How To Play Casino War and Best Strategies For Winning

The classic game of War is one of the simplest and most basic card games that anyone can learn. Many of us learned how to play War at the same time we learned how to play Go Fish as kids. This might be the first and last time that you’ve played War in your life.

There are a couple of adult variants of War that you may have come across. There is Drinking War, which is, you guessed it, a drinking game using similar rules to War. While that sounds fun, we are here today to talk about Casino War.

Casino War is not a traditional game at brick-and-mortar casinos. The table game is available at select casinos in the US. However, do not expect to walk into any casino and find multiple tables as you would with blackjack or roulette. If the property does offer Casino War, there is likely only a table or two.

Casino War is often more accessible at online gambling sites that have a large selection of real money casino games in their inventory. With that said, Casino War is a fun game that can be easy to pick up and learn for new and experienced gamblers alike.

How To Play Casino War

Casino War is the classic War card game with a fun twist at the tables. Of course, the largest and most obvious difference between the War you played as a kid and the casino game is that gambling is involved.

Instead of a friendly head-to-head showdown against a friend or family member, you are in a head-to-head battle against the dealer for money. Generally, Casino War tables start with table limits of $10 at the casino. Higher-end casinos, like ones in Las Vegas, might have a $25 minimum to play Casino War.

High-limit Casino War isn’t something that is available in high quantities across the country. However, if you are a high roller and want to let loose, online casinos will give you the opportunity. Tables with a $10 minimum typically allow players to bet up to $500 per hand.

Let’s go over how to play Casino War and the rules that you will discover in most online casinos:

1. Place Your Wager

The first step to playing Casino War is to place your wager. There are two bets that can be made in Casino War. First, the base bet is the most common and basic wager in the Casino War game.

Second, there is a Tie bet available at the Casino War table. Note that the Tie bet is optional and is not required. There are no rules against making both wagers on the same hand. The odds are working against the player on a Tie wager though.

2. Dealer and Players Each Receive One Card

The dealer will issue a card to themselves and each player at the table. The most common Casino War games include six decks of playing cards. But there can be as little as one deck or up to 12 decks used by the casino.

The objective of the game is to have a higher card than the dealer. If you wagered on the Tie option, then you want the dealer and your card to be worth the same.

In Casino War, the lowest card in the game is a 2 while an Ace represents the highest card. Let’s assume you are dealt a King and the dealer has a 10, you are the winner of the game and you are paid 1 to 1.

It really is as simple as that. The goal of Casino War is to be dealt a card of higher value than the dealer. The Tie bet is just as simple to understand. If you and the dealer have the same value, then the Tie wins with a payout to the player of 10 to 1.

3. Going To War

Additionally, there will be the option to go to war against the dealer if the card values are identical. You can also surrender your hand and pass on going to war.

If you decide to surrender, the player will lose half of their original wager. So, if you bet $10 and don’t want to go to war, the dealer will then collect $5 and leave you with the other $5. Going to war opens up the possibility of a 2 to 1 or 3 to 1 payout in some casinos.

In war against the dealer, you will receive a card and the dealer will deal a card to themselves. The highest-valued card will win the game.

To go to war, you must bet the amount of your original wager again. You can make an optional Tie wager, too. Losing the war means that all of your wagers lose, including the original bet.

Whoever has the highest-valued card will win the war round. For a win, the player will receive a 2 to 1 payout. On a tie, some Casino War rules state a 3 to 1 payout regardless if they made a second Tie wager or not.

Casino War Strategy

Casino War is a completely random game. There is no true strategy like in blackjack or poker.

However, there are smart decisions that you can make to be a smart casino war player. Evaluating the Casino War odds and house edge will reveal what you should do.

There are two big questions:

  • Should you bet on the Tie?
  • Should you go to war against the dealer?

These are the two questions that can make or break your Casino War strategy.

