This article is about "legitimate" gambling. For information on gambling in scams, see Cheats and scams.
Gambling is the action or game of a person betting money on the occurrence of a particular outcome or event, and should the event go in their favour, win a specified reward. In RuneScape, gambling has become increasingly prevalent due to the Reintroduction of Free Trade, which allowed players to transfer large sums of money to other players.
As a general rule, there are two types of players when gambling occurs: the host, or player that offers a deal, takes the bet, and makes the event occur, and the "player" or "gamer", who places the bet. Odds almost always favour the host, who can make millions off of lost bets. The host is at risk to lose more than the gamer should they win, although the player/gamer is often put at risk more through the dangers of a scam.
The vast majority of gambling takes place either at the Duel Arena or Grand Exchange. On worlds 2 and 6, it is not uncommon to see the entire south of the G.E. flooded with "Flower Gaming", and vice versa on staking worlds at the Duel Arena. The south entrance of the Grand Exchange on worlds 2 and 6 is unofficially known as the "Gambling Grounds".
Players should be warned: gambling is a risky activity that will often end up costing a player money. In addition, gambling is often an easy way for hosts to scam players. Should you decide to take a host up on their offer, consult this guide and take certain precautions to avoid being scammed or tricked. It is always best not to risk your money at all.
Types of gambling
Officially sanctioned methods of gambling
Members can stake an unlimited amount of wealth, while free players can stake up to 40,000 coins worth. Between two equally skilled players, the odds of winning are 1:1. Free players who want to stake more often resort to "trust staking"; however, this is not sanctioned by Jagex and may result in getting scammed.
Players can stake money with eachother in the strategy based game.
Falador Party Room
The Falador Party Room is the official "Try Your Luck" game of RuneScape. In the Party Room, players donate items or money to a "pot", which is then released in large numbers of balloons. Players may pop the balloons, and find items inside. While arguably the most foolproof way to gamble, it is rare to find a drop party even happening, let alone involving valuables. Some players debate as to whether or not the Party Room is actually gambling, since players do not have to contribute to the pot. However, obtaining a good item or cash stack in a drop party is considered luck, and thus may be categorized as gambling.
Note that frequently, inexperienced, low-level gambling players are often scammed into thinking they must donate a certain amount of cash to the Pot in order to have a chance at receiving a good drop. This is not true; the Falador Party Room drops its wealth purely on donations and no "bets" are required. Anyone can have a shot at getting a good prize.
Squeal of Fortune
After the update on April the 2nd, 2012, players are allowed to pay with real-life money to buy spins on the Squeal of Fortune and thus get a chance at winning experience lamps, money, valuable items and rare "lucky" or cosmetic clothing. This is a form of gambling which is not only tolerated, but actually encouraged by Jagex. However, although it is risky in the sense that you may win nothing of value, gambling via the Squeal of Fortune can also be considered worthwhile as, given enough real-life money, a player can achieve the fastest XP rates in certain skills in the game with this method, in addition to getting some money.
Unofficial methods of gambling
"The Flower Game" is a player-made game on Runescape which involves gambling. The player hosting the game will determine how much a winning bet will be multiplied.
Because this game can be used as a method of scamming, players should be wary of any deals that seem too good to be true, and must understand that they are playing the game at their own risk, as is the case with any gambling game. If a so-called "dealer" is legitimate, ask him / her to trust you (exactly the same way he / she is asking you to trust him / her) and take your bet after the winner is determined, much the same way that he / she is asking you to trust him / her to give you your winnings after the flower grows. For example, if the dealer is asking for 500k, ask to trade 500k and offer your own 500k, to make sure he has 500k. Also ask him to show you the prize. Now, you both have 500k. If you win, trade back his 500k for the prize. If you lose, do nothing. If he / she is unwilling to do this, it is a more likely to be a scam. Don't be fooled - avoid being scammed.
Scamming is often conducted in the Flower Game through partners. A player will fake-win a prize, making observers falsely believe the host is legitimate.
How the game is played:
The gambling player will trade the host any number of coins and bet on which colour flower the host will plant. If they guess correctly, the host will award them with a prize (usually 3 or 4 times higher than the original bet). This is advertised in the following format, as an example: "Flower Game 4x", meaning the payout is 4 times the bet.
Sometimes hosts will claim that they are offering extremely high priced prizes with a low gambling price. Many of these are scams, so it is important to play at one's own risk.
The chances of winning a game are roughly 1/7, so you are likely to lose money betting on any payouts less than 7:1. See flowers for more information. Red, Yellow, Blue, and Orange flowers are the best choices, with roughly a 15 percent chance at each. Purple and multicoloured flowers are less common, while white and black are extremely rare. The full odds of each flower may be seen in the flowers page.
A variation of the Flower Game is called hot/cold. The normal payout for this type is 2x. The player will choose either hot or cold, and the host will plant a mithril seed. It is then seen whether the flowers are "hot" (red, yellow, orange) or "cold" (blue, purple, pastels). If the flowers are mixed red, yellow, and blue, the host may give the player another chance, or simply give the player's money back. The host can also choose to call it a loss and keep the player's money.
The 2010 Christmas event "O' Little town of Daemonheim" brought the release of the emote Seal of Approval as a reward. This emote became a new ground for gambling. When this emote is performed, the number located on seal's backpack will differ. This number determines the outcome of the bet. This gambling game is announced when the host says "Seal game x2" or "Even/Odd x2" or some slight variation of each.
