Whether you want to read up on an old favorite or learn a new game, our Card Game Guide has it all to get you ready for the BetUS Online Casino.
How to Play Casino War
One of the simpler casino card games, Casino War is played with 6 decks with the chances of success evenly split 50% between both the dealer and player. Because of this, War is one of the few casino games where the player can beat the dealer more than half of the time, even accounting for the house edge.
The cards, a standard 52 card deck, are split right down the middle and distributed evenly between the two opponents. The players then keep these cards out of sight from their rivals. The play officially starts when both players turn their top card over, at the same time, so that they are both facing up and in competition with each other.
How to Win the Round
Whoever has the highest card each player in front of them wins that round. Cards are ranked according to poker hand rankings and the winner wins both cards and adds them to their own pile face down at the bottom. Like we said, super simple.
Now, what if both players turn up the same ranking cards? Well, this where the war happens. Both players deal a second card face down before laying down a third card face up. Then, both players reveal their second card, and whoever has the highest hand wins. Again, if players tie and the 3 card hands are unable to beat each other, then they go to war again and the same pattern repeats.
Winning the Game in an Online Casino
Both players deal another card, their fourth, face down, and then a fifth face-up before comparing hands again when they flip over the 4th card. Things this way until we find a winner. The winner is the player that collects all 52 cards in the deck.
When we play this game in an online casino, however, we need to monetize proceedings and the first step to doing this is to post an ante bet. As with, say poker, this is a mandatory requirement. There is then a brief and fleeting opportunity at this point to inject a little side action into things with a tie bet which pays 10/1 if both the player and the dealer have the same cards. Then the game proceeds as above but for money.
Once that ante has been laid, one card is dealt face up to both the player and the dealer, and the higher value cardholder is the winner. If that’s you, you will be paid even money on your ante bet. Or if the dealer wins, then obviously you lose. You could have taken that side bet option on the tie and didn’t tie with the dealer, then you lost that bet, but if you win that bet then you have a 10/1 winner on your hands.
Of course, if you tied you have war looming but in the casino game, this is optional. You also have the unwise decision to surrender if so wish. If you choose to lay down arms and surrender, you will get only half your ante bet back. It really isn’t worth surrendering, however, and the house edge rises from 2.8% to 3.7% when you do so, for an additional bet equal to your ante, you can go to war all over again.
Finally, with Casino War, due to its simplicity and heavy reliance on chance, there really is no need to spend time researching strategies. Just remember to choose war after a tie and never, ever surrender.
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How to Play Three Card Poker
Three Card Poker is a table game where poker and blackjack meet. Whereas regular poker players compete against one another, Three Card Poker is a house-banked game like blackjack. The game begins with an ante bet as well as a possible Pair Plus wager. In this player versus dealer edition, both players then get three cards each. Players can see their own cards but the dealer’s cards are dealt face down and remain that way.
So long as you have made your ante bet, your next option then is to fold the hand or raise the stakes. If you fold, you drop out the hand and lose your ante bet. If you raise, then you will need to place another bet, one that’s equal in size to your ante. There is no flop, turn, or river in Three Card Poker, instead, the dealer is required to instantly reveal what he is holding as soon as you have raised.
Dealer Looks for Queen or Better
The dealer will be looking for a hand containing a queen or better in order to qualify. If the dealer does not qualify, you get paid back at even money on your ante bet. However, the raise portion is considered a push, and this stake is simply refunded. Should the dealer manage to qualify, then play moves on to a hand comparison, where traditional poker hand strengths dictate the outcome.
To that end, the poker hand rankings, from best to worst are as follows: Straight flush, Three of a kind, Straight, Flush, Pair, Ace (high or lower). Note, some poker hands, such as Royal Flush and Four of a kind, are missing.
Back to Three Card Poker and the stronger of the two hands wins both the ante and the play bets at even money. That is unless, you pull off a straight, in which case a bonus is paid out on top even if the dealer wins.
Remember the Pair Plus bet we mentioned earlier. This has nothing to do with the dealer but rewards you for your relative hand strengths and pays out based on how well your hand ranks. The ante bonus and the Pair Plus bet payouts are based on a paytable and vary widely from casino to casino. This pay table also influences the house edge for Three Card Poker.
