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Arm Wrestling

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John Marston arm-wrestles with Coke Buckley near an oil derrick.

Arm Wrestling is a gambling activity in Red Dead Redemption that involves the player pitting Marston's strength against an NPC's in an attempt to pin their hand to a table. This activity is only available in single player, with no multiplayer equivalent.


The player may place a bet at the start of each round. If the player wins, they will be paid even money, earning the total of the player's initial bet and the NPC's equivalent bet. If the player loses, however, they will lose their wager. The minimum bet is $1 and the maximum is $5, making it the least profitable form of gambling in the game. Arm Wrestling activity will be able after completing We Shall Be Together in Paradise story mission.


Arm Wrestling matches are held in four locations: Plainview, Agave Viejo, El Matadero, and Pacific Union Railroad Camp.

Tips and Tricks

  • Closely watch the opponent's face. If the opponent is struggling and putting a lot of force behind their arm the player's best bet is to defend by holding X (PS3) or A (Xbox 360).
  • Whenever the strength bar (the green bar on the left-hand side) is completely filled up, the player should start hitting the A/X button. When it's half-way down, the player should stop and hold A/X to start defending and regain strength.
  • When the player is close to winning, and almost has the opponent's arm down to the table, a special move unlocks. Hit X (Xbox 360) or Square (PS3) when it appears on-screen to smash the opponent's hand down to the table. The player's strength bar must be full to do this finishing move.
  • For one of the U.S. Army Outfit Scraps, the player will need to beat an opponent twice in one sitting in the Pacific Union R.R. Camp to unlock the outfit scrap. The player will automatically stand up at the end of these two rounds.
  • One way to make the U.S. Army Outfit Scrap easier to get is to push the man behind the NPC sitting in the chair. When the NPC the player has just pushed regains himself, he will walk away. This will leave only one NPC for the player to face.


  • (PS3 only) In early versions of the game, JP and Asia region console owners playing the U.S. version of the game were unable to complete arm wrestling matches due to a conflict with the "X" button acting as both Push and Quit. This bug prevented the player from obtaining the second scrap of the U.S. Army Outfit, but was subsequently patched so that it is no longer an issue with updated copies of the game. This bug does not necessarily prevent the player from winnning, because rapidly pressing the "X" button still works, although the player will not be able to see the match clearly as the screen will be a blurred transitioning between the arm wrestling match and the quit playing confirmation message.


Red Dead Redemption - Arm Wrestling03:20

Red Dead Redemption - Arm Wrestling


Arm wrestling can help to obtain:

Bronze Ps3 bronze trophy
Earn $10,000 in Single Player.

Arm wrestling is necessary to obtain:

Gold Ps3 gold trophy
Attain 100% in the Single Player Game Completion stat.

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