The Gambling King (博奕王キング Bakuchiō Kingu?) is a self proclaimed master of chance games. In reality he can only defeat young children and those with the intellect of an Elementary schooler (mostly through finding and using his opponent's tell). Ranma and Ukyo first met the Gambling King when they were children at a local fair. They decided to put a stop to his constant winning against the small children and decided they would beat him at his own game, but the pair end up losing Ukyo's Okonomiyaki cart and the deed to the Tendo Dojo. Years later, the King returns to claim his payment.
Exactly 3,653 days prior to the events of the series, when Ranma was still training and Ukyo lived with her father selling Okonomiyaki, the King arrived in the area and began making the young children bet away all their money. Ukyo eventually decided enough was enough and challenged the King herself, however, Ukyo repeatedly lost all their games of Old maid and ended up wagering her family Okonomiyaki cart, only to lose yet again.
Ukyo then made Ranma fight the King, unfortunately, Ranma is no better end ends up losing everything to the clothes on his back. Desperate to win, Ranma offers the King the deed to the Tendo Dojo. Initially the King is slightly confused about what the "Tendo Dojo" is, to which Ranma explains it's his father's friend at the moment, but will be his someday. Ranma then plays against the King, but loses yet again. Having had enough, Ranma and Ukyo tie up the King like some Makizushi and threw him into the river. When the pair head back to where the King had set up his gambling stall they learn that the King was cheating by making it so that his opponent would always get the Joker by concealing multiple copies of the card.
After tracking down Ukyo and Ranma, the King throws some cards at Ukyo just as she's opening Okonomiyaki Ucchan's. Ukyo only has a pair whilst the King has a Royal Flush, meaning he wins. Initially Ukyo doesn't recognize the King and hits him with her giant Spatula, knocking off his hand and revealing his face and making Ukyo remember who he is.
Knowing the King has returned, Ukyo heads to the Tendo Dojo to warn Ranma. However, when she finishes warning him, the King returns and tells Ranma he should feel honored for how long he's waited to defeat him. After revealing his history with Ukyo and Ranma, the King announces he's come to collect their debt. While Ukyo no longer had the cart in her possession, the King could still collect Ranma's debt and holds up the deed to the Tendo Dojo which Ranma gambled away. With Soun infuriated at what Ranma has done, the King takes his leave, but not before telling everyone he'll be back tomorrow to move in and they should be gone by then.
By the next morning, the King has turned the Dojo into a Casino called Casino King, where Nabiki has decided to work part-time. Soun challenges the King for the rights of the Dojo, wagering the Tendo Living Room. Unfortunately, Soun loses, but Ranma appears (having trained all night against Ukyo and Akane) and wagers the Tendo Family's Front Porch. After Ranma loses too, Soun goes into a frenzy and wagers different portions of the Tendo house, and loses every single time. Luckily, Nabiki steps in before it's too late and manages to win back all the parts of the Tendo home until just the Dojo remains. In desperation, the King cheats his way to victory and takes back the whole Tendo house.
The next afternoon, knowing the two weaknesses of the King's playing style thanks to Nabiki's observations yesterday, the Tendos and Genma go in determined to win the Tendo home back. Fortunately, everyone but Soun is now able to defeat the King and manage win back everything but the Dojo. By this time Soun is determined to win at least once, but due to Nabiki and Kasumi projecting their Battle Aura's on Soun he's too terrified to continue and Akane takes over. However, just before Akane is about to being her game, Ranma returns to play himself (having trained rigorously with Ukyo).
Thanks to the training, Ranma's face is now excessively bandaged so he can't show his tell to the King. After hours of swapping the Joker back-and-forth for hours, Ranma notices how tattered the card is and grabs a different one from the King's hand. However, Ranma still ends up with a Joker in his hand which the King had slipped into Ranma's hand faster than could be seen. The King then begins resorting to even more over-the-top and obvious ways of cheating until Ranma declares his disappointment at the King since he just wanted a fair game.
