How to play and win Jogo do Bicho

By Richard J | Updated on 21 Sep 2022

What is Jogo do Bicho, how does it work and is it worth playing? 

Jogo do Bicho is a type of gambling game played in Brazil. It is technically illegal, but because of its relatively small size it is largely ignored by the authorities.

The original game was based on 25 animals and their corresponding sets of four tens (two-digit numbers). The Ostrich, for example, has tens 01, 02, 03 and 04 associated with it. Players then choose a pair of tens to comprise a four-digit number such as 0102 or 0304. This four-digit number, known as a thousand, is the number that matters the most when the draw is made.

The game can be played by placing bets with vendors who operate in the street. For people who don’t live in Brazil, various online alternatives can be played at online casinos, which are not linked to the game played in the street. They are linked to Jogo do Bicho by name and principal only.

The profits from the street version are relatively small, whereas the casino versions can have huge payouts, depending on the rules of each casino and the types of bets placed.

How does it work?

The traditional street-based game

Players choose a pair of two-digit numbers (a pair of tens) ranging between 00 and 99. There are one-hundred possibilities to choose from.

In this example, the player chooses 17 and 19 associated with the Dog. This creates a thousand, or 1719, which is the main number to look out for during the draw.

When the draw takes place, FIVE PAIRS of TENS (five pairs of two-numbered digits or five thousands) are selected. See the example below.


In draw No.1, which took place at 11:30 in the morning, the numbers looked like this:

  • Pair 1: 1204 (tens 12 & 04)
  • Pair 2: 0693 (tens 06 & 93)
  • Pair 3: 2901 (tens 29 & 01)
  • Pair 4: 7344 (tens 73 & 44)
  • Pair 5: 8719 (tens 87 & 19)

The following tens or two-numbered digits were drawn: 1204, 0693, 2901, 7344 and 8719.

Here, the chosen number 19 was the last ten in Pair 5. This would be a very small win because it was the last number in the final pair of tens drawn. If the player had chosen 1204 in this exact order, they would have won the maximum prize because it was first to be drawn.

How to play and win Jogo do Bicho?

Players select a pair of tens (a pair of two-numbered digits) such as 12 and 04 to make a thousand. The thousand in this instance is 1204

This number is the one that you look out for during the four daily draws*.

These four daily draws* typically take place as follows:

  • 11:30 - Morning
  • 14:30 - Afternoon
  • 18:30 - Night
  • 21:30 - Little Owl

*In some regions there are as many as five daily draws.

People who play the game often will select one of the 25 available animals to decide on their chosen number. Today, you might choose an eagle or a butterfly. A player might therefore choose 06 and 16, corresponding to these two preferred animals. 

06 = Eagle
16 = Butterfly

The four-digit number (thousand) will be 0616.

Jogo do Bicho game table

There are 25 different animals in 25 different animal groups, ranging from Ostrich (1) to Cow (25). These numbers do not correspond to the bets that are placed or the draws that are made! The pairs of two-digit numbers to look out for are in the Tens column.

Each animal represents a group of four tens, ranging from 01 for Ostrich, to 00 for Cow, right at the bottom.

