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WAR - a casino card game

The best thing about being a kid is the limitless world that our imagination lives in. At one point or another we invent flying cars, take down fiery dragons and blow up entire cities. For the ladies among us, we get married umpteen times, plan and execute the greatest tea parties ever, and fly at least one unicorn. During this age of invention the possibilities are endless. We did things impossible, regenerating limbs lost in battle and pour unfathomable amounts of tea from a two inch teapot. We made up songs and invented games and life was what it should be.

But what of this age has carried through with us into adulthood? Let’s focus now on a casino card game. As a child we surely had the opportunity to play card games, but they were all flawed in some way, some too long, some too complicated and others plain boring. It’s for this reason that there are no junior bridge leagues. We took it upon ourselves to develop a game simple in its nature and quick in its outcome so that we could teach and play with even the youngest of our play pals.

The outcome of this was the perfect game, so good in fact that it is still being played today. The greatest contribution of childhood creativity to casino gaming is the card game War. The point of War is to outdraw your opponent. Two cards are dealt, one for the player and one for the dealer. The highest card wins. If there is a tie where the player and dealer draw cards with the same value then the player is presented with two options. Fold or War. The strategy in this game is rather straight forward.

Why anyone would want to fold in this circumstance I will never know. I think that this rule was invented as a trick option designed to confuse the younger players still new to the game, or to exploit any kind of superstitious tendencies that a player may exhibit. There is simply no value in folding your card in this game – they don’t call it War for nothing. The best option when faced with a tie is always to War. War is pretty much the most complicated part of this game, however it remains very simple.

When at war with the dealer, the dealer and player are dealt three cards each, these three cards remaining face down. A fourth card is then dealt to both the dealer and the player and the person with the highest fourth card value wins the war. Simple. These rules must seem familiar – this is exactly the card game that kids end up playing upon receiving their first deck of cards. As simple as it is effective, the casino card game War has stood the test of time.

The next time you’re in a casino’s card room and find yourself inexplicably attracted to the War tables, thank your inner child for teaching you the rules at such a young age. And thank your grown up self for remembering them. Because what that means is that when you sit down at the table and declare War on the dealer, you’ve got all the experience in the world.

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WAR - a casino card game

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