Casino war

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Casino War is a registered trademark owned by SHFL entertainment, Inc., formerly, Shuffle Master, Inc.[1][2] used in connection with a casino card game based on the game of War. The game is one of the most easily understood casino card games, and is one of the only card games where players can beat the dealer more than 50% of the time.

The game is normally played with six standard 52 card decks. The cards are ranked in the same way that cards in poker games are ranked, with aces being the highest cards.[3]

Game play[edit]

One card each is dealt to a dealer and to a player. If the player's card is higher, he or she wins the wager they bet. However, if the dealer's card is higher, the player loses their bet.[4]


A tie occurs when the dealer and the player each have cards of the same rank. In a tie situation, the player has two options:

  • The player can surrender, in which case the player loses half the bet.
  • The player can go to war, in which case the player must double his stake.

Continued play after a tie[edit]

If the player continues play in view of a tie, the dealer burns (discards) three cards before dealing each of them an additional card. If the player's card is ranked higher than the dealer's, then the player wins the amount of his original wager only. If the dealer's card is ranked higher than the player's, the player loses his (doubled) wager. If the ranks are equal, then the player wins the amount of his doubled wager.

Tie bet[edit]

Casino War also features a bonus bet on ties. If the player bets on the tie, and his card matches the dealer's, then the player wins 10 to 1 to his original wager on the tie bet.

House advantage[edit]

The dealer and the player each have a 46.3% chance of winning on the first card (in a standard game with 6 decks), so this seems like an even money game. The house advantage, however, comes from what happens in the case of a tie.

The house advantage increases with the number of decks in play and decreases in casinos who offer a bonus payout. The house advantage for this game is usually over 2%.


Surrendering has a slightly higher advantage for the house in the case that a bonus payout is offered, so based on the expected value probabilities a player should never surrender.


  1. ^ "SHFL entertainment". SHFL entertainment, Inc. 
  2. ^ "United States Patent & Trademark Office - Casino War". United States Patent & Trademark Office. 
  3. ^ Brisman, Andrew (1999). American Mensa Guide to Casino Gambling: Winning Ways. Stirling. ISBN 0-8069-4837-X. 
  4. ^ "Tutorial - How to play Casino War". Gambling Info. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 

External links[edit]