4.4/5 - (20 votes)

Ready Set Bet and Camel Up are two lively board games that simulate the excitement of betting on a horse or camel race. Both games have been widely praised, but they take somewhat different approaches to their racing and betting mechanics.

Here’s an in-depth look at how Ready Set Bet and Camel Up compare in terms of gameplay, components, awards, ratings, and more.

Overview of Ready Set Bet

Ready Set Bet

Released in 2022, Ready Set Bet is a raucous real-time betting game designed by John D. Clair. 2-9 players take on the roles of spectators at a horse race, frantically placing bets before the horses speed around the track.


  • Played over 4 rounds, each consisting of a horse race followed by bet resolution
  • Players place bet tokens on different bets during the race
  • Bets include Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta
  • Races timed by an app that calls the race in real-time
  • Players earn VIP cards after each race that give special abilities


  • Racing track board
  • Betting board
  • 9 wooden horse pieces
  • Plastic betting chips
  • Custom dice
  • VIP cards
  • Horse racing app

Awards & Ratings

  • 2022 Golden Geek Best Party Game Winner
  • 2022 Golden Geek Best Party Game Nominee
  • BGG Rating: 7.7

Overview of Camel Up

Camel Up

Camel Up, originally released in 2014, tasks 2-8 players with betting on a quick camel race around a pyramid. The game captured the prestigious Spiel des Jahres award in 2014.


  • Players bet on which camels will finish 1st and 2nd
  • Camels moved by dice drawn randomly from pyramid shaker
  • Camels stack and carry each other as they jostle for position
  • Earlier bets earn more money if correct


  • Modular pyramid dice shaker
  • Racing track board
  • 5 wooden camel pieces
  • Betting tiles
  • Custom dice
  • Money chips

Awards & Ratings

  • 2014 Spiel des Jahres Winner
  • 2015 Dutch Game Prize Nominee
  • BGG Rating: 7.0

Head-to-Head Gameplay Comparison

While both games deal with betting on races, Ready Set Bet and Camel Up offer quite different gameplay experiences.

Real-Time vs Tactical

The most noticeable difference is the real-time nature of Ready Set Bet compared to the tactical play of Camel Up.

In Ready Set Bet, players are under time pressure to assess odds and place bets quickly before the odds change. The races play out in real-time, amplified by the mobile app calling the race.

Camel Up employs tactical movement of camels based on dice rolls. Players get more time to deliberate and modify their bets between dice rolls. Races develop slowly over a series of turns.

Ready Set Bet creates an intense, frantic atmosphere while Camel Up offers more calculated betting.

Simple Bets vs Granular Bets

While both games involve betting on race outcomes, Ready Set Bet has a wider variety of bet types for players to choose from.

Camel Up focuses mainly on which camels will finish 1st and 2nd. Players can also bet on a camel to lose.

Ready Set Bet includes Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta and Prop bets on individual horses. There are more factors to consider when placing bets.

Constant Odds vs Changing Odds

In Camel Up, the payout odds decrease on a camel over the course of the race as it becomes more likely to place 1st or 2nd. Early bets on the winner earn more.

In Ready Set Bet, the bet payouts fluctuate in real-time as horses jostle for position. The odds ebb and flow throughout the race. There’s more short-term uncertainty.

Component Comparison

Both games contain well-produced components that support their respective themes.

Tactile Racing Boards

Each game has an eye-catching centerpiece racing board. The modular pyramid dice shaker of Camel Up is an ingenious design. Ready Set Bet’s two-level racing track and betting board also impresses.

These interactive boards immerse players in the setting and action.

Novel Custom Dice

From the pyramid shaker dice of Camel Up to the colored dice marking horse positions in Ready Set Bet, both games incorporate unique custom dice central to gameplay.

The dice provide unpredictability and excitement as they determine race leaders and odds.

Betting Chips & Markers

Camel Up uses thick cardboard tiles for placing bets while Ready Set Bet opts for poker chip-style betting tokens.

Either implementation works well, with the tactile chips adding to Ready Set Bet’s casino atmosphere.

Awards & Ratings

Both games have earned accolades, but Camel Up does have a clear edge:

  • Camel Up – Winner of prestigious Spiel des Jahres award along with several other nominations. Rated 7.0 on BGG.
  • Ready Set Bet – Won 2022 Golden Geek Best Party Game. Also nominated for several awards. Rated 7.7 on BGG.

The extra years since its release also give Camel Up a much wider spread of ratings and reviews. But Ready Set Bet’s ratings are very positive for a newer game.

Which Is the Better Bet?

At the end of the day, Ready Set Bet and Camel Up aim to capture different experiences despite their common racing and betting premise.

Camel Up is the better choice if you want a family-friendly, tactical betting game that’s easy for younger players to learn. It makes clever use of its pyramid shaker and changing odds.

Ready Set Bet shines as an uproarious, fast-paced party experience. The real-time races fueled by the app create an energetic casino or racetrack vibe. It also offers more variety in bet types.

Fans of racing games should consider having both Camel Up and Ready Set Bet in their collections to cover different player counts, tastes, and moods. Each has its own charms.

So whether you’re cheering on horses or camels, placing tactical bets or frenzied wagers, both Ready Set Bet and Camel Up offer thrilling takes on racing to the finish line.

8 CommentsClose Comments


  • Avatar
    Krystal Valentine
    Posted November 2, 2023 at 2:03 pm 0Likes

    Great comparison! I’ve been interested in both of these games for a while. Does Ready Set Bet really require the app to play or can you manage without it?

  • Avatar
    Carrie Evans
    Posted November 2, 2023 at 2:03 pm 0Likes

    My game group loves party games so I think Ready Set Bet would be a bigger hit for us. How easy is it to learn the betting rules for first-time players?

  • Avatar
    Lorie Roberts
    Posted November 2, 2023 at 2:04 pm 0Likes

    Camels are way cooler than horses! But in all seriousness, Camel Up sounds more strategic which I tend to prefer. About how long does a full game take?

  • Avatar
    Johnson Farris
    Posted November 2, 2023 at 2:04 pm 0Likes

    As someone who loves Pyramid arcade games, the pyramid dice shaker in Camel Up seems super neat. Can you tell me a bit more about how that mechanism works?

  • Avatar
    Scott Cartwright
    Posted November 2, 2023 at 2:05 pm 0Likes

    Ready Set Bet sounds perfect for replicating the excitement of watching a real horse race. Does it play well with the full 9 players or is there too much chaos?

  • Avatar
    Posted November 2, 2023 at 2:05 pm 0Likes

    We have kids around 8-10 years old. Do you think Camel Up would be too complex for them or can they manage with some help?

  • Avatar
    Margaret Torbert
    Posted November 2, 2023 at 2:05 pm 0Likes

    I like how Camel Up has camels stacked on top of each other during the race. Does this affect how bets play out compared to normal racing?

  • Avatar
    Posted November 2, 2023 at 2:06 pm 0Likes

    For Ready Set Bet, if someone hates the real-time chaos, is there a way to play it more slowly paced? Or is the speed crucial?

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