Casino War Game Guide: How to Play Casino War Online

Posted by Dave Consolazio . Last updated:

Casino War is one of the most easily understood games out there. It’s you against the dealer in a battle to draw the highest card from a deck. If your card is higher, you win. If your card matches the dealer’s, it’s a tie. You can choose to give up half of your bet or as the name suggests, go to war! In our guide to playing War for real money, you’ll find the top casinos online USA, learn how to play, read up on game variations & more!

Best War Casinos Online

Find classic Casino War at the top rated online casinos for US players:

  • Top Rated Casino
    #1
    4.85/5

    Welcome Bonus $7500
    Min Deposit $20 150 Free Spins
    Deposit Methods
    American Express
    American Express
    Bitcoin
    Bitcoin
    Bitcoin Cash
    Bitcoin Cash
    +5
    Discover
    Discover
    Ethereum
    Ethereum
    Litecoin
    Litecoin
    Mastercard
    Mastercard
    Visa
    Visa
    Payout Speed

    1-5 Business Days

    #2
    4.92/5

    Crypto Welcome $3750
    Min Deposit $20 275+ Slots
    Deposit Methods
    American Express
    American Express
    Bitcoin
    Bitcoin
    Bitcoin Cash
    Bitcoin Cash
    +4
    Mastercard
    Mastercard
    Union Pay
    Union Pay
    Visa
    Visa
    Zelle
    Zelle
    Payout Speed

    15 minutes - 15 business days

    #3
    4.80/5

    Welcome Bonus $3000
    Min Deposit $10 250+ Slots
    Deposit Methods
    American Express
    American Express
    Bitcoin
    Bitcoin
    Bitcoin Cash
    Bitcoin Cash
    +5
    Debit Card
    Debit Card
    Ethereum
    Ethereum
    Litecoin
    Litecoin
    Mastercard
    Mastercard
    Visa
    Visa
    Payout Speed

    24-48 Hours

    #4
    4.70/5

    BONUS $2000
    Min Deposit $25 130+ Slots
    Deposit Methods
    American Express
    American Express
    Bitcoin
    Bitcoin
    Bitcoin Cash
    Bitcoin Cash
    +4
    ecoPayz
    ecoPayz
    Litecoin
    Litecoin
    Mastercard
    Mastercard
    Visa
    Visa
    Payout Speed

    48 hours to process, transfer varies on bank method

    #5
    4.49/5

    BONUS $2500
    Min Deposit $20 250+ Slots
    Deposit Methods
    American Express
    American Express
    Bank Transfer
    Bank Transfer
    Bitcoin
    Bitcoin
    +5
    Bitcoin Cash
    Bitcoin Cash
    Ethereum
    Ethereum
    Litecoin
    Litecoin
    Mastercard
    Mastercard
    Visa
    Visa
    Payout Speed

    15 minutes (Bitcoin) to 10 Business Days (Bank Wire) to receive

How to Play Casino War

As we mentioned before, War is incredibly simple. Here is a step-by-step guide to playing a round:

  • Once you’ve joined a War game, the first thing you’ll have to do is place a starting bet. You have three options here. You can either bet on yourself, bet on a tie, or place some money on both wagers.
  • As soon as you’ve locked in the bet, the dealer will deal you each a card.  In War, Ace is the highest and 2 is the lowest.
  • If you have the higher card, you’ll earn a payout of 1:1, if the dealer has the higher card, you’ll lose your bet, and if it is a tie, you’ll have to choose whether to surrender and lose half of your initial stake, or go to War.
  • If you choose to go to War, you’ll have to double your stake. The dealer will then deal another two cards. If you win, you’ll earn a 1:1 payout on your boosted wager.

Casino War Rules

white stack of cash

Payouts

Standard wins in War are paid out at 1:1. Tie bets offer higher payouts of 10:1, but that’s because they don’t pay off as often. We recommend avoiding tie bets.

3 card poker icon white

Card Rankings

As in poker, Aces are the highest ranking card in War followed by Kings, Queens, Jacks, 10s, 9s and so on. The game typically does not involve Joker cards.

a white icon of a casino dealer standing behind a table

You vs. Dealer

If your playing at a land-based casino, there may be other patrons playing at the same table as you. In War, you only compete against the dealer, so don’t worry about other people’s cards.

Is There an Optimal Way to Play?

In short, the optimal way to play is to;

1. Never surrender
2. Never bet on ties
3. Play with fewer decks (if possible)

According to statistics, there is an optimal way to play and it is almost too simple to believe it’s a strategy.

At the start of the game, both you and the dealer have a 46.3% chance of winning on the first card draw. This might make you think it’s a fair game. There are two reasons as to why that is not true. If the casino uses more decks to play or if you choose to surrender, the house edge increases. The house edge is 2.8% when you choose war but it is 3.7% when you surrender. Statistics make it obvious that the best strategy is to never surrender and always go to war.

Apart from that, the best and easiest thing you can do is to find a casino that uses the smallest number of decks possible to give yourself the edge. Remember to avoid the tie bet if you don’t want to give the house a massive 18% edge when 5 decks are used.

 

Casino War House Edge

The house edge in a standard game of War stands at around 2.88%, but this varies depending on how many decks are in play, your game strategy and whether or not you choose to use a casino bonus.  Here is how the odds stack up:

No. of Decks Tie Bet Surrender House Edge With Bonus House Edge Without Bonus
1 35.3% 2.9% 2.1% 2.4%
2 25.4% 3.4% 2.2% 2.7%
3 21.9% 3.5% 2.3% 2.8%
4 20.3% 3.6% 2.3% 2.8%
5 19.3% 3.7% 2.3% 2.9%
6 18.7% 3.7% 2.3% 2.9%
7 18.2% 3.7% 2.3% 2.9%
8 17.8% 3.7% 2.3% 2.9%

As you can see, playing with a bonus, with less decks of cards and avoiding tie bets will greatly lower the house edge and make your money go further in War. You should also remember the golden rule – never, ever surrender!

Casino War Game Variations

Since it is such a simple game, there aren’t a great deal of popular variations. Here are a few you might come across:

Casino War Terms

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Dave Consolazio

Dave Consolazio has been passionate about writing and sports journalism since his high school years. He has a degree in Broadcast Journalism from USC where he worked with the school's radio and television stations. His work has been featured in SportsbookReview, Sports Illustrated and SB Nation. Dave's experience ranges across multiple fields in the gambling industry. You can find his sports, casino, and poker articles in GambleOnline.co.

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