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Online Casino War

Wed, Feb 5, 12:10pm by William Brown

Last Updated Tue, Oct 8, 12:14am

Casino War is a fun table game with surprisingly good odds. Casino War is based on the kid’s card game “War”, in which two players begin the game with half the deck and try to steal cards by matching them up one-by-one. Imagine that the casino version of a kid’s card game has some of the best odds in the table game section.

Online Casino War is now available at most legitimate casino sites. Mobile Casino War apps can be downloaded for Android phones and tablets, iPhone, and iPad. Players who want to test out the game can play Casino War for free, while those who want to play Casino War for real money can choose from among hundreds of online and mobile casino sites.

In this guide to Casino War, I’ll discuss betting the game’s odds and payouts, Casino War’s interesting history, and any Casino War betting strategy which might help you win at the casino. I’ll also discuss online Casino War, including where you can play Casino War for free or for real money.

Casino War History

War is an old card game, known by several different names in various countries — for instance, “Life and Death” or “Tod und Leben” in Germany. War also has at least 20 prominent variations, including Add-On, Underdog, Peace, Marms, and Quatro. Bet Technology, a Carson, Nevada-based company, patented “Casino War” in 1993.

By 1994, Casino War was a table game in 5 North Nevada casinos. The most famous of those Reno-area casinos was Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, located in Stateline. Over the next decade, Casino War became a mainline table game in Las Vegas Strip casinos, where the game’s good odds and ease of play made it a popular choice with beginners. The game eventually made its way to Australia and is now available at the Crown Casino Melbourne among other local Oz casinos.

In 2004, Shuffle Master (now SHFL Entertainment) bought Bet Technology’s assets. Casino War was part of the buyout package. By that time, online Casino War was being incorporated in online casino software packages. These days, online and mobile Casino War is a popular choice with most of the mainstream casino sites.

Casino War Odds vs. Blackjack & Roulette

Casino War is one of the easiest casino table games to learn. It’s also one of the few games where the player has a chance to beat the dealer more than 50% of the hands played. This makes Casino War a popular choice with inexperienced casino visitors, because it has few strategy requirements and is familiar to many players. Bettors craving strategy might prefer blackjack and those preferring high payouts opt for the slots or roulette, but Casino War has a loyal customer base. In fact, some high rollers play Casino War for real money.

Casino War’s odds compare nicely with European Roulette and most table poker games. Casino War has much better odds than American Roulette and most gaming machines. The game compares less favourably with baccarat and craps, though you have to make the right bets when playing those games or Casino War is a better option. Blackjack and video poker have better odds than Casino War, but you have to memorize complicated strategies to do well in those games.

Both the player and the dealer have a 46.3% chance of winning a Casino War battle. The game has a house edge slightly over 2% in most places, though the house edge varies depending on house rules. The house edge comes from Casino War’s tie rules.

How to Play Casino War

A typical hand of Casino War plays a bit differently than your childhood games of War. Instead of each player handling half the deck apiece, the casino dealer deals from a 6-deck shoe of cards. Each new battle begins with the dealer dealing a card apiece to the player and the dealer. These are compared, with the highest card winning the bet.

If the player wins, he or she is paid 1:1. If the player loses, the bet is lost. If a tie happens, then the player either surrenders or doubles the bet. If the player chooses to double the bet, then another set of cards are revealed to resolve the bet.

Casino War: Tie Rule

In classic War, a tie means the two players overturn their next card. The fate of the original two cards thus is decided by the next card draw. In Casino War, the player has a decision to make: surrender or double-down.

Casino War Tie Chart

Decision – Results

  • Surrender– The player loses 50% of the original bet.
  • Double-Down– The player doubles their original bet and the player/dealer compare another set of cards.
  • Player Wins– If the player wins the second card battle, then player wins their original bet (but not the second bet).
  • Player Loses– If the player loses the second card battle, then the player loses both bets.

