How To Play Casino Card Games – Most Useful Tips

how to play casino card games

Welcome to our card games guide, a place where we discuss the best strategies and useful tips for all card games except video poker games.

We will help you beat the dealers and the popular casino odds with a quick glance over some of the most important and popular games in the gambling industry.

And now, let’s take a look at some of the best and most demanded casino games in the world, how they are played, the basic rules, and most importantly – how to beat them.

Cards On The Table: About Card Games In The Casino

In order to protect your wellbeing and money, there are some universal rules when it comes to real money card games:

  • All casino card games have rules and basic strategies

Read our strategy guide before you start playing casino card games, all gamblers in the world will confirm it is the only way to keep your health and eventually beat the dealer.

  • Casino sites or real, physical casinos – it doesn’t make a difference

Do not drink and gamble. Casino games and poker rooms do not mix well with alcohol, and you can still keep playing cards with friends and drink, but only for fun, without real money bets.

  • Do not burn out, tilt, or get overly emotional

The more emotional you get, the more it’s likely you will lose money. No one can win casino card games without controlling their temper. If things do go south, walk away and cool off, the games are not going anywhere.

  • Know when to just walk away

This one is a given, no?

Blackjack

how to play blackjackBlackjack and its game variations, such as pontoon, are the most popular casino card games for a good reason. The blackjack rules are easy to learn, it has the best return to player percentage and the lowest house edge, and it takes some skill to master.

Blackjack can be found in literally all online casinos, and the rules are very straightforward – you have to beat the dealer with a hand that is as close to 21 as possible, without going bust (having a combined card value of 22 and more). Face cards have a value of 10, an Ace can be 11 or 1, and cards from 2 to 10 equal their point value.

The losing blackjack hand can be either a busted hand or a hand that is one or more points short compared to the dealer. Here are some blackjack hot tips you can use in your blackjack card game, but keep in mind that casino house rules still may apply.

  • Under no circumstances should you play a game with a 6:5 payout, go for the 3:2.
  • Blackjack players often play insurance, do not fall for that.
  • Manage your bankroll.
  • Learn the right strategy to the core.
  • Do not go all-in.
  • Split Aces and eights.
  • Learn how to count cards in a one-deck game. Bear in mind that counting cards in a casino card game are not illegal, but casino owners do not like it and they can take ‘certain actions’ if a casino is their own private property.
  • When your hand is 12 to 16 always stand if the dealer has 2 to 6.
  • When your hand is 12 to 16, and the dealer has 7-Ace, always hit.
  • Double 11 if the dealer has 2-10.

If you want to learn more about this game, feel free to check out our how to play blackjack guide.

3 Card Poker

Similar to blackjack, three-card poker is fun, and one of the easiest gambling card games to learn. The objective of the game is to have the best possible poker hand with only three cards. Players place an ante wager, and/or a pair plus wager, betting that they will have a hand consisting of at least one pair.

Three-card poker is played against the dealer, not against the players at the casino table. In that regard, let’s look at some tips.

  • Fold a Queen-high hand if your second-highest card is a five or lower.
  • Bet on a Queen-high hand if your second-highest card is a six, and your third card is a five or a four.
  • Fold a Queen-high hand if your second-highest card is a five or lower.
  • Bet on a Queen-high hand if your second-highest card is seven or higher.

4 Card Poker

Just like three-card poker, this casino game is a member of the same family of table games like pai gow poker and casino hold’em poker. The main difference is that in this version casino players may bet up to three times their ante bet when staying in the game.

Players get five cards, but can only use four of them and players can win even if their hand is tied to the hand of a dealer. There are two kinds of bets in four card poker, the ante bet and aces up, and a player must make at least one, or both of them. Aces up are one of those side bets, where a player thinks his or her hand will have a pair of aces or better. A few tips you might want to know about.

  • If you can’t make at least one pair, forfeit your ante bets.
  • Make a 1x ante bet with a pair of nines or lower.
  • Place a 3x your bet with a pair of tens or better.