A popular variation of the game, named "Even/Odd," regards the type of number displayed on the backpack. As the name suggests, this game focuses on whether the number displayed on the backpack is either even or odd. The player will win if they bet on the correct type.
The host may ask for a minimum bet or sometimes may offer the player an increase in the bet in exchange for increased payout rates. For example, the host may ask the player to bet twice the amount they originally bet and, in exchange, will double the original payout rate, making it now x4.
The Seal Game is susceptible to scams as it relies on trust through free trade. The host may teleport away, log out, or simply not give the player their reward if they win. The host may also offer illegitimate payoff rates that appear too good to be true or simply look untrustworthy. Any exploring gambler should take into account these variables if they seek to gamble with a legitimate host.
Process: After placing a bet, typically the host will ask the player which number, or type of number in the even/odd game, that the player would like to bet on. The player should respond with their choice and the bet is active. The host will perform the emote and the number displayed on the backpack of the seal will determine whether the player wins or loses the gamble.
Staking is considered the safest way of gambling, and the best odds. The downside of staking is that it requires a high combat ability, and leaves less to chance as it does combat.
In staking, players meet at the Duel Arena to challenge each other to a one-on-one fight. They bet money, which is held in a "pot" for the winner. The first person to kill the other wins the entire pot. Assuming all combat advantages are taken out of the equation, staking puts on odds of about 50-50, although these can be raised depending on combat levels, weapons, etc.
However, there are several glitches involved in staking, with new ones always coming out. Due to this, players are advised to keep auto-retaliate set to ON. Players may also manipulate the rules to their advantage by changing them last minute to give them a huge advantage. Unlike in a trade, changing the rules at the last second in hopes that the opponent will not notice is not considered a scam.
A new type of gambling involving the Easter ring. Players will trade their cash to the host, and then choose one of six colours, and the host will then use the Easter ring and transform into an egg. The egg game has slightly better odds than the flower game with a 1/6 chance. Benefits of the Egg Game are the speed and ease of which the game flows in F2P, not requiring players to join Clan Chats.
A new found type of gambling, using the classic cape emote is used. A host wearing the classic cape would perform the emote 3 times (depending on rules put forth) and give pay out, or take payment depending on the guessed emote the player put forth and the number of times correct. Possible answers include three different items, sometimes associated with a skill. Possible answers and other names are:
1: Fletching, F, or arrow.
2: Smithing, S, or bar.
3: Wood cutting, W, wc, or axe.
How the game is played:
1: Betting price is established.
2: Player guess the emote that will happen.
3: Host will perform the emote.
4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 another two times.
5: If player correctly guesses the emote 2/3 (again depending on rules put forth) times the prize established will be given.
Discontinued Gambling Methods
On January 13, 2012, the horse game was made impossible when Jagex changed horses such that they only say one thing: "Just say neigh to gambling!"
"Dice Clans" were often used as a trustworthy form of dice gambling through the form of impartial hosts. In this case, two players wagered against each other money, and the player with the higher number wins the others. A host kept the bets (usually the owner of the clan), and paid the winner.
The way it worked was it involved using Percentile dice. A player would simply place a bet and wait for the host to clan-roll the dice. If the host rolled over the limit, the player wins. If the host rolled under the limit, the better lost. If the host rolled the same number, they would either roll the dice again or consider the better to be the winner, depending on their rules. To make sure a Percentile dice was being used, a player could check the rolls to see if it says "percentile dice".
On 14 November 2011, dice could no longer be rolled, and the following week dice bags were removed from the game altogether.  In response, some dicing clans have switched to IRC bots that generate random numbers.
Reaction by Community
Critics claim that it is making RuneScape an "online casino" instead of a fun RPG. Others accuse hosts of unfairly tricking low-levelled players into betting their entire fortune on a game, unaware of the odds.
Hosts are frequently reprimanded for using autotypers to spam gambling areas, contributing to the large amounts of Lag players experience south of the Grand Exchange. Because of this, some players have launched a campaign to outlaw gambling on the forums, gathering support from both J-Mods and P-Mods.
However, some players argue that gambling is a free activity players do at their own risk. Even player moderators are sometimes seen hosting flower games, drawing criticism that they are unfairly using their credibility to make money.
With the exception of posting anti-scam notices in RuneScape and on their site, Jagex has not announced any sort of crackdown on gambling or hosting. Player moderators frequently storm the Gambling Grounds, muting players that have been scamming or are using autotalkers. However, because of Jagex's new scrutiny of mutes, moderators are reluctant to mute players simply for gambling- technically, there is no rule in RuneScape against gambling, and an official response from Jagex is yet to be heard. There has been one instance in which a Jagex Moderator (Mod Emilee) entered the Gambling Grounds, and is said to have remarked at how pathetic the sight was, although no evidence on this has been gathered. Mod Mark was also asked about the gambling problem on his clan chat; according to witnesses, his response was that while Jagex had yet to take a position on gambling, they would always stand strong against scamming.
Despite general disapproval of gambling, staking is a recognised way to make money, while flower-gaming and dice-gaming are considered "black market" illegitimate means. Players cannot be reported for gambling, although players that witness a scam may do so. Regardless of what the general opinion is, gambling in RuneScape has become a method to make and lose millions.