1. Do Not Bet On The Tie

First, we recommend never betting on a Tie. The house edge is too high to consider a wager on the Tie. Similar to other casino side bets, the Tie is a horrible wager.

The Tie bet with a 10 to 1 payout in Casino War carries a monstrous house edge of over 18%. You are better off playing real money slots than making this bet at the Casino War tables.

Betting on the Tie is the worst Casino War strategy possible. The casino is banking on you making poor decisions.

With the 10 to 1 odds written on the felt, it can be tempting, but it is by design to get you to make the wager. Nevertheless, you should always avoid betting on a Tie despite the potential for a large win.

Otherwise, you are willingly turning a casino game with a fairly decent house edge into a terrible game to play.

2. Always Go To War Versus The Dealer

One of the most fun aspects of Casino War is going head-to-head in a duel against the dealer. As part of your Casino War strategy, should you go to war or forfeit half of your original wager?

A little basic casino math suggests that you should opt to go to war. It not only makes the game more intense and fun, but statistically, it is the right move.

The casino owns a 2.8% house edge in a war. Conversely, the house edge ticks up to 3.7% if you surrender and forfeit half of your wager in a six-deck game. Let loose and go to war!

3. Play Games That Offer A 3:1 Payout On A War Tie

The house edge is impacted by this simple rule. Not every casino will pay 3:1 if a tie occurs during war against the dealer. The ones that don’t are greedy and tilting the odds in their favor even more.

In a standard six-deck Casino War game, the house edge with the 3:1 payout is 2.33%. However, the house edge inches up to 2.88% if there isn’t a 3:1 bonus win on a war tie.

The decision is easy to play the game with the bonus payout. This isn’t always possible, but if the option of playing Casino War with this bonus is available, play it over the other tables.

4. Target Casino War Games With Fewer Decks

Similar to the best online blackjack tables, the fewer the number of cards in the shoe, the more favorable the Casino War odds are for the player. Casinos will not advertise how many decks are being used in their Casino War games.

It will be up to you to ask the dealer or pit boss. In the case of online casinos, you can contact customer support. Some casinos might have only one Casino War table or virtual game, so having multiple accounts at the best online casinos is important.

For a one-deck Casino War game, the house edge is 2.06% if they offer the 3:1 payout on a tie during war versus the dealer. Compared to the six-deck game with a 2.33% house edge, your odds improve greatly with only one deck in the shoe.

Where To Play Casino War Online

When it comes to playing Casino War online, gamblers have several options at online casinos. We considered a multitude of factors when evaluating which online casino has the best Casino War offering.

After weighing all of the features, BetUS comes up as a standout choice for Casino War. In addition to offering a single-hand Casino War game, BetUS has a multi-hand variant. Starting at just $1 per hand, you can play multiple hands at one time.

While other online casinos introduce more decks to their Casino War games, BetUS is still offering the traditional six-deck game. As you know, fewer decks are more advantageous for gamblers.

If you get tired from playing Casino War, BetUS also has an unlimited selection of other casino games. From hundreds of slots and live dealers, there is a wide array of games to choose from at BetUS. Of course, if you would like to bet on sports, this leading online betting site has you covered.

Casino players can grab a 250% casino bonus of up to $5,000. Make a deposit, and BetUS will be willing to match your deposit. You can play a whole lot of Casino War hands with a $5,000 bonus.

Ready to play at BetUS?
About the Author
Kyle Eve profile picture
Kyle Eve
Sports/Casino Writer
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Kyle Eve is a seasoned pro of The Sports Geek. Since joining the team in 2012, Kyle, has covered some of the biggest sporting events in the world. From the Super Bowl and World Series to March Madness, the NBA Finals, Kentucky Derby, and many more, Kyle has provided reliable analysis for millions of readers. After dedicating himself to hockey and football in high school, Kyle placed his first sports bet on his 18th birthday. Since then, he has spent his entire adult life devoting himself to becoming the best sports bettor and casino gambler possible. Kyle is from Windsor, ON, Canada

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