Baccarat

Baccarat, or Punto Banco, is a table game that requires zero skills and effort, which made baccarat a popular casino game on many online gambling websites. The rules of the game are super simple, players bet on the hand that will be the closest to nine, or exactly nine.

how to play baccaratAces are low, face-value cards and tens are worth zero, and other cards are worth their index value. Baccarat players are dealt two cards, and if banker and/or player are dealt a hand with a total of eight or nine, they both stand. If the combined score of two cards is above 9, the first decimal digit is dropped, so a 10 equals zero, 15 is 5, and so on. Let’s look at some tips.

  • Bet with the banker.
  • Steer clear of tie bets.
  • After a banker loss, wait a while, at least one hand.
  • Mini baccarat can be very costly, go for the banker-only betting system.
  • Keep a close eye on your bankroll, money management is crucial.

Pai Gow Poker

Pai gow poker is a casino table game played with a standard, 52 card deck with one joker. The object of the game is to beat the banker. It can be the dealer, or another player at the table, or in some games a player-dealer.

A player is dealt seven cards, in two hands, one hand with five cards (big hand/back hand), and the other with just two cards (small hand/front hand). The game of pai gow poker has three outcomes. A player wins both hands and thus wins the bet, a player loses both hands and the dealer wins the bet, and a player wins one hand and the dealer another, in which case it’s a push.

There are side bets as well, in some variations of the game, but a side bet will not impact the bet for the hand. It enables more betting options – whether a player will get a poker, three of a kind, etc. Here are some useful tricks.

  • Place a side bet, if you got ‘the feel’.
  • Use your joker the best you can.
  • Envy bets are a good thing, in the right circumstances.
  • Do not hesitate to bank.
  • Aggressive play is much more advantageous than a passive one.

Let It Ride

This casino game is similar to five-card stud poker, and its easy-to-grasp rules made it popular in many online casinos. In order to win this variant of poker, players must have a hand made of a pair of tens or better, out of their three cards and two community cards.

Players will make three identical bets, and an additional wager called to let it ride bonus. Those bonuses can not be placed instead of three original bets. Now, let’s see what you can do in order to improve your bankroll.

  • Do not fall for side bets.
  • Find your game pace and do not hesitate to slow down a bit.
  • Bet when you hold three suited cards in a row, except 2-3-4, or Ace-2-3.
  • When you hold four suited cards – let it ride.
  • Bet three to a straight flush when the cards are spread 4 if you hold at least one high card.

Spanish 21

Like so many games, Spanish 21 is heavily based on blackjack. Introduced in 1995, it has a similar, very low house edge and the key difference is the absence of tens in all six to eight decks needed to play.

Also, a player’s 21 will beat the dealer’s 21, it’s allowed to surrender late on the first two cards, and in some games, the dealer may hit a soft 17. You can find all about Spanish 21 rules in our games section, and here are some tricks you can use.

  • Memorize strategy charts the best you can.
  • Do not surrender way too often.
  • Do not draw for the bonus payouts.
  • Steer clear of the match the dealer side bet.
  • Do not be afraid to draw on 21.

Casino War

The fact that casino war was inspired by a children’s game tells you pretty much everything you need to know in terms of how difficult and complex it is. A player gets a card and he or she has to beat the dealer’s card, it’s that simple. If both cards have the same value, a player can fold, or decide to ‘go to war’.

In the latter case, the whole process and betting are repeated. In addition, a player can make one more bet called the tie wager, and if it’s a tie, a player will get 10 times his wager.

  • Play some casino war games and practice a little bit.
  • Do not place tie wagers (side bets) to win back losses.
  • Go to war, do not surrender.
  • Play small, do not rush in.
  • Look out for the aces.

Super Fun 21

It’s hard to find a more similar casino card game to blackjack than super fun 21. This thing is probably the closest to blackjack of all casino card games, more than the pontoon, and gambling rookies probably couldn’t tell it’s a different game altogether.

To repel card counters, super fun 21 is usually played with 6 decks in casinos and the house edge is not as low as in blackjack, but at 1,2% to 1,6% it’s still very attractive to card games players.

The main differences between blackjack and super fun 21 are: super 21 pays double the bet if a hand is diamonds only, all pairs can be split up four times, aces included, split aces can be hit or doubled, a six-card non-busted hand wins automatically, and players may surrender after they hit any number of cards, or after a failed double down. Let’s check some tips.