Raising and Playing On
Generally speaking, if you’re holding a hand that ranks Q-6-4 or better, then it’s worth considering raising and playing on, otherwise, you might want to fold. Three Card Poker is a simple enough game to pick up on and nice and fast-moving too. So long as you have your card ranks (above) down, then you don’t need to worry about too much more.
Requiring much less critical strategic analysis than regular poker, this is far more reliant on luck as hands don’t play on for rounds and there is no long game. With a reasonable house edge, Three Card Poker is simple as you and the dealer getting dealt three cards. Players only compete if the dealer qualifies with a queen or higher. You can either fold or raise which is your call but we recommend raising when you have a hand that will beat a Q-6-4 otherwise fold. Plus, you have an optional Pair Plus side bet if you so wish. Simple, fun, and uncomplicated, Three Card Poker is well worth a try next time you get the chance.
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How to Play Let it Ride Poker
Let It Ride Poker is a fun game that’s played at a much slower pace than some of the other video poker spin-off table games that are available. It plays a lot like Caribbean Stud Poker and is just as easy to learn, too. The object of the game is to use the 5 cards, three pockets, and two community, to construct a pair of 10s or better.
Look for Winning Combos
Let It Ride Poker uses a standard deck of 52 cards and is played between as many as seven players plus a dealer. The dealer faces off against the players sat opposite on a semi-circular table, not unlike how a Caribbean Stud table works. Unlike Caribbean Stud, however, in Let It Ride Poker it is not necessary to beat the dealer, all that is required is to form the best combination of cards possible. Your winning combo will then payout according to traditional poker hand strengths.
Ante bets are the mandatory first step and players place one bet each in one of the three circles that you will see laid out on the table in front of you. These circles donate the rounds of play and are labeled $ (ante), 1, and 2. Bets cannot be waived or be uneven, each of the three bets must be equal.
In return, the dealer will deal each player three cards all of them facing downwards. Then come two community cards, which the dealer will place in the center of the table, also downward facing. As community cards, these can be used by all the players seated at the table.
Make your Move
After looking at their cards, players can choose their next move. Moves are dictated, or at least should be when a player has deduced his or her chances of success or size of the payout. Basing their eventual decision on traditional poker hand strengths, players can choose whether or not to pull back their bet in the 1 circle or let it ride. It should go without saying, and you could still end up losing, but if you have any kind of winning hand, especially a flush possibility, let it ride, otherwise pull back.
Pull Back or Let it Ride
If you choose to pull back, this card folds and you are left with two. But, if you opt to let it ride, then the dealer exposes one of the two community cards. The players then face the same decisions all over again for the second of their three bets, the one sitting in the 2 circle. If they so wish, players can let bet number 2 ride even if they pulled back on bet 1. Likewise, you can pull back on bet number 2 while still letting 1 ride. There is no option in the game to pull back on your ante bet, however, that remains fixed in place.
Look out for the Royal Flush
When everyone has made their move, the final community card is revealed, and winners are paid off. Just like in real poker, the royal flush is the best hand you can get. In Let It Ride Poker’s case, this is because you have far fewer chances of constructing this hand and such rarity raises the odds.
At the end of the day, Let It Ride Poker is a fun game that’s great for younger and older players alike. True, it has a relatively high 3.51% house edge, but so long as you know your poker hands, you’ll know what to do at the tables.
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How to Play Caribbean + Mississippi Poker
So long as you have a basic understanding of five-card stud poker games than these two popular editions – Caribbean and Mississippi – should hold no concerns for you. In both of these games, as with Let It Ride Poker, players are playing against the dealer and not each other while all sitting around a half table, players on one side, and the dealer on the other.
Dealing Caribbean Stud Poker
With Caribbean Stud Poker, play begins when players place a bet on the ante space. The dealer will then deal out five cards to each player face down. The dealer will also give himself five cards, four of which will be overturned and one visible. Players are good to look at their cards, as well as the dealer’s exposed card and are encouraged to calculate their chances of success based on basic poker hand rankings (below). If you have a soft hand and are holding nothing then fold just as you might do in a regular game of Texas Hold’em. Note, you will lose your ante bet if you do.
