How will you spend your time in Red Dead Redemption 2?
Arthur Morgan and horse are silhouetted against the sun in a scene from Red Dead Redemption 2.

These are the 6 minigames you need to play in Red Dead Redemption 2

Adam Cook

As always, Rockstar have rammed their latest game to bursting point with extra stuff to do. Here’s what’s in Red Dead Redemption 2.

Rockstar Games are a beloved studio for a reason. Outside of the stories, the graphics, the enormous open worlds, the tremendous dialogue and scripts, games like Grand Theft Auto keep us playing for so long because they are chock-full of things that demand repeated play. Whether it’s GTA V’s golf, or just tracking down the Easter eggs or disproving myths, Rockstar are a team that knows how to keep you coming back for more.

But no game world has come close to being as big as the one in Red Dead Redemption 2. It’s time to explore what we’ll be coming back to time after time in the latest (and potentially greatest) game from our favourite open-world game developer to date.

1. Dominoes

Pay attention to when your opponent passes

A game of dominoes in Red Dead Redemption 2.

New to Red Dead Redemption 2, you can play full games of dominoes with pals at your base camp. These can take a really long time because to get points in dominoes you get the total face value that’s left on your opponent’s dominoes at the end of each round. The rules are simple, and you can only place a domino next to one that shares the same number. The idea is to work out which numbers they don’t have, and keep them from placing their pieces on the table. Expect to spend at least half an hour on a full game, depending on how difficult your opponent is to beat.

2. Blackjack

Get as close to 21 as you can

A game of blackjack in progress in Red Dead Redemption 2.

Blackjack is a simple game, really. You just have to receive cards until you think the next 'hit' will push you over the magic total of 21. You can face against other players but you’re really trying to beat the dealer. If you have three cards and are on 18, probably best you stick, rather than risk losing it all because you asked to be hit with another card and bust out on 28 thanks to the 10-card. Start slow, betting cents instead of dollars, and be aware that insurance is a random option, because you don’t know if the dealer has Blackjack or not! Don’t risk it if you’ve a high number already, especially if you’ve plenty of coin on the table.

3. Five Finger Fillet

Mind your fingers

Knife play in a game of five finger fillet in Red Dead Redemption 2.

Another game that returns from the last-gen classic, Five Finger Fillet pits you against a single opponent and gets you to hammer the face buttons at speed to move a knife around your fingers. You can place bets and it’s usually a best-of-three-style game. You can zoom in on your opponent if he or she is going first and see the button prompts for that particular round, and if it’s easy you can absolutely obliterate their time. Be warned, though, the game gets tougher the longer you play.

4. Poker

This is an easy one to lose hours to. Sitting down to a table it’s tempting to just up the ante by a few cents, but as you progress you’re going to have more money and become more confident. We won’t explain the full rule-set here, but suffice to say the idea is to use your cards honestly if you’ve a better hand (three of a kind, two pair, full house, etc), and to bluff and be dishonest if you think you can out-think your fellow gamblers. At the start you’ll face easy opponents who'll fold their hand at the slightest provocation, and we suppose, if you need to, you could just rob them after losing anyway. Don’t spend ages with a hand that's destined to fail, get out early and save money. Make sure you’ve at least a half decent starting pair of cards before putting any serious money down in this one.

5. Hunting

Hunt on horseback or foot

Hunting on horseback in Red Dead Redemption 2.

While not a minigame per se, hunting is a huge part of Red Dead Redemption 2 and a key component if you intend to upgrade your gear. You’ll need the right equipment for each animal (smaller ones a varmint rifle, others need certain arrow types for your bow) to get a perfect version of it’s pelt, which you get by skinning it once hunted. At first, you won’t really be able to achieve all the hunting challenges, because some weapons are locked behind story missions, but do try to get perfect pelts if you can as early as possible, because there are a lot of animals to hunt in this one.

6. Fishing

The one that got away

Arthur Morgan angling in a lake in Red Dead Redemption 2

Ah, that time-honoured pastime, fishing. After a set story mission you’ll gain access to the fishing rod, so don’t get stressed wondering where it is from the get-go. Try to find as many different fishing spots as possible, and as many types of lure as you can discover. Cheese, bread and worms are great for catching small fish which, admittedly, will keep Arthur going once cooked, but you’ll want to graduate to bigger fish sooner rather than later. Remember not to rush things, and reel your catch in only when it’s tired: you’ll know it’s ready to catch when it stops flapping around.

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