How Jogo do Bicho Works: Rules and Gameplay Explained

Jogo do Bicho is a traditional form of lottery in Brazil, widely practiced and surrounded by a rich cultural history. Although it is considered illegal in many Brazilian states, it remains popular in several regions. 

In this article, we will explain how Jogo do Bicho works, its rules and how to play, providing a clear and easy understanding for those who are curious about this game.

History of Jogo do Bicho

Jogo do Bicho was created in 1892 by Baron João Batista Viana Drummond, owner of the Zoo do Rio de Janeiro. Initially, it was a promotional strategy to attract visitors to the zoo. Each entry ticket came with the image of an animal, and at the end of the day, an animal was drawn. Visitors with the corresponding ticket won a prize.

Basic Rules of Jogo do Bicho

The rules of Jogo do Bicho are relatively simple and involve betting on numbers associated with animals. The game works with a table of 25 animals, each associated with four numbers. For example:

  1. Ostrich: 01, 02, 03, 04
  2. Eagle: 05, 06, 07, 08
  3. Butter: 09, 10, 11, 12
  4. Butterfly: 13, 14, 15, 16
  5. Dog: 17, 18, 19, 20
  6. Goat: 21, 22, 23, 24

And so on until the 25th animal, the Cow, which includes the numbers 97, 98, 99 and 00.

Types of Bets

In Jogo do Bicho, there are several ways to bet, each with its own rules and chances of winning:

  1. Simple Bet: The bettor chooses one of the 25 animals and bets that it will be drawn. If the four numbers associated with the chosen animal are drawn, the bettor wins. With the advancement of technology, it is now possible to make your own animal game bet online, providing more convenience and accessibility for players.
  2. Duke Bet: The player chooses two groups of four numbers, that is, two animals. To win, both groups must be drawn among the first five prizes.
  3. Suit Bet: Similar to Duke, but the player chooses three groups of numbers. It is necessary for the three groups to be drawn among the first five prizes.
  4. Group Bet: The bettor chooses a group of ten numbers (two animals) and needs to match at least one number among those drawn.
  5. Thousand: The player chooses a specific four-digit number. If this number is drawn in the exact order, the bettor wins.

How to Play Animal Game

Playing Jogo do Bicho is relatively simple:

  1. Choose your bet: Decide what type of betting you want to participate in. It can be a single bet, deuce, suit, group or thousands.
  2. Select Numbers or Animals: Based on the type of bet, choose the numbers or animals you want to bet on.
  3. Place the Bet: Go to an authorized betting point (usually found at newsstands or lottery outlets) and register your bet with the banker.
  4. Wait for the Draw: Draws generally occur twice a day, once at noon and once in the afternoon. Results are announced at betting points and sometimes in local newspapers.
  5. Check the Results: After the draw, check the results to see if your bet was a winner. If you won, go to the place where you placed your bet to receive your prize.

Prizes and Payments

Prizes in Jogo do Bicho vary depending on the type of bet and the amount wagered. The payout odds are generally much higher than in other forms of lottery, which increases the game's attraction for many bettors. For example, a simple bet can pay out 18 times the amount bet if the chosen animal is drawn. Betting on thousands can pay up to 4000 times the amount bet, depending on the bookmaker.

Legal Considerations

Although Jogo do Bicho is widely practiced and socially accepted in several regions of Brazil, it is important to note that it is considered illegal under federal law. Gaming operators can face fines and other penalties, and players can also be penalized. However, the application of laws varies greatly from one region to another.


Jogo do Bicho is an intrinsic part of Brazilian culture, with a rich history and a dedicated player base. Although illegal, its popularity remains strong, especially in regions where enforcement is more lenient. Understanding the rules and types of bets can be fascinating for those interested in gambling and Brazilian popular culture. If you decide to participate, remember to gamble responsibly and be aware of the legal implications.


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