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Casino War Guide: Rules, Strategies & Expert Tips

Casino War

Casino War is a very simple casino game to learn.

Played directly against the dealer, there can be several players sat at the same table. As you are playing against the dealer directly, however, what other players get doesn’t affect you.

The game was created and patented back in 1993. It was originally offered to land-based casinos in Nevada but you will now find it in many internet casinos.

Casino War Game

Above is a standard layout for Casino War online.

Casino War Rules

Casino War RulesA standard game of Casino War is played with 6 decks of cards.

Each player at the table places a bet for each hand depending on table limits.

The dealer then gives one card face up to all players followed by one face up to themselves.

All cards are ranked the same as Poker with the exception that Aces are always high. Unlike in games such as Blackjack, picture cards are treated differently, so a King is higher than a Queen, a Queen higher than a Jack and all picture cards beat a 10.

Once everyone has a card, the Dealer compares the card of each player to their own.

If the player’s card is higher, they win the bet at even money.

If the dealer’s card is higher than the player’s, the player loses the bet.

Should both the dealer and player’s card be of the same value, the player has a choice to make.

They can Surrender their hand or ‘Go to War’.

Should the player decide to Surrender, they will forfeit half of their bet and get half back. The hand for that player then ends.

Should the player decide to Go to War, they need to make a further bet equal to their initial bet.

The dealer then burns 3 cards and deals the player and then themselves one further card face up.

Should the card of the player be higher or equal to the dealer, the player wins even money on the increased bet and the original bet pushes – they effectively win 3 times the initial bet.

It is worth pointing out that on the 2nd bet, should the cards be the same value again, the player would win as opposed to going to war for the 2nd time.

Should the 2nd card of the dealer be higher than the players, the player loses all their bets.

Some casinos may allow you to place an initial bet on the Tie as a side bet, this kind of bet normally pays out 10 to 1. This only pays out on the initial 2 cards and not on the 2nd bet as well if the player Goes to War.

Casino War Strategy

Casino War StrategyAt first glance, it isn’t always clear to see where the house edge for this game is.

The bet pays even money on a win and the player has an equal chance of getting a higher card than the dealer.

On closer inspection, when a player and dealer tie and the player Goes to War, they either get to win one unit or lose two. This is where the house edge comes from.

As an example, a €10 bet which is tied would mean a further €10 bet is needed giving a total outlay of €20. If the player wins after Going to War, their 2nd bet will pay at even money whilst the original bet pushes, therefore you would get a return of €30 from a €20 bet – equal to 1 unit.

Should the player Go to War and then lose, 2 bets – in the above example €20 in total – would be lost.

In terms of strategy, as the only decision to make is whether to Go to War or Surrender in the rare instances that both the dealer and player have the same value card, there is no real strategy to learn.

There is a slightly higher house edge when a player Surrenders rather than Go to War, so wherever the funds allow, Go to War would be the best course of action.

As the player wins with a tie after Going to War, it makes the extra bet worth the risk in the long run.

However, like any casino game, the casino always has an edge over the player.

Casino War Tips

Casino War TipsLike many casino games, Casino War normally comes with a side bet that players can gamble on. Like all side games, the odds are stacked in the favor of the casino and should, therefore, be avoided at all costs. Getting the most out of your gambling sessions is all about minimizing the House Edge – by betting the side game, you are definitely not doing this.

Don’t Surrender – try and factor in the chances of needing an extra bet when thinking about your bankroll, as when it is a tie and you have a chance to betting again or surrender, the right move with the best House Edge is to continue playing as opposed to Surrendering and throwing away half of your bet.

Play within your means at all times. When deciding the budget you wish to play with, it is worth ensuring you have at least 40 games – decide the total bet for each game on this basis. If you lose the funds you had budgeted for then walk away as opposed to gambling money that you can’t afford to lose.

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About the author

Richard Grant
Richard has from an early age been interested in casinos and the thrill of playing casino games. After finishing his degree in Law and business he started this platform in 2007 as a complete resource to online gaming with the primary objective of reducing the house edge for players. Specializing in game guides, reviews, and strategic insights, Richard is devoted to helping you hit the jackpot.



What is Casino War?

Casino War is a pretty popular and easy-to-understand casino game. In fact, it is basically the same as a standard game of War. For those who have never played War, let us explain the rules. The game can be played with 2 to 8 players, and is played with six decks (though the number can vary). The way it works is simple. Each player puts down a bet. At that point, the dealer gives 1 face-up card to each player and then deals one to themselves. The results of the other players don’t affect each other. All that matters is that your card is higher than the dealer's.


How are cards valued in Casino War?

It is simple. The lowest card value in Casino War is the 2, and the highest is the Ace. A King is stronger than a Queen, a Queen is stronger than a Jack, and all three of the Royal Cards are stronger than a 10. All of the number cards are valued according to their number.


What are the odds of Casino War?

The odds of Casino War are actually pretty good. The chance of you being the player with the highest card on the table is around 46% to 47%. Because the cards are dealt randomly, a player and a dealer have an equal chance of winning.


What is the best strategy for Casino War?

The best strategy is also the simplest. Find the game with the best RTP and Go to War at every opportunity.


What does it mean to Go to War in Casino War?

Just as in a classic game of war, if the player decides to “Go to War” the dealer burns three cards and deals an additional card each. At that point, the higher card wins the pot. In order to “Go to War” the player must make an additional wager, so be wary of that when playing Casino War.


Can I play Casino War for real money online?

Certainly. There is a plethora of casinos that allow gamblers to play Casino War for real money.


Can I play Casino War for real money in land-based establishments?

Absolutely. All you need to do is check out the gaming library of your local casinos. If they feature the game, then you can most definitely play it for real money.


Should I play Casino War?

If you are interested in the game, then our recommendation is definitely to check it out. Casino War is one of the casino games with the best odds for players. There is quite a big chance that you will win more than the dealer.


When should I surrender at Casino War?

You will find different views on this. Some people claim that you should never surrender. However, we would say that there is a time and a place to surrender. And that time is when you’ve been dealt an obviously losing hand, and your chips are running low.

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