Animal Group Animal Tens Dream
1 Ostrich 01, 02, 03, 04 Ring, wedding, table, pearl
2 Eagle 05, 06, 07, 08 Fight, clown, grape
3 Donkey 09, 10, 11, 12 Shelter, protection, book
4 Butterfly 13, 14, 15, 16 Children, garden, moon, mountain
5 Dog 17, 18, 19, 20 Witch, God, lightning, shadow
6 Goat 21, 22, 23, 24 Darkness, baby, sun
7 Ram 25, 26, 27, 28 Window, lamp, coin, egg
8 Camel 29, 30, 31, 32 Friend, ladder, man, pencil, pyramid
9 Snake/Cobra 33, 34, 35, 36 Church, sea, night, bridge, breasts
10 Rabbit 37, 38, 39, 40 Kiss, stone
11 Horse 41, 42, 43, 44 Milk, nudity, shoe
12 Elephant 45, 46, 47, 48 Angel, blood
13 Rooster 49, 50, 51, 52 Cuddles, deceased, knife, wall, glasses
14 Cat 53, 54, 55, 56 Fear, cloud, salt, red
15 Alligator 57, 58, 59, 60 Island, navel
16 Lion 61, 62, 63, 64 Accidents, mask, foot
17 Monkey 65, 66, 67, 68 Gemstones
18 Pig 69, 70, 71, 72 Marriage, lake, mother
19 Peacock 73, 74, 75, 76 House, fire, nest, bread, river
20 Turkey 77, 78, 79, 80 Money, flower, snow, eyes, medicine
21 Bull 81, 82, 83, 84 Carnival, children, clock
22 Tiger 85, 86, 87, 88 Ghost, ship, ear, beach, king
23 Bear 89, 90, 91, 92 Adultery, shipwreck, father, fall, volcano
24 Deer 93, 94, 95, 96 Army, hospital, birth, barracks
25 Cow 97, 98, 99, 00 Mirror, star, wave, frame


Take the Ostrich, which represents Animal Group 1 (for reference only), with numbers 01, 02, 03 and 04 being associated with it.

Animal Group Animal Numbers Dream
1 Ostrich 01, 02, 03, 04 Ring, wedding, table, pearl

You could therefore bet on these combinations if you are determined to stick with the Ostrich:

  • 0102
  • 0103
  • 0104
  • 0201
  • 0203
  • 0204
  • 0301
  • 0302
  • 0304
  • 0401
  • 0402
  • 0403

You can NOT bet on these combinations because they are repeats:

  • 0101
  • 0202
  • 0303
  • 0404

The Dream

The Dream is an additional fun and useful way to help you choose your numbers.

Let us imagine you dreamt about a shipwreck near the beach last night:

Animal Group Animal Numbers Dream
22 Tiger 85, 86, 87, 88 Ghost, ship, ear, beach, king
23 Bear 89, 90, 91, 92 Adultery, shipwreck, father, fall, volcano

You could therefore take a bet on numbers 91 and 87, so your thousand would be 9187

Or you can simplify things by going for a Bear or a Lion first and then choosing numbers that fit these wild beasts. The possibilities are endless.

Note that the Dream can have anything from one to five different possibilities associated with it. Monkey is fixed to gemstones alone; whereas Turkeys and Peacocks have five different dreams each!

Once you have chosen your numbers based on your animal preferences, lucky numbers or dream numbers, wait for one of the four daily draws to take place to see if you are a winner!

Fun Fact: Tens 00, 02, 04, 06, 10, 12, 22, 24, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 86, 88 and 96 are among the most often drawn two-digit numbers in Jogo do Bicho.

The Donkey corresponding to 10 and 12 could therefore be a good bet?

How to win big prizes in Jogo do Bicho

The amount that you can win depends on various factors such as when numbers are drawn and in what order.

Initial bets cost BRL 1.00. But with numerous variations and multiplications available, players can win up to 15 thousand times their original stake.

Prizes also depend on the combination probability of your chosen numbers.

Multiple types of bets

The Milhar Seca (dry thousand) or on-the-head bet pays out 4 thousand times the original BRL 1.00. This happens when your numbers are drawn in the very first draw. Potentially winning BRL 4,000.

The Dezena (ten) pays out 80 times the initial bet when the last two digits from your set of numbers are drawn.

A Duque de Dezenas (duke of tens) occurs when two sets of numbers are drawn in varying orders, with odds of up to 200 to 1.

If you prefer to play it safe and don’t think your exact four-digit number will be drawn (your thousand) you can bet on a three-digit number instead (a hundred). However, this number may not exactly correspond to your animal or any numbers that you normally choose.

