Casino war is the most simple casino card games ever with the largest house edge. The game is usually played with six decks to check card counting. A single card is dealt to both the dealer and the player. Whoever gets a card of higher value, wins.
The selection of cards
The selection of the cards is not up to the player, so most of the skill and strategy involved concerns the betting. When should you give up and when should you go to war?
Cards of the same value
If the cards draw the same value, players have two options either choose to surrender (where they lose half their bet) or they can go to war. Going to war means that the player has to place another bet equal to the value of his first bet, three cards and then burnt. This means discarded and then a card is turned over for each of the player and dealer.
Higher Card of player/dealer
If the player’s card is higher the player wins the round and all the money in the pot, i.e. even money of the second bet. If the dealer’s card is higher he has won the bet and a new game can commence. When playing real money casino war, it is recommended to always go to war where possible because the probability of the player’s second card being lower than that of the dealer is much less than the dealer receiving the same values card or a lower value card.
The Betting Process
Casino War begins with players placing the initial bet known as the ante bet, without which the game cannot begin. Once the ante has been placed, the cards are dealt and the dealer and player receive one card each. The player with the highest ranking card is the winner. If a tie bet has been placed, then the player will win 10:1. If the no tie bet has been placed, and the hands tie, then the player can choose to either surrender his bet or lose half of the wager, or he can raise the bet. Raising the bet involves placing an equal value wager as the ante, after which the dealer burns three cards and the fourth and fifth cards are dealt to the player and the dealer. Again, the player with the highest card wins.
Different Types of Bets
There are three different types of bets in Casino War:
The Ante Bet
The ante bet is a wager on the outcome of the two cards, that the player’s card will be higher than the dealer’s. If the player’s card value tops the dealer’s card value, then he wins and is paid 1:1.
The Tie Bet
This bet is placed on the prediction that the dealer and player will have the same value cards, and is generally considered to be a side bet. An ante bet has to first be placed before a tie bet can be placed, but the tie bet can differ in value to the ante bet. If the dealer and player’s cards are the same, the tie bet pays out 10:1.
The Raise Bet
If the first hand is a tie, then the player has the option to raise. A raise bet involves placing an equal value wager as the ante and the dealer burns three cards before placing the fourth and fifth cards before the player and dealer. This stage of the game is known as the War.
Surrender or War
The only optimal strategy that can increase your chances of winning in this game comes only when there is a tie and the player needs to take a decision to either fold or go on war with dealer. The decision made by the player here can make all the difference. If you decide to fold, you lose your bet. But don’t forget that when you fold you are actually surrendering your entire bet to the casino thus giving them the chance of making more money. Well the best trick is to go to war with the dealer in the event of a tie because if you win you’ll not only get back your raise and ante but will also get a 1:1 bonus payout on your bet amount.
Let’s assume that you bet with $5 and there is a tie. If you decide to fold, you will loose your $5 bet. But if you decide to go to war with the dealer and manage to win, you’ll get $15 return that includes your $5 ante, $5 raise and $5 win. There is a risk involved in raising your bet but this risk is worth it when you get to win a $5 bonus on your bet.
As luck is involved in getting you a win on a tie, this trick might work for some and may fail for others. In the game of online casino War, you may lose at one time and win the next. Perseverance is also important. Since odds are that you will lose about half of the time, your best approach is to stick with the game through several deals.
The question that comes up to the player’s mind is should he surrender his bet or go head-to-head in the event of a tie. Mathematically speaking, doing battle with the dealer makes sense, and surrendering half your wager is a losing proposition. In a head-to-head battle, you’re risking 2 betting units for a potential 1 unit win, which sounds like a bad idea if you know much about gambling. But giving up half your bet is always less profitable than potentially earning a win, even if it is a 1-2 win.
The strategy of always competing against the dealer in a War after a card tie means giving the casino a 2.88% advantage, while surrendering at every instance of a tie give the casino an edge of just under 4%.
As for the 10:1 payout available for bets placed on a tie between dealer and player never fall for it. Side bets are for suckers. This game is simple, moves lightening fast, and the house is happy to take advantage of the 18.65% edge that they earn from that terrible side wager. Since an average of 65 hands of War play out in an hour, placing a $1 side bet for a tie on each hand at a Casino War table means dumping about $12 in the casino’s pockets each hour, with the odds of actually winning that side bet nowhere near worth that investment.
It is therefore better to avoid the tie-with-the-dealer sucker bet unless you have a great time gambling away your bankroll.