There’s a hint of gambling during one of the festivals in Stardew Valley, but you don’t get into the meat of high-stakes winnings until you find the Casino. Located in the rear of Sandy’s Oasis in the Calico Desert, the Casino is likely one of the last places you’ll unlock - and it’s also one of the stranger locations in the game. Be warned, you can lose a lot of money in here.
Also, might be run by aliens. Just postulating.
In order to unlock the Casino you must first get a Club Card. This requires completing the quest The Mysterious Qi, which will bring you out to Calico Desert once, perhaps twice. Either way, you need to repair the bus out to the Desert to even consider getting into the Casino. The Casino is open as long as Sandy’s Oasis is open, though once you’re inside you can stay for as long as you like.
The Casino has several features which are worthy of note.
Like most video game casinos, the Casino of Stardew Valley runs on its own currency: Qi Coins. Named after the Casino’s enigmatic owner, Qi Coins are exchanged at a machine in the Casino at a rate of 100 Qi Coins for 1,000 gold, or 1:10. You need Qi Coins to play the games here, where you can also win more Qi Coins.
The primary game of the Casino is CalicoJack. It’s a stripped-down version of Blackjack in which you and the dealer draw cards and try to get to twenty-one points without going over. If you go over twenty-one, you go bust and lose. It’s essentially identical to Blackjack in most respects, the primary difference being that you can only get cards valued higher than nine on your initial draw.
There are two tables where you can play CalicoJack. The first, to the left, allows you to bet 100 Qi Coins per game. The same, to the right, allows you to bet 1,000 Qi Coins.
What Casino would be complete without slot machines? You can bet either ten or one hundred Qi Coins on a spin of the wheel. Match up with any of the combinations on the right to win big. As simple as that, really.
Want to put those Qi Coins to good use? You can! In the top-right corner of the Casino (depending on the resolution of your monitor you may need to zoom out to see it) you can find a dude who will happily give you items for your Qi Coins. They’re fairly rare, and worth getting mainly for aesthetic purposes:
- ‘Primal Motion’ - 5,000 Qi Coins
- ‘Burnt Offering’ - 4,000 Qi Coins
- ‘Highway 83’ - 4,000 Qi Coins
- ‘Spires’ - 3,000 Qi Coins
- Top Hat - 8,000 Qi Coins
- Rarecrow - 10,000 Qi Coins
- Hardwood Fence - 100 Qi Coins
- Magnet - 1,000 Qi Coins
- Warp Totem: Farm - 500 Qi Coins
To the left of Mr. Qi you’ll see a bear-shaped computer terminal. This terminal contains a variety of stats on your current character, such as steps taken, gifts given, items crafted, trash recycled, and so forth. Nothing terribly important, but fun.
Statue of Endless Fortune
To the right of the Qi Coin dispenser is an odd, shifty-looking fella who offers to sell you a Statue of Endless Fortune. The price? 1,000,000 gold. Yikes. The Statue is worth the cost, however, as it will dispense items to you on the birthdays of NPCs - and the items will be favourites of those same NPCs. Costly, but a nice, swift way to quickly build up affection values.