Hard Rock Casino is a gambling simulation game which includes over 20 different gambling games including Slots, 5 various forms of Poker, Blackjack, Baccarat, Craps, Roulette and Pai Gow as well as horse race and sports betting. There are unique, and sometimes influential, NPC characters to meet and play against, side tasks to complete, invitation only tournaments and unlockables for enhancing your customized character. The game also features a tutorial accessed from the main menu
There are three game modes, Adventure, Quick Play, and Poker Tournaments. In Adventure mode the player creates an identity and starts in the Hard Rock Casino. They are free to play any game but must complete a set of goals before they can unlock the next casino. While playing at the Hard Rock they may also be asked to undertake challenges, or side tasks, in which they can earn extra money. In one such challenge a customer complains that a slot machine is broken because it does not pay out so the manager offers $100 as a reward for getting a winning line on that machines maximum bet.
Quick play allows the player access to all the games in the unlocked casinos playing as a randomly selected game character. Here there are no goals or challenges.Poker Tournaments gives the player instant access to the same poker tournaments that are available in both Adventure and Quick play modes however the Adventure mode has a greater variety of table limits.
There are four different casinos in which to play, each with its own games, house rules and table limits. Players start with a modest amount of money, $1000, in the Hard Rock. The object is, naturally, to win lots more and earn a high enough reputation to be able to play in invitation-only tournaments and high stakes games. The major goal is to become the "Hard Rock High Roller".