Or, if you want to simplify your life even more and take multiple straightforward bets, go for the Peacock and select 7374 and 7576, for example.

You can even bet on single numbers if you wish, to appear at the beginning or end of the numbers that are drawn. 

Always remember to consult your chosen gambling outlet about potential winnings. If you’re at an online casino, bets and winnings will NOT correspond to the physical draws that take place at secret headquarters in Brazil, so always remember to fully read the online instructions to understand what your bet might yield.

You can also bet on inverted numbers if that suits your taste.

Fun Fact: In Portuguese, to have a whiparound can be translated as “fazer uma vaquinha" (to make a little cow). When soccer players did not receive their salaries back in the 1920s, Vasco de Gama fans sometimes raised money through Jogo de Bicho. Prizes depended on the score of the match and were inspired by the numbers of the animal game.

Draw categories

For each of the four daily draws, FIVE sets of four-digit numbers (thousands) are drawn.

For example, the first four-digit number drawn is called Category 1, followed by Category 2, 3, 4 and 5.

If your number comes up in Category 1 (the first set of numbers drawn), you will win more than in Category 2, and so on. Down to the lowest of all, Category 5.

If your four-numbered digit is drawn in exact order in Category 1 (draw 1) you will win the biggest prize of all. This is known as the Dry Thousand (milhar seca).

The smallest prizes are paid out for two or three numbers in Category 5. Remember to confer with your gambling outlet about how much you stand to win.

Jogo do Bicho at online casinos

Remember that what you see at an online casino is NOT directly linked to the game played in the streets of Brazil. It is a representation of it, played for fun and enhanced through historical popularity.

If you are confused about the best numbers to choose, pick favorite animals instead to simplify your life. You can associate animals with combinations of numbers and even dreams, to make things more interesting. See the game table above.

If numbers are your thing, go with combinations on your car license plate or the month and day of your birthday. Or perhaps you’re expecting beef or turkey for supper? It’s up to you!

Jogo do Bicho. An example of a winning line in an online casino.

In the image above you would win a prize with a Pig, Snake, Turkey, Rooster and Turkey combination.

However, this is a much simplified version of the original numbers game. There are extra bonuses for Lions and Pigs, for example, which are harder to get.

Another simplified version of Jogo do Bicho at an online casino.

Who invented Jogo do Bicho?

Literally translated from Brazilian Portuguese into Animal Game, Jogo do Bicho is a type of chance-based game that was first seen in Brazil in 1892. Created by baron João Batista Viana Drummond, it encouraged people to visit and support the local zoo in Rio de Janeiro.

History of the game

Initially, people who entered the zoo got a ticket with one of 25 different animals printed on it. One of these animals would be drawn at the end of the day and, hopefully, you got the lucky animal. This led to more success than imagined and two years later people were actively buying multiple tickets to try and win the prize.

The original concept was to pay for a ticket with 25 winning choices on it, to win 20 times the face value. This made a decent profit for the seller.

Animal Game popularity eventually led to the emergence of the bicheiro - the animal game coordinator - who expanded sales throughout the city. It gradually became a type of gambling game with decent winnings across all of Brazil.

The game is officially banned, however!

Because of its longevity, Jogo do Bicho is probably Brazil’s most famous gambling game. It is regularly run in the streets as a clandestine operation, supervised by a person behind a table and chair, or in a little hut.

Although it is exclusively played in Brazil, Jogo do Bicho has since transformed into multiple versions that can be played at various online casinos

Interesting Fact: The draws still take place at secret headquarters in Rio de Janeiro today, which historically took place with 25 bingo balls used to select the numbers representing the 25 different animals.

Behind the scenes of Jogo do Bicho

The most famous illegal game

Remember that Jogo do Bicho is illegal, but because of its relatively small size, it is largely overlooked by the Federal Republic of Brazil. 

