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The Ultimate Guide to Playing Casino War

Posted by Veronica Taylor on
Last updated:

Casino War is arguably the easiest table game on Earth. Let me rephrase that, Casino War is the easiest table game on Earth to learn. Simply stated, Casino War is a heads-up matchup between player and the dealer. Our guide will walk you through the basics of how to play Casino War, explain the odds of winning, house edge and how it differs from the classic card game of war.

The Best Online Casinos For Casino War

How to Play Casino War

The objective of Casino War is to have a higher ranked card than the dealer. Card rankings strength are like those in poker where Ace-King-Queen…2 descending strongest to weakest, while suit doesn’t matter. Be sure to note the number of decks your casino is playing with as it does impact the house edge the more packs are involved.

Remember, in most settings it’s not just you versus the dealer 1-on-1 flipping cards, there are typically other players at the table, which does lead to more cards from the 52-card decks hitting the felt. This can help somewhat in whether to go to war strategy, but more times than not, you should always go to war on a tie. Here’s a quick guide to a sample hand of Casino War:

The Casino War Steps

The objective of Casino War is to have a higher ranked card than the dealer.

  1. Sit down as you would a blackjack table and place your minimum ante bet, which is typically $10 in Casino War.
  2. The shoe – where the cards come from – is usually packed with a number of decks.
  3. One card is dealt to each of the players at the table and one to the dealer. If your card is higher than the dealer, you win 1-to-1 the value of your original wager. If your card is lower than the dealer, you lose your original wager.
  4. You’ll tie the dealer when both cards share the same rank / value. When this happens, the player has two choices
    1. Surrender – fold your hand and lose half your original bet, which in this example would be $5 and the game is over.
    2. Go to War – you, the player, must double the stake of your original wager, so instead of risking $10, you now risk $20
  5. If you decide to go to war, the dealer burns (sets aside) three cards before dealing the player a second card, then burns three more cards and giver themselves a second card. If the player’s high card is stronger than the dealer’s, the player wins the amount of his original wager and, in some cases, the dealer’s war wager of the same amount.
    1. If the dealer’s card is ranked higher, the player loses all his bets on the table.
    2. If the war cards are once against equal, many casinos will pay the double wager amount to the player. This varies on where you play though.

Tie Side Bet

The Casino War side bet of a tie the dealer occurring on the first card pays 10-to-1 bonus, but the house edge is too step to make this wager a habit.

Odds of Winning at Casino War

While some advertising may note that Casino War is one of the few casino games where you can beat the dealer more than 50 percent of the time, the truth is the odds are a little bit lower for both player and dealer at 46.3 percent when using six standard card decks.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term house edge, it’s a casino term that means the mathematical advantage that the casino has over the player, on average. Casino War’s house edge is typically around 2.88 percent.

Difference Between War & Casino War

You may be familiar with the classic card game War and wonder what the differences are between the traditional game and Casino War version. In classic War, two players use one standard 52-card deck divided between the two. So, each player has 26 cards in their stack. At the same time both War participants flip over the top card on the deck in a “battle” and the player with the higher card – with Ace being the highest – scoops up both cards and adds them to, typically, the bottom of their stack.

If both cards flipped over are of the same value, the two players go to “war” and place the next card in their deck face down and the one after that face up. The player with the higher “war” card wins and collects every card used during that round.

The objective of the game is to collect all your opponent’s cards.

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