We’re all familiar with the classic casino card games. Poker, blackjack, baccarat, bridge – these are some of the most popular (and iconic) gambling games in the world, with millions of players both online and off. But although the rise of virtual casinos has transformed the types of games which are available on our phones and laptops, this innovation largely hasn’t been matched when it comes to table games. In fact, many of our favourite table games can be traced back to the 1600s and 1700s!

One notable exception is Casino War. Commonly referred to as one of the most easily understood casino card games, Casino War is both a great introduction to the world of gambling for novices, and a quick-fire form of entertainment for experienced gamblers. So, what exactly is Casino War?

In this article, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know to play Casino War yourself. From the game’s origins to its simple ground rules, you’ll find out why it’s fast becoming a casino classic.

Where does Casino War come from?

Casino War was first developed in Carson City, Nevada – not far from the casino capital of the world, Las Vegas. The small company Bet Technology filed a patent for the game in 1993, and by the following year, it was available to play at five different casinos throughout North Nevada.

In 2004, Bet Technology and most of its technology – including that for Casino War – was acquired by SHFL Entertainment, previously known as Shuffle Master.

How do you play Casino War?

If you’ve ever despaired over the complex rules of bridge or baccarat, Casino War could well be the game for you! Its famously simple rules make it a great choice for beginners, as well as more experienced players hoping to make a quick win. Let’s take a look at how the game is played:

  • Casino War is played using six 52-card decks. Just as in poker, the aces are considered the highest-ranking cards in Casino War.
  • The game requires a minimum of 2 players and a maximum of 8.
  • The players and the dealer are each dealt one card. The game-play is centred around one simple wager – is the player’s card higher or lower than the dealer’s card?
  • The player wins the bet if their card is higher than the dealer’s, and the dealer wins if their card is higher than the player’s.
  • If the cards are equal in value, that means it’s a tie. When a tie occurs, the player is faced with two choices – they can either surrender, in which case they will lose their original wager, or they can go to war. This is where the game gets its name!
  • If the player chooses to go to war, they must place a bet which is equal to their original wager. The player and dealer are both then dealt an additional card.
  • If the player’s additional card is equal to or higher than the dealer’s additional card, they win the wager. If it’s lower, then the house wins.
  • Players also have the chance to bet on the outcome of ties. If the player places money on the tie and their card matches that of the dealer, they win their original bet at a tantalising rate of 10 to 1.

Why is Casino War so popular?

Casino War is so popular because its simple rules provide a very low barrier to entry. It requires very little (to no) skill but has the potential for players to win big. With six decks, both the dealer and player have a 46.3% chance of winning on the first card – making it an attractively ‘even money’ game when fears surrounding rigged algorithms and sky-high house edges abound.