Thus, the player either loses half their bet outright or has to pay 1:2 odds to win a 50/50 bet. This provides the casino with a suitable house edge, though the tie only happens 7.4% of hands.

Casino War Betting Strategy

Casino War is a game of chance, but a few Casino War strategies apply. Follow these Casino War betting tips to make certain you have the most fun and entertainment at the casino table. Much has to do with preserving your bankroll, so you can enjoy more Casino War sessions.

  • Avoid the Side Bet: Side bets in most games have a lower house edge. The same applies in Casino War. Casino War side bets often pay 10:1 but have a 18.5% house edge.
  • Bet on a Tie: If you double-down on a tie and go to the cards, the house edge is 2.8%. If you surrender on a tie, the house edge is 3.7% edge.
  • Make Smaller Bets: When you know that you’ll double on a tie, you should make your initial bet smaller. This way, your double-down bet will be more like a stake based on your bankroll.
  • Pay Attention to Aces: When holding an ace, the only option is a win or a tie. Aces happen every 13 cards or 6.5 hands.
  • Set a Loss Limit: Walk away from the table sooner rather than later. Set a loss limit — an amount at which you leave the game — and stick to it always.
  • Lock in Wins: Also, set a win goal. This is an amount of winnings at which you leave the game. Many gamblers make the mistake of extending the session and losing back what they won.

Playing Casino War for Free

Free Casino War is available in several places online. Free casino games are available on social gaming sites like Zynga, Big Fish Games, or GSN Gaming, though virtual coins sometimes cost cash to replenish. Google Play has free Casino War apps for Android smartphones and tablets, while the iTunes App Store has free Casino War apps for iPhone and iPad users. Those aren’t the best way to learn Casino War strategy, though.

The best way to play Casino War for free is to go to a real money online casino and use its practice mode. Online players can play Casino War for free without downloads on most online casinos. Navigate to the table games section of an online or mobile casino. Click on the Casino War icon to begin play. Choose the “Practice” mode or “Free Play” option to play Casino War for free.

Real Money Casino War Games

Playing real money Casino War is only a little more complicated on the Internet. To play for real money, you’ll need to sign up for a player account at an online casino, then fund the account with a credit card, debit card, web wallet, bank transfer, wire transfer, or Bitcoin deposit.

  • Online Casino Signup– Go to an online or mobile casino. Register an account by clicking “Download”, “Play Now”, or “Sign Up”. You can download the casino software or play in no-download instant play mode.
  • Fund the Account– Once signed up and logged in, go to the account page, also known as the Dashboard or Cashier Page. Choose a payment method and make a deposit. Accept the deposit bonus.
  • Play for Real Money– Now that you have real money in your account, go the casino lobby. Click on the Casino War link, which opens the game. Play Casino War for real money, using the strategy tips above.
  • Collect Your Winnings– Once you’ve cleared the wagering requirements for your bonus and you’ve collected some winnings, click the withdrawal button on your account’s dashboard. Click the prompt when asked if you’re certain you want a withdrawal.

Be patient once you request a withdrawal. Sites take 12 to 48 hours to verify your identity. The wait is longer on your first withdrawal. Withdrawal methods have their own wait period, so you can expect to wait days for a payment. Bitcoin payouts happen within 15 minutes.

Casino War Side Bet

The Casino War side bet is a wager that your first card will tie with the dealer’s card. The payout is 10:1 in most casinos. The odds of this happening as 12:1, which makes for a 18.5% house edge. This is a sucker bet.


Casino War is a favorite with gamblers who don’t want to have to remember a bunch of strategy advice. The game has the third-best odds for a table game that doesn’t require skill or strategy. If you prefer games with bigger payouts, you might want to look elsewhere. While the 10:1 side bet provides a higher payout, it’s a sucker bet you should avoid. Otherwise, online Casino War is a relaxing way to enjoy an evening of gaming with a solid house edge.