The Hot Streak

How to Play Casino War

October 20, 2023

Card games such as poker and blackjack have long dominated the casino game, but here’s another table game to put on your radar. War is the classic back-and-forth card game that engages two adversaries in direct competition with one another. Like on a real battlefield, strategy is key to playing your cards right and coming out the victor in a competitive, no-holds-barred match.

If you’re looking to snatch up more cards than you give away, you’ll want to touch up on the art of war.

Before you storm into battle, consider this guide outlining how to play War against your chums or casino War between adversaries. A thorough understanding of the game rules is your ace up the sleeve when it comes to posting potent bets and besting your rivals. Get ready for our best casino war tips!

The Essential Rules for How to Play War

You need two players and a standard 52-card deck to play a game of War. (The jokers can wait on the sidelines for Crazy Eights.)

Shuffle up the cards until they’re wholly disorganized, then deal out 26 cards to each player. To make sure the cards are really mixed up, both combatants can shuffle their hands as well.

Place the two decks face down in front of you and prepare to go to battle:


Grab the top card of your deck or pile while staring down your opponent menacingly. Satisfy your anticipation and turn over the cards, simultaneously revealing their cards for maximum dramatic effect.


The highest card wins the hand and collects the losing player’s card. Both the winning and losing cards are then recycled to the bottom of the winner’s collection. The cards are ranked in standard order from 2 to 10, then jack, queen, and king. Aces are high and beat all, except another ace, of course. In fact, if you and your opponent play the same card at any time, get ready to …

Go to war

Both players lay out 3 cards face down on the table. Both players flip a 4th card in quick succession, revealing who will collect the hefty pot before them. The higher card takes everything on the table, recycling it back to the bottom of their deck as with any win. If by some stroke of luck or misfortune, the flipped cards are the same again, players go to war once more. That means 3 more face-down cards, one more face-up card, and hopefully, this time, the reveal comes with you as the definitive winner.


The Casino War game persists until one player has relieved the other of their entire deck. Sometimes, one must go to war with the dwindling remains of their stack and won’t have enough cards to lay out an extra three. In these cases, their final card gets flipped to decide the battle’s outcome. In the end, the victor holds all 52 cards—the spoils of a hard-fought War.

While these may be the most classic rules of War, a few twists exist for those looking to add a little flare to the game.

Variations of Standard War

To spice things up during a game of War, you can try playing a couple of basic variants:

Romanian Război

When it comes time for War, the tying number decides how many cards are at stake. For instance, if both players draw 7 on the original turn, they lay 6 cards face down and the turn of the 7th decides their fate. Face cards and aces amount to ten cards each on the table.

Group war

Deal out the deck evenly to 3 or 4 players. The highest card still wins, but if there’s a war, everyone is called to battle. Discard a single card each instead of the standard 3 before flipping the decider. If it’s a tie, keep engaging in War until there is a definitive victor.

From children’s classrooms to casino floors, War is a simple card game that is beloved and played by many. The venue where you duke things out, however, has a keen influence on how the game goes.

How to Play Casino War: What’s Different?

Up to 8 players may pull up a stool to a casino’s War table, but they will all individually be in direct competition with the dealer.
The Casino War game rules follow the same pattern as the basic card game but incorporate a few different twists:

Betting – It’s the reason you’re at the casino, after all. Bets go down before the cards come out. You’re betting that your card will be higher than the dealers’.

The reveal – Dealers will lay out both the players’ cards and their own cards face up, so the twists of fate hiding beneath are revealed immediately.

Tie bets – Along with banking on their card being higher, players can also choose to bet that they will equal the dealer’s on any given hand. Tie bets pay 10 to 1 if a player calls them correctly, but they still must engage in war after collecting their winnings.

Going to war – When you tie the dealer, you’re faced with a choice: lose half of your original bet, or double down and go to War. Cards are dealt as usual during War, but if you tie again after one round, you call it quits. Winning a War pays quadruple the turn’s original bet, tying returns your wager, and losing leaves you empty-handed.

Push bets – If you win or tie after going to War, your original ante for the hand before the War remains on the table to be used in the next round.

Wage Casino War with Tipico

The thrill of live gaming certainly gets our blood pumping, but Las Vegas type casinos aren’t always down the street. And when you can’t practice regularly, what’s a novice to do? Sign up with an online casino of course!

Tipico takes the fear out of live gaming. With games in progress right now, you can play Casino War online with real stakes and real odds.

Tipico provides the unparalleled excitement of live gaming without the long drive to the casino. With sportsbooks, War, and more, don’t think big when it comes to online wagers. Think Tipico Casino.

If you’re looking for another casino card game resource, check out our guides on how to play Baccarat, Poker, Roulette, and more!

Tipico is an online betting site that offers both sports and various casino games (NJ only). We currently provide sports betting in Colorado, New Jersey, and Iowa. Sign up and place your bet today and win real money!

Tipico Sportsbook supports responsible gaming year-round; learn more and find resources at the AGA’s “Have a Game Plan“.

Tipico staff contributions