Some of the oldest text in the world talks about gambling in some form. Today betting may be considerably more organized, but one thing’s for certain, it still goes far beyond standard games of slots, poker, or blackjack.

All around the world you can find local people making bets on strange things. Often these bets are not legal, but because they are a part of the culture, authorities turn a blind eye to them. In other instances, these weird bets are found in small areas that require you to be there to participate.

What’s true for all the weird bets we’ve found is that you won’t be able to find an online version. Let’s take a look.

1. Pigeon Racing in China

Although gambling is illegal in China, thousands of people gather for the national pigeon racing event held every spring (with another 100,000 events being held around the year).

The birds are trained to fly hundreds of kilometres, with the first bird to arrive being deemed the winner. Similar to horse racing there are several other side bets to wager on, with big cash prizes to be won.

In Canada, pigeon racing is growing in popularity too, so keep your eyes on the sky.

2. Pachinko Machines in Japan

Similar to a pinball machine, Pachinko machines are widely loved by the Japanese.

In Japan there are a few underground parlours that offer back handed real money bets. Of course, these places remain on the down-low, so unless you know someone who knows someone, you probably will have to stick to the standard prize of candies, shampoo and toys.

3. Bird Song Betting in Thailand

Across Thailand you’ll see gatherings of local men hanging out around a steel frame full of bird cages and birds. The birds have been trained to sing a song, and the one that does so the loudest or most elegantly will win.

Actually, the owner wins a prize ranging from $30-200 or more. It’s not uncommon for the owners to make a simple living from their birds.

So, if you’re ever in the country, don’t think about setting the little fellows free unless you’re ready to pay.

4. Ferret Bingo in the UK

A little town in the UK is offering Ferret Bingo at charity functions and school field days.

The game uses a ferret who is placed in a special cage with seven numbered tubes. Players then bet on the tube which the ferret will pop out of. The first person to guess the tube combination right, wins.

5. Bullfights in Goa, India

Technically illegal, you can still find traditional bullfights (or ‘dhirio) down dusty roads or beside closed warehouses.

These fights are meant to compensate farmers in the dry season who are waiting for the rains and need money to take care of their family and bulls.

Many locals say they’re a sport and should be legalized.