Touched by how much trouble Ranma's gone through on this personal test, the King notes how sorry he is and decides to end the game quickly. He then proceeds to place down one Joker and one Ace face-down on the floor, Ranma is then instructed to pick one card and if it's the Joker he loses. As Ranma goes to pick a card, Akane notices how happy the King looks and deduces that he must've switched the cards so they're both Jokers. Akane desperately attempts to warn Ranma, but it's too late as he's already chosen his card, but miraculously it turns out to be an Ace, so Ranma wins.
As the King wanders away, he thinks to himself about he was sure he put down two Jokers meaning. Meanwhile, Ranma reveals that he was cheating too and had hidden multiple different cards underneath his bandages.
The King was one of the many guests to the Tendo Family Christmas Party, he can be seen talking to Principal Kuno and Higuma Torajiro. Later on, the King joins in with the Poker tournament and ends up playing against most of the main characters. The group are shocked when the King wins the game with a Royal Straight Flush, but suspecting foul play the tie up the King and throw him out of the party.
The King makes a brief cameo appearance at the beginning of the movie, where he can be seen with other characters chasing after Ranma. He was ultimately sent flying into the air by Jasmine.
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The King isn't shown to have any formal fighting style, and is most likely very weak given how Ranma and Ukyo were able to tie the King up, despite them both being children at the time. When he initially returned to the Dojo, however, the King was shown using an extremely large die which he crushed Ranma under. Undoubtably the King's may skill lies with his Gambling skills, but as noted by Nabiki he has two weaknesses which make him a much less formidable opponent. The first being the if one card is pushed to be slightly higher than the others, the King will go for it, while the other is his facial reaction to when a certain card being chosen, with bad cards causing a positive reaction and vice versa.
However in Ranma ½: Hard Battle, King possesses some combat moves. The named techniques consist of:
- Ten Bow King pulls out a bow made out of cards and fires a slow moving card arrow.
- JOKER storm When jumping backwards, King can quickly toss down three Joker cards towards the ground.
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The Gambling King is a playable character in Ranma ½: Hard Battle, which marks his only playable appearance in any Ranma ½ video game. In the game, the King dreams of owning his own casino, but lacks the funds. Principal Kuno offers to give him some financial aid, but he must defeat eight opponents first. After defeating the eight opponents, the principal informs King that he has one more fight...he bet the money he had saved up for the casino on the last opponent. After defeating Taro, The Principal allows King to open a casino next to his office. It turns out that King is a better fighter than a gambler because he can't beat high school students at his games. He is perhaps the most challenging character to beat the game with. Although slow he is not exceptionally strong and most of his attacks are close range or of limited usefulness. He makes a variety of attacks with playing cards, dice, a bow, and even a Deer in his hat! King's stage is a casino.
The King is the final boss of the puzzle game, Ranma ½: Ougi Jaanken, challenging anything to whichever challenger who can defeat him in a game of Janken Along with Akane, King is the only character to be unaffected by water, due to lacking a Jusenkyo curse. Fitting for his role, the King is the most formidable opponent in the game.
Ranma ½: Datou, Ganso Musabetsu Kakutou-ryuu! has the King appear in bonus stages, challenging the player to bet their extra lives in a game of old maid. Like in the source material, the King's expression often changes when his opponent is choosing among his cards. However during later matches, the Gambling King manages to maintain a poker face when the player goes over his cards. There is also an unlockable story where Ranma must win back the Tendo Dojo piece by piece via the same mini game, this mode can either end with the King defeated or a game over sequence where the King keeps the dojo and the Tendo family is left homeless.
- The King part of his name comes from the fact that he resembles the picture of the King that appears on cards.
- The king should not have possessed the dojo when he beat Ranma as a child since the legal owner of the dojo is Soun Tendo and Ranma has yet to inherit it.
- His seiyū provide the voices of Cat Teacher in Urusei Yatsura, Kaijinbo from Takahashi's subsequent series Inuyasha.
- His English voice actor, David Kaye also voices Soun Tendo and Daisuke.