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Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto franchise has been back in the news of late following a significant leak, as well as fresh speculation about the release of GTA VI. By all accounts, the leak, which included some imagery from the forthcoming installment, was real. However, it doesn’t seem to signal an imminent release. GTA VI’s targeted debut date is still a mystery, but most speculation seems to land in 2025.
Whether because of the leak or just the general ebb and flow of interest, though, GTA activity has spiked of late. Even before the news of the leak and a new wave of GTA VI speculation, the live monthly player count in GTA V had jumped above 16 million for the first time in years. Recently, in the aftermath of the leak, it topped 17.8 million. So for one reason or another, the beloved GTA V –– first released in 2013 –– is red hot again.
Because of this, we want to take a fresh look at the game, specifically at a feature within it that some among the current waves of players might not be familiar with. Of course, we’re talking about the Diamond Casino, which is functionally a piece of DLC that didn’t appear for the first six years or so during which GTA V was played. The casino opened its doors for GTA Online players in the summer of 2019 –– meaning plenty of gamers may have spent five whole years enjoying this beloved title without ever experiencing its casino content.
If you’re among the many who seem to have dived back into GTA V lately and you never got into the Diamond Casino the first time around, here are a few words on what you can do there.
First and foremost, you’re free to use your in-game cash to play a number of standard casino games. More specifically, you can access slots, roulette, and blackjack games, all of which you can play quickly and casually. There is also a game called Inside Track, which basically amounts to betting on virtual horse racing. It’s a nice feature (though it may have been even better if the casino resort had an actual race facility out back!
If standard casino games and virtual betting aren’t quite your speed, you can also sit down for a bit of poker –– though it may not be what you expect. Texas Hold’em has become such a dominant variety of the game that it’s likely what most gamers would anticipate finding in the Diamond Casino. Instead, however, GTA V’s goes with the 3-card variety. Learning to play 3-card poker may take you a few games if you’re not used to it, but ultimately it makes for a fun experience.
In this type of poker, you are dealt three cards and must then decide whether to fold or put those cards up against the dealer’s own. Think of it almost like a blackjack-style game of poker in which you’re aiming for the best 3-card poker hand rather than trying to get closer to 21.
Perks For Sale
As is the case in real life, most of the casino games you can play reward you with chips rather than in-game cash directly. Now, you do have the option of cashing out, but a lot of players have also had fun purchasing goods and perks that are only available in exchange for chips. It almost takes you back to old-school arcades, where you could exchange tokens or tickets for toys and candies… except, in this case, the “toys and candies” are primarily additions to the penthouse you can purchase atop the casino resort. These include a special car garage, a private spa, a media room, and even your own dealer, who can run private card games for you in the penthouse.
Maybe most popular of all is the casino heist mission that is attached to the Diamond Casino venue. The challenge in this mission is basically to assemble a heist crew of players, attack or infiltrate the casino, and make away with the goods in the main vault. What really makes this a fun addition to the game, though, is that you can go about it in a variety of ways.
The “Silent & Sneaky” approach involves subtle infiltration; “The Big Con” means passing yourself off as a casino worker after significant preparation, and the “Aggressive” mode involves taking the vault by force. Different approaches involve different prep missions, heist roles, and so on, making for a deep and dynamic game mission.
That covers it all. Good luck in the Diamond Casino next time you dive back into GTA V, and please feel free to explore our console gaming section for more insight into a variety of popular video games.