Casino War, or War as it is known as some online casinos, is the simplest of all casino games. Essentially the player and the dealer are dealt one card each and the one with the higher card value wins. The cards from two to ten have their face values. Jack, queen, king and ace are valued at 11, 12, 13 and 14 respectively. An element of excitement is introduced when the first cards dealt are of equal value. There are two formats in which Casino War is played at online casinos. Online casino gaming software providers like Microgaming and Cryptologic have one set of rules, whereas Realtime Gaming and Vegas Technology follow slightly different rules. The article first discusses the Microgaming rules and then points out how the Realtime Gaming rules are different.
In Microgaming Casino War the game begins with the player placing the ante wager. The player can also place an independent tie bet, which wins if the first cards of the dealer and the player have the same value. After the bets are placed the player clicks the Deal button and once card is dealt to the player and one to the dealer. If the cards are of different values the winner is the one with the higher card and the game ends. If the first cards have the same value then the player has to make a choice. He can either surrender or raise. The surrender option results in his getting his half his ante bet back and the game ends. If the player decides to raise then a bet equal to the ante bet is placed and the game continues. Three burn cards are dealt and then one card is dealt to the player and one card to the dealer. This time if the player's card is of equal or higher value than the dealer's card then he wins.
The payouts are as follows. The tie bet pays at 10 to 1 if the first cards are of equal value, irrespective of what action is taken by the player and irrespective of the final outcome. If the player loses then he forfeits the ante and raise bets as applicable. If the player wins on the first cards then he is paid even money on the ante bet. If the player wins on the second card by virtue of having a higher card he is paid even money on the ante bet and the raise bet pushes. If the player wins on the second card by virtue of a tie he is paid 2 to 1 on the ante bet and the raise bet pushes.
The Realtime Gaming version is called War. It is materially different in the bets and payouts and has procedural differences as well. The most glaring difference is that the tie bet is not offered. This is an independent bet and does not affect the main game play. Also it has a very high edge and therefore its absence is not a disadvantage. The main difference is that after the first tie a player win pays out even money on the ante with the raise pushing irrespective of whether the win is because of a higher second card or a second tie. Because of this the Microgaming version has a slight edge. The procedural differences occur in the way burn cards are dealt, the names given to some bets, dealer's voices and bet ranges.