The folks who develop online slots have great imaginations. Some companies hire brilliant minds with offbeat ideas and the results are almost always fantastic. Other times, a new casino game will surface and it will leave you wondering if the person who designed it is a madman. The five games detailed below probably fall into the latter category, but they’re land-based. 1. Rodent Roulette Sadly, the game doesn’t involve mice betting on numbers, although that might come next. Instead, it’s a game of roulette, which utilizes mice, gerbils, and other rodents, in place of a ball. There are many variants of rodent roulette and most of them are frowned upon by animal-rights activists. In some cases, a real roulette wheel is fitted with boxes over the numbers. The gerbil is placed in another box at the center of the wheel and it is spun. When it stops, the gerbil is released and rushes to one of the number boxes to take cover. Another variant doesn’t use a wheel at all. Instead, cards are laid out in a circular pattern on a table. A mouse is then released in the center and whichever card he touches first is the winner. Most of the time, rodent roulette is found at carnivals and fairs, but occasionally, a casino will have a game during a special event. 2. Rodent Races If you tire of betting on the same old boring dog or hose races, perhaps rodent races will interest you. Unfortunately, it does not involve tiny mice in jockey ensembles riding cats, although that would make a great video sportsbook game if anyone from NetEnt is reading. Instead, mice are released in mazes or enclosed tracks. It’s generally much more humane than rodent roulette and the little guys usually receive a treat for making their way to the end. In fact, many of the animals who run these races are family pets, whose owners work with them and train them to compete. It’s not uncommon to see contestants being held, snuggled and loved just before the race starts. 3. Chicken Tic-Tac-Toe There is actually a group of chickens specially trained to play tic-tac-toe. The most well-known is a hen named Ginger, who has a few doppelganger stand-ins. Their only job is to play tic-tac-toe, which they typically practice for about two hours daily. Trainers reward them with treats for making a good move and gameplay is done on a computer, with the placement of x’s and o’s dependent on where the chicken pecks. Ginger and her friends often tour casinos throughout the United States and anyone who beats them wins 10,000 dollars. 4. Bo Bing Unlike the others so far, Bo Bing has nothing to do with animals. In fact, it’s a traditional game in China and it’s really just a basic dice game. What is curious, however, is the prize. During the Mid-Autumn or Harvest Moon Festival, contestants roll dice into a china bowl in an attempt to attain a specific rank. The moon goddess, Chang’e, plays a large part in the festival, and so lucky winners get to take home mooncakes. The delicacies aren’t replicated anywhere else. They have thin pastry crusts and are traditionally filled with an incredibly rich, dense filling, like lotus seed paste, with at least one egg yolk in the center. Although they range in size, they’re usually intricately molded with inscriptions for luck, longevity, or harmony and are shared among friends and family. If cake doesn’t seem like a worthy prize, consider that mooncakes generally go for about 20 dollars each, while more luxurious ones can cost 100 dollars and up. In a traditional round of mooncake gambling, 63 cakes are given out. 5. Pigeon Racing Believe it or not, pigeon racing is serious business. One superstar bird was recently sold for just shy of half-a-million dollars. That’s because owners of the racers, as well as those who bet wisely, stand to make a pretty penny with each win. A punter can make as much as 30,000 per race. This might be because the odds are not in favor of the contestants in any way. The birds are taken to a remote location and set free. Well-trained and lucky birds, find their way back home, sometimes traveling hundreds of miles to do so. A story recently broke that some pigeons involved in the Belgian circuit have tested positive street drugs, like cocaine. Animals seem to be a fan-favorite when it comes to gambling. Perhaps it’s because even the most well-trained creature remains unpredictable. Despite the use of performance-enhancing drugs, there’s still no way to know which animals will make it and which ones won’t, so it’s nearly impossible to cheat, too. Perhaps some clever online casino software developers will bring these games to life in a PETA-friendly way.