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 slightly less than the gamer should the gamer win (since hosts keep up to 10% of the winnings as their "fee" when chances of winning are 50-50), although the player/gamer is often put at even more risk through the dangers of a scam.
The vast majority of gambling takes place either at the Duel Arena or Grand Exchange. On trading worlds it was 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, 6 and 18 were 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, player-run gambling is against the Rules of RuneScape. Also, 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. And, of course, keep in mind you're breaking the game rules and are subject to penalties imposed on you. 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 each other in the strategy based game.
Falador Party Room
In the Party Room, players donate items or money to a chest in the party room or 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.
Many players can add items into the Party Room's chest, and these items may end up in the balloons.
After the World List Update on 13 December 2012, World 9 (P2P) is now the official world for the Party room.
Squeal of Fortune
After the update on 2 April 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 sanctioned 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 coins. The Squeal of Fortune has recently been redesigned as Treasure Hunter.
As of 18 March 2013, all forms of player-run gambling are against the RuneScape terms and conditions. As part of this rules change, Jagex made several changes to the most common factors in player-run games of chance.
Also take in mind that a player who offers a gambling game, whether or not he or she did one CAN be eligible for a mute.
To prevent flower games of any kind from being run, Jagex changed the way planted flowers would appear, so that they would all be the same colour. Picked flowers do not suffer from the same restriction, however, but are of no use to gamblers.
Classic cape game
The classic cape game, where players would bet on which of the classic cape emotes would appear, was nullified by a change to the cape to make it always show the rune hatchet emote.
The Easter ring game, where players would bet on which colour egg the host would change into, was prevented by restricting the egg colour to always be blue with a yellow zigzag pattern. This was later changed to the player being able to select the colour manually.
The Seal emote game, where players bet on which seal variant the host would turn into, was banished by making players always change into the same seal every time.
This one, where players bet on the phrase the horse would say when used, was the second to be disabled, on 13 January 2012, in an update which made them say only one thing: "Just say neigh to gambling!"
The first player-run gambling method to be removed, on 14 November 2011, dice could no longer be rolled, and the following week dice bags were removed from the game altogether. Nowadays, the terms dice and dicer are often used to refer to extremely good moneymaking methods and extremely rich players respectively. E.g: "Araxxor is dice tier".
Horn games involved the use of the Starting horn to spawn the Master of Races. Players would place bets on in which cardinal direction the Master of Races will be facing. After the changing a mechanic of the starting horn on 29 September 2014, it was removed on 8 December 2014.
Jadinko rewarded by 2015 Easter Event are claimed to be spawning randomly around the player when dropped. Such games are advertised as "Front/Back" or "Back/Front". Players place a bet on whether the pet will spawn in front of or behind (including diagonally) where the hosts were originally facing before dropping the pet. If the Jadinko spawns exactly to the left or right of the hosts, it will count as a reroll. It is unknown if the chance of spawning is truly random, which the hosts may be able to predict the outcome and attempt to accept or deny bets according to their preferences.
Reaction by community
Critics claimed it was 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. Player moderators used to frequent the Gambling Grounds, muting players that had been scamming or were using autotalkers. However, because of Jagex's new scrutiny of mutes at that time, moderators were reluctant to mute players simply for gambling- technically, there was no rule in RuneScape against gambling at the time, and an official response from Jagex had yet to be heard. There had 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 at the time was that while Jagex had yet to take a position on gambling, they would always stand strong against scamming. Mod Mike has confirmed that a scam-free alternative to gambling games is being created and is expected to be released by the end of 2013.
Despite general disapproval of gambling, staking is a recognised way to make money, while flower-gaming and dice-gaming were considered "black market" illegitimate means. Until the March 2013 update, players could not be reported for gambling, although players that witness a scam could always do so. Regardless of what the general opinion is, gambling in RuneScape had become a method to make and lose billions.