One way casinos keep those wallets strolling through the door is by adding new gambling card games. This not only provides new customers, but it also improves their bottom line.
When a casino launches a new game — and especially a game that is exclusive to that casino — people start talking. Obviously, the casinos won’t do this unless the new game is profitable.
And that’s their prerogative.
I often find myself in front of a new game, looking for similarities and variations to other more familiar games. Then I have a seat to try my hand at that game.
In this post, I’m going to tell you about 7 gambling card games that you might never have heard of.
I’ll include some of my favorites — and one or two that left me walking away confused and slightly defeated.
Nonetheless, I would absolutely step out of your comfort zone and play with a few hands. After all, gambling is meant to entertain and the 7 card games that follow do not disappoint.
Even if you’ve never heard of them.
1- Arizona Hold ‘Em
This game flows with the player being dealt 3 cards face down, and the dealer is dealt 2 cards face down.
The dealer cards are community cards, and the player uses them to complete their 5 card hand.
The betting table has seating for 7 players.
There are 3 areas on each table to place bets marked:
You’ll also have 2 card-sized rectangles marked “1” and “2”.
This is where you find the dealer’s cards.
After the first bets are made on spot “A,” the dealer will deal each card one at a time. For the first and second round, the players and dealer each get cards. In round 3, only the players receive a card.
Once the deal is done, players may look at their cards. Bets are made based on the strength of the 3 card hand.
The dealer then reveals the first of the 2 community cards. Again, the players bet. You may also choose not to bet and let your hand play out.
The players’ hands are then revealed. To have a winning hand you must have a pair of 10s or better. Winning hands are paid as follows:
- Royal Flush – 250 to 1
- Straight Flush – 50 to 1
- Four of a Kind – 25 to 1
- Full House – 12 to 1
- Flush – 10 to 1
- Straight – 8 to 1
- Three of a Kind – 3 to 1
- Two Pairs – 2 to 1
- Pair of 10s or Better – 1 to 1
2 – S7REAK
S7REAK is a card game that, at least on the casino level, seems to have originated in Australia. The game is straightforward — in fact, it’s flat out simple.
The goal is to draw 7 cards of the same color consecutively.
This game screams “pick a card, any card” in all of its sensibilities. However, it isn’t quite that elementary.
You can place any of 4 different bets:
- No S7REAK
- Suit up
To begin, the dealer draws a card and places it in the S7REAK box on the table. This card becomes the designated color for the game.
Cards are then drawn one after another until the opposing color is drawn. At this point, the S7REAK is over. The S7REAK also ends when the dealer has drawn 7 cards of the same color.
The suit-up bet is a side bet on drawn cards being the same suit. The bet is on the total of the same suit cards drawn during a hand and do not need to be drawn consecutively.
There’s also a unique tie scenario where if the first and second card drawn are different colors but make a pair, the hand is a wash.
3 – Poker Bo
Poker Bo is a card game that brings parts of 2 more familiar casino games together, poker and sic bo.
In Poker Bo you won’t find any cutthroat elements. In other words, you aren’t in any way engaged in a competitive battle with your fellow players.
The lack of competition between players breeds an electric atmosphere around the table. Players wait in eager anticipation at the chance to win anywhere from 1:1 payouts all the way to 500:1.
An aspect that makes Poker Bo a splendid casino game is its simplicity. This is one game that even the most novice gamblers can enjoy.
This card game has 6 wagers to choose from:
- Straight ‘n’ Up
- 3 of a Kind
- 2 Pair
- No Hand
- Specific Suit
See? I told you it was simple.
After all the bets are placed, the dealer draws 5 cards and presents each of the cards face up.
Next, the dealer confirms the hand value by looking for any poker hands. Those hands are then compared to the player’s wagers and all winning bets are paid.
Simple, exciting, and fast-paced, Poker Bo is sure to be a great time for the weary gambler.
4 – Super Easy Aces
The game strips most cards from the deck and builds a 54 card deck using aces, 2s, 3s, 4s, and 2 jokers.
Before the cards are dealt you can bet on ace, 2s, or 3s.
There’s also a Dealer Match option.
Each player is then dealt 1 card face up and the dealer 1 card face down. Any player that is dealt a 4 loses.
All winning bets are then paid and losing bets cleared. Here’s where the Dealer Match bet comes in. If you made the side bet and your card matches the dealer’s card, you are a winner.
This is a game that has gained a lot of traction in casinos around Nevada.
5 – Spanish 21
Spanish 21 is a gambling card game which was popularized at casinos in the 1990s. The game is heavily established on it’s more popular cousin blackjack.
Should you ever find yourself at a Spanish 21 table you’ll immediately notice the resemblance to a classic blackjack game. The biggest significant difference, in fact, is that all suited 10s have been removed from the 6-8 decks used to play.
6 – Let It Ride
Let It Ride is another poker-based card game and it resembles Arizona Hold ‘Em closely — at first glance anyway.
The player will begin by laying out 3 bets of equal amounts, then is dealt 3 cards. The player may then pull his first bet back or “let it ride”. The first community card is then dealt face up.
The player then has the option again to pull their bet or “let it ride” and the second community card is dealt.
Players are paid on the poker value of their cards and the posted paytable.
7 – Casino War
I wouldn’t be surprised if a majority of my readers know this game. However, I can’t think about the game war without flashing back to that brilliant moment in cinematic history when Chevy Chase portraying Clark Griswold with his last few dollars clutched in his fist engages a casino dealer in a game of war.
Casino war is essentially the same game I played as a child with my mom at our kitchen table. You draw a card, the dealer draws a card, and the higher card wins.
Almost brilliant in its directness, the game pays 1:1. In the event of a tie, you may recoup half of your original bet or double down and go to war.
Should war arise, the player and the dealer end up with 4 cards face up and 1 card face up. High card wins and pays you ½ the original bet and the other half is a push.
This is one of my favorite gambling card games.
Casinos around the world are full of obscure and newly evolving gambling card games. For many years, I had a tendency to shy away from these unfamiliar foes and head straight to calmer, more recognizable waters.
I sometimes regret my stubbornness.
After all, aren’t we after all in the casino to enjoy ourselves and commune with our fellows?
I suggest that on your next trip to your favorite casino, have a seat at one of these 7 games you might never have heard of and enjoy the change of scenery.
You may find yourself laughing and lightheartedly placing bets like you haven’t in some time.