Deep Space Nine has the distinction of making first contact with a Gamma Quadrant species known as the Wadi. However, the Wadi show no interest in formalities and head straight to Quark's. The Ferengi initially sees the Wadi as a potential source of great profit, but when the Wadi master Dabo and go on a winning streak, he has one of his waiters rig the game. The Wadi catch him and force Quark to play "an honest game" called Chula.
Meanwhile, Commander Sisko, Dr. Bashir, Major Kira, and Lt. Dax find themselves in an abstract, dream-like world. One of the Wadi appears and cheerfully yells, "Move along, move along home!" They are faced with several puzzles as Quark plays the game, and when Odo finds the four of them missing, Quark comes to realize that they are part of the game he is playing.
Later on in the game, Bashir's piece is moved to a separate area of the game and he disappears. Quark is then faced with a choice between a shorter, more difficult path or a longer, easier one for his remaining "players". He chooses the shortcut, and when Constable Odo objects, he explains that with risks to his "players" involved in every move, advancing them home as soon as possible is the wiser choice. Ultimately, Quark chooses the shorter path for the officers. However, the results of his next roll force him to sacrifice one of his players.
Quark begs the Wadi not to make him choose, so they make the game choose at random. Sisko, Kira, and Dax are faced with scaling a mountain during a violent earthquake, and Dax's leg becomes stuck between two rocks. Although she tells Sisko to leave her behind, he and Kira help her walk across a ledge on the rock face. They slip, however, and the three of them fall into the abyss—only to re-materialize in Quark's. Quark is elated and begins to collect his winnings, but the Wadi explains that all his players were lost; the crew was never in any real danger. "It's only a game!" he laughs.
As Sisko is about to angrily confront the Wadi over what they have experienced, Odo interrupts and tells him that he would do better to talk with Quark first about certain confessions that were made while the game was in progress. The Wadi depart as Sisko turns his attentions to Quark.
During a panel discussion at DragonCon 2013, Avery Brooks reported this was one of his two least favorite episodes.