Playing cards were originally invented in China during the ninth century and soon made their way to Arabia, Europe and across the Atlantic, evolving as they went. It’s fair to say the trusty deck has withstood the test of time. Equally as popular are classic casino games and whether it’s Baccarat, online Blackjack, or Poker, there are plenty of variations out there to pique one’s interest. If you’re new to the casino scene or are just looking for an easy game to pick up and play, read on.
Blackjack is a casino staple, but you may know it by one of its other names, such as 21. The aim is to beat the dealer, either by having a total that exceeds him or by not going over 21 (bust) when he does. Cards are worth their numerical value, with face cards worth 10 points. Ace can be low (worth one point) or high (11 points).
Each player receives two cards face-up, while the dealer receives one face-down and the other face-up. Players have the option to ‘hit’ (ask for a further card) or ‘stick’ (stay on their total). Alternatively, players can ‘split’, meaning if they have two cards of the same denomination, they can split them into two separate hands and carry on playing. A final option is to ‘double down’, where players double their bet when the two originally drawn cards total 9, 10, or 11 points. They receive one additional face-down card and it cannot be revealed until all hands have been settled.
The dealer has specific rules to follow – they must ‘hit’ on anything less than 16 and ‘stick’ on 17 through to 21 points. Dealers are not permitted to ‘split’ or ‘double down’. The winners are the players who have beaten the dealer. If a player has a ‘natural’ Blackjack, the dealer pays out at odds of 3:2.
Rummy is a popular card game which is played all around the world. The aim is to collect two sets, which consist of three or four cards. Sets must be cards of the same value but different suits, or consecutive cards of the same suit. For example, a set of three Kings of hearts and a run of four spades: 2-3-4-5.
The dealer shuffles the pack and deals each player seven cards. The remainder of the deck is put in the middle face-down, with the top card face-up in a separate pile. This is the discard pile. The first player can either pick up this card, or the first in the face-down pile. If a player picks up a card, they may not discard it in the same turn. But they must discard a card so they always have seven in their hand. If the whole deck gets used before a player wins, it must be used again, without shuffling the cards.
Although it’s a fun social game played between two players, War has made its way to casinos. The full deck is used, with both players receiving 26 cards face-down. The aim is to be the first player to win all 52 cards.
The gameplay is simple. Each player takes the first face-down card from their pack and turns it over. The player with the highest card is the winner and takes both cards. But, if the cards are the same rank, it’s war! Each player takes one card face-down and the other face-up, and the player this time with the higher value takes all the cards. Again, if these are the same, it’s war.
Some players find this particular version of the game too long, so you can always play the first to five or ten winning hands.