If the cards have fallen your way, however, and you’re holding onto something that you believe you can win with, then move on with the hand and place an additional bet. This secondary wager is double the value of your original ante and goes in the betting space. As soon as all players have either folded or played, the dealer can reveal his hand.
Against the Dealer
For the dealer to take you on, however, their hand must qualify by containing a minimum poker hand ranking of ace-king. If not, all the players that didn’t fold will get their ante bets paid out at evens and their secondary bet returned at stake value. If the dealer qualifies, you compare hands to determine the winner.
Dealing Mississippi Stud Poker
Mississippi Stud Poker is also a house-banked game. Again, players make a bet called an ante and this time they are dealt two cards face down. The dealer will also then deal three community cards also face down. You are able to look at your own cards before a betting round takes place. Old fashioned Poker fans will recognize what comes next as betting rounds are followed by solitary card reveals.
Not a Flop
For what in traditional poker would be the flop, the turn, and the river, their Mississippi equivalents are 3rd street, 4th street, and 5th street. For players that don’t fold, they can assess their chances of eventual success after each card reveal, betting to stay in the game each round until we reach 5th street where you can place a bet of between 1 and 3 times the ante. The dealer turns over the final community card.
Mississippi Stud Poker Resembles Video Poker
In Mississippi Stud Poker, you don’t have to beat another player’s hand to win and this includes the dealer’s. The value of your final hand pays out according to that game’s paytable which determines the size of your win. In that way, Mississippi Stud Poker resembles video poker.
The poker hands you want to be building for either game include royal flush, straight flush, flush, full house, four of a kind, etc and now that you understand the basics, you can sit down at either the Caribbean or Mississippi Stud Poker table with confidence.
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How to Play Pai Gow Poker
The whole purpose of Pai Gow Poker, which takes its name from an ancient Chinese domino game, is to form two poker hands to play off against the dealer’s two poker hands. One of these poker hands must be a 5 carded high hand and the other a 2 handed low one and both must beat the dealer to win in which case you will get paid out at even money. If only one of your hands wins, the round will result in a push, while if neither wins, you lose your bet. Understandably, there are a lot of pushes in this game.
Great Game for Newcomers
Despite its name, the game actually hails from the USA. It was invented in 1985 by American casino owner Sam Torosian who owned the Bell Card Club. The game is simple and quick to learn. Pai Gow Poker is suitably slow-paced for newcomers. Pai Gow Poker uses a standard deck of 52 cards plus one joker and allows for a maximum of six players to a game along with the dealer.
Jokers are more than just wild cards in Pai Gow Poker. They actually step in and replace other cards in particular circumstances. It can step in as an ace, complete a straight, complete a flush, or complete a straight flush. Once the antes have been posted according to the table minimum, the dealer deals each player 7 cards. The standard ranking of poker hands applies and as soon as you have your cards, it’s time to set your hand.
5 Card Hand
You are looking to split these seven cards across two hands of five and two cards apiece. Obviously, you are looking to make the best two possible hands but, there is a catch. The 5 card hand must outrank the 2 card hand. If your two-card hand contains the more powerful cards, it will be deemed a foul and you will automatically lose. The best 2 card hand you can get is a pair. Therefore, outranking a high card isn’t as tough as it first sounds. Naturally, this means the best 2 card hand is a pair of aces. The worst is the lowest possible 3 and 2.
Being the Banker
In Pai Gow Poker, players are able to bet against the dealer as well as the other players. The optional banker duty rotates clockwise among the players in the same way the dealer button does in regular poker games. At the start of each round, a player gets the chance to be a banker. However, many declines owing to the necessity of needing a hefty bankroll. The house edge in Pai Gow Poker is 2.7% but lower when you are playing as the banker. To that end, you should always play as the banker if you can afford to.
Balance your Hands
It’s a good idea to attempt to balance out both the 5 card hand and the 2 card hand as much as possible. This can greatly improve your chances of winning. There are many players who focus solely on creating the best 5 card hand they can. Don’t ignore the fact that the 2 carders must win also.
Twice the hands, twice the thought process, hence, while remaining a simple game, Pai Gow Poker is one of the most skillful games around.