Kaiji Ito moves to Japan after graduating from high school. Unable to find a job and frustrated with society at large, Kaiji spends his days gambling, vandalizing cars, and drinking booze. Two years later and his life no better, a debt collector named Endo arrives to collect money. The debt collector then offers two choices to Kaiji: spend 10 year paying off your loan or board a gambling boat for one night to repay your debt & possibly make a whole lot more. Meanwhile, the unscrupulous Endo is actually conning Kaiji, believing he won't come back from voyage. Kaiji is then up for the night of his life.