Why Building a Casino Game is Good Arduino Practice

As you’re undoubtedly aware if you’re browsing here, there are all sorts of fun things you can try with Arduino. Broadly speaking, Arduino projects can range from remote controls for home appliances, to smart post boxes, to all sorts of interesting applications in between. A lot of people use the platform to build responsive garage doors; many play with different ways to visualize music; and still others simply stick with the basics and design LED light displays. Really, the list of possibilities is just about endless.

Another fun way to use Arduino that doesn’t come up as often, however, is to build physical apparatuses for digital games. As a general example, you might imagine building your own LED light board capable of displaying an active game of Tetris or Pac-Man. These aren’t the simplest of projects, but they are doable (and have been done), and make for interesting and enjoyable products. Along these same lines though, building a casino game with Arduino makes for a particularly intriguing challenge.

We say this because a casino game enables you to practice three particular skills with Arduino.

1 - Random Numbers

No matter what kind of casino game you want to build with your Arduino, it will require randomness — which is actually something of a challenge on these platforms. A guide by Instructables explains that the functions randomSeed() and random() make it possible to build in random number functions. But it does take some practice, and designing for different outcomes in a casino game will require you to go through that practice and pick up a useful skill in the process.

Once you’ve handled this project, you may find a number of interesting and amusing uses for randomness functions on future Arduino projects (from randomizing room lighting to creating your own music shuffle).

2 - Visual Components

Different casino games also give you the chance to work on incorporating different visual elements. Naturally, if you’re working on a blackjack or poker application this may be limited to card suits and numbers. Creating an Arduino slot machine, however, is where this gets particularly interesting. Today’s digital slot machines online are basically built on a foundation of graphics and visual themes. A few particular games like Starburst and Gonzo’s Quest sparked the trend, and now there are hundreds of artists, graphics-driven slots; the Kingdoms Rise and Age Of The Gods series showcased on Gala Bingo capture historical and mythical settings so vibrantly they might be mistaken for console-quality video games.

Now, that level of visual quality can’t be reached on an Arduino. But you still have the opportunity when working on this kind of project to get as creative as you can with visual elements. Even a vague approximation of a modern slot theme would make for an impressive display on an LED board hooked up to your platform.

3 - Expansion Capacity

This is a less specific skill to work on. However, there is something to be said for the fact that you can design a basic casino game and expand on it after the fact — which gives you a good experience with enhancing and editing your projects. For example, you might make a blackjack game and then find a way to turn it into a multi-faceted card game in which poker and blackjack are both options. Or you might go the slot machine route and simply add more options and variability to the reels after the initial build.

In the end, a casino game is of course just one more of a thousand projects you could try on Arduino. But games, again, are nice challenges, and the casino concept specifically introduces some interesting things to try. Plus, when you’re done, you’ll have a pretty fun game and conversation starter!