Casino War is an adaptation of the classic children’s card game “War”. The game is the easiest to understand of all the casino games, as it essentially boils down to drawing a single card, with the winner being the player holding the highest value card.

The Best Casino War Sites

Rules

Casino War is usually played with six decks of cards, in which aces always count as high. Suits are irrelevant and cards are ranked in the usual order.
Players make their bet and are dealt a single card by the dealer. If the player’s card is ranked higher than the dealer’s, the player wins and is payed even money. If the dealer wins, the player forfeits the ante.

In the event of a tie, the player can surrender half of the ante or elect to “Go to war”, which means matching the original bet and receiving another card. In this case, the dealer burns three cards and deals an extra card to both the player and the dealer. If the dealer’s second card is highest, then both bets are lost and if the player’s second card is equal to or higher than the dealer’s, the player wins even money on the raise, with the original ante being returned.

Many casinos pay a bonus if both sets of cards tie and the option is usually available to bet on such an event occurring, which pays 10-1.

House Edge

The house edge in Casino War comes from ties. Both the player and the dealer have an equal chance to win (46.30%), but as the casino does not pay even money on both bets in the event of a tie, this guarantees the house between 2% and 4%, depending on the exact rules.

The casino’s edge increases with the number of decks used. The house also has a greater edge if the casino’s rules allow surrendering. For example; a Casino War game played with one deck, with no bonus paid on a tie, offers an edge of 2.42%. The same game with eight decks guarantees the casino 2.90%. These figures increase to 2.94% and 3.73% if surrendering is allowed.

Basic Strategy

As the game is totally dependent on luck, Casino War has no obvious strategy that can be followed. The only strategic aspect of Casino War concerns the decision over surrendering; if the casino allows this option it should never be taken, as doing so guarantees the casino a slightly higher edge.