The Loteria Federal (Federal Lottery) has no official links with it and you cannot officially bet on it at Lottery Betting Houses

Sometimes, however, the numbers of the Federal Lottery are used as the winning numbers for Jogo do Bicho on certain days and for specific draws, but this is NOT official.

If you visit Brazil you may see a Jogo do Bicho vendor in the street. These vendors range from side operations in local magazine outlets, to a person with an improvised shack. But because of the massive popularity of the Federal Lottery, these vendors can be as rare as an albatross!

Street vendors are NOT bicheiros!

The bicheiro is the name given to the person who runs the operation across a region, city or state. This bicheiro has exclusive contact with the Jogo do Bicho headquarters in Rio de Janeiro! 

No-one knows where this HQ is located besides the high-level bicheiros. No-one other than HQ knows how the numbers are drawn!

When the police shut down an illegal vendor on the street, they are shutting down the outlet only. This may lead to information about the bicheiro and to further arrests. 

In some districts, Jogo do Bicho has been referred to as a Mafia-based operation. If you place a bet with a street vendor and win big you may have trouble getting paid, but most reports indicate that payments are stable. Just be wary about playing Jogo do Bicho if you see it on the streets of Brazil.


Jogo do Bicho means Animal Game in English. It is a lottery-type game that uses four sets of two-digit numbers associated with 25 different animals. In a simple game, you might choose 37 & 38 associated with the Rabbit, to make 3738. This is the number to look out for when the draw takes place. 

Jogo do Bicho is not officially endorsed by the Federal Lottery of Brazil. Therefore, it is illegal to play and is operated as a clandestine activity in the streets only.

Unless you visit Brazil, you are not going to be able to play Jogo de Bicho in person and place a bet with a street vendor. In fact, in 2020 and beyond, you will be lucky to see an active street vendor at all. The game has been surpassed by the Federal Lottery and online technology.

You won’t be able to place a bet at a local lottery outlet either because of its disassociation with the Federal Lottery. Your best bet is to play a comparative version at an online casino on a slot machine. This will have casino guarantees. Any winnings that you earn at a reputable casino will be totally independent of the clandestine operation run in Rio de Janeiro. If you are not sure? Stay clear!

Jogo do Bicho is not a serious proposition for winning big or for getting radically life-changing sums of money! It was (and still is) played for fun and community spirit in the streets of Brazil, but this has wound down considerably over the years.


What does Jogo do Bicho mean in English?

Jogo do Bicho means Animal Game in English.

How do I play the Animal Game?

You need to select a pair of two-digit numbers, e.g.; 65 & 32.
This forms a four-digit number called a thousand: 6532.

A draw will take place and, if your number comes up in a variety of possibilities, you will win prizes.

Can I play Jogo do Bicho outside of Brazil?

Yes, of sorts, but the version you see in online casinos is usually a slot machine and only linked in name and in principle. You are NOT playing Jogo do Bicho as it exists in the streets of Brazil, and any winnings that you get will be paid by the casino.

Why is the game illegal?

Because it is not endorsed by the Federal Lottery of Brazil. It is run as an independent operation from unofficial headquarters in Rio de Janeiro.

What is the link between the numbers selected and the animals?

Traditionally, each two-digit number is associated with one of 25 possible animals.

There are four sets of two-digit numbers associated with each animal. For example, numbers 29, 30, 31 &, 32 are associated with the Camel.

How do I choose my numbers?

There are various mathematical theories available, such as adding 44 to the day of the week that you wish to play on, dividing, subtracting, etc.; but simply speaking, if you like a cow or a dog then go for the numbers associated with that.

I have heard about Dreams. What are they?

Dreams are additional ways of choosing your numbers.

For example: children, garden, moon & mountain are associated with the Butterfly, which correspond to numbers 13, 14, 15 & 16.

Is Jogo do Bicho worth it from a gambling perspective?

For fun, certainly. For big winnings, no! You need to be in Brazil to play the real version and it’s technically illegal and much too complicated for most people to grasp.