  • Learn the basic strategy tables by heart.
  • Exploit your options regularly, you can double and fold at any time.
  • Make the best out of your bankroll, do not play without at least 40 or 50 hands worth of chips.
  • Surrender on 17 if a dealer has the ace.

Vegas Three Card Rummy

This 52 card game is played between a dealer and a player, with both of them holding three dealt cards, face down for dealer and face up for the player. Cards are ranked according to their blackjack value, with aces always being low. A player will win if he or she has fewer points than the dealer.

Additionally, three of a kind, a pair, or a run of at least two cards of the same suit counts as zero. There is a limit value of 20, and if a dealer doesn’t qualify, the remaining ante bets will pay even money, and raise bets will push.

Some variants of the game will include a wild card or a joker, that can be used to fill the place of a missing card in a player’s hand. Unlike games such as video poker, the basic tips are very straightforward.

  • Raise on any hand with 20 points or less.
  • Fold with 21 or more.
  • Do not play the bonus bet.

Texas Hold’em

how to play texas holdemOf all poker variations, including video poker games, Texas Hold’em is by far the most popular and prestigious among table games players. The objective of the game is to make the best hand possible by combining your 2 hole cards (face down) and 5 community cards (face up), using a regular 52 card deck.

There are three stages in which the community cards are dealt in Texas hold’em, flop (3 cards), turn (4th card), and river (5th card). A player can call, raise, bet, check, and fold, which makes this game a true king of bluffing casino card games in the entire history of poker. There is another version of this game called Casino Hold’em, the difference being it is played against the casino dealer, not other players.

With that said, here are some cool tips and tricks that could save your bankroll.

  • Again, do not tilt, no matter the cost or pain.
  • Do not overplay poor hands, use your best hands to win.
  • Learn how to read other player’s reactions and body language.
  • Do not fold too much, not all bets are backed up by a strong hand.
  • Learn how to exploit positioning, try to play more hands from later positions.

If you want to learn more about this game, feel free to check out our how to play texas holdem guide.

Omaha

Omaha poker is what players usually learn to play after they master Texas hold’em. It’s a dynamic card game played with a 52 card deck, usually French, and it’s adored by high-stakes players.

Unlike Texas Hold’em, in the game of Omaha players will have four hole cards (face down) and 5 community cards (face up). When making a poker hand, a player in Omaha must use two of his or her four hole cards, unlike in hold’em where no such limitation exists. In all other aspects, Omaha is pretty much the same as hold’em poker.

  • Select your table and a starting hand prudently.
  • ‘Pump it or dump it’ – do not call way too often.
  • Do not chase a flush, it is not as good as in hold’em poker.
  • People rarely bluff, so pay attention to big raises.
  • Bet your strong drawing hands.

7 Card Stud

Unlike games of Casino Hold’em and Omaha, 7 card stud poker has no community cards. In essence, it’s the same game, and players need the best poker combo out of seven cards, but in a game of 7-card stud players will be dealt 3 cards, two face up and one face down, before the first out of five betting rounds and the showdown. Like all casino games on our list, the complete rules and guidelines can be found HERE. Here are some tricks you can use.

  • Choose your starting hand extremely carefully.
  • Observe the people you are playing against and play them hard.
  • Do not complicate too much, play strong hands for value, especially in low-limit games.
  • Memorize the up cards.
  • Avoid calling, unless for entrapment, and go for raise or fold as much as you can.
  • Raise with your strong draws.

Casino Card Games: Summary

When it comes to casino card games, there are no easy solutions and fixes. Each and every casino game is a different beast and casinos are well aware of it, so the best thing you can do is to prepare yourself in order to lower the house edge as much as possible.

Make sure to practice your favorite casino card game frequently, and learn everything there is about table games played in online casinos. And please remember, even the best poker hand will not help you if you do not respect the basic rules of casino card games: be rational, play it cool, know your limits, and do not be afraid to leave the table when things go south. We got you, Bro!

Author

Lilly Von Brough

Lilly is all wit, sass, and barely enough class. Her sense of entitlement probably stems from the fact that she’s proud and Australian, but her self-deprecating brain balances things out. Even though she has a tendency to ramble on about her own problems in her casino reviews, she leaves no stone unturned. An absolute slot games icon and a much-needed feminine touch to a macho gambling industry.

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