real money games for actually winning money (either quickly in one hit or with a slow build up over time), or the opportunities that are likely to give the greatest entertainment value for your money and time.

Each of the games we’ve covered already offer their own specific benefits, and in the end it’ll all boil down to you to choose the game or games which you either enjoy or are successful at the most.

  • If you want to chance to luck and play for fast returns then instant win scratch cards or lotteries could be the right choice.
  • If you’re an avid video gamer it’s more likely that skill games or cash contest console video games will be high up on your ‘best’ list.
  • If you want to play with absolutely no risk of losing your own cash, the best for you will be those that cost nothing to play of course.

And these are not the only criteria, there are a handful of other considerations:

  • Where you are in the world (ie; what game options are legitimately open to you)
  • What your budget is, how much you could safely afford to lose, and your level of aversion to risk
  • Whether you want fancy graphics in your gaming or are content with simple game software
  • Whether you want something new to play, or are happy with tried and trusted favourites

You can see it’s not easy to allocate the ‘best of’ label! But I’m sure you’ll work it out.

If I had to make a recommendation, it would be to focus on any game that requires a strong skill level. Thos will offer the best combination of factors – chance of winning, highest entertainment value often great graphics, and low outlay/risk.


We’ve seen the three key ways of playing real money games, and we’ve covered 21 different types of games plus a couple extra for luck. When you consider that within the 21 types there are literally hundreds of variations, it’s easy to see that in fact this all that adds up to a wide number of combinations, 

Some are easy to play, some not so. Some are easier to win at than others.

But they all offer the opportunity to win and it is possible to make money. To be successful probably means specializing in at least one of them or having plenty of luck on your side.

I hope that can help make that possible.

Whatever path you choose to follow I wish you luck. Remember to be cautious whenever you’re risking any of your own money, and try to make the experience what it’s supposed to be…enjoyable and fun.

You’re essentially paying for entertainment.

So don’t overpay!

  • Copyright RealMoney.Games 2017 – 2020

Real Money Games Guide
Article Name
Real Money Games Guide
Advanced guide to real money games & gaming. Listing different types of games that can be played for cash prizes, and the different gaming categories including free games, games of chance, and those that are pure luck-based.
Publisher Name
Publisher Logo