Gaming

How Do You Play the Card Game Casino?

Casino is an 1-4 player card game characterized by card capturing wherein players attempt to capture cards on the table with cards held in their hands.

Building occurs when players combine table and hand cards into an order that can only be captured as one unit (e.g. an 8 in your hand can take 2 5s on the table). This process is known as building.

Origins

Casino is a card game where players compete to capture cards from an open tableau of face up cards on the table. Each turn consists of playing a card from their hand onto the table and then capturing an equal or greater number of those of its rank, collected at the end of play for scoring purposes. If a player cannot capture or build, they may trail a card instead in order to let other players see it and raise bets against it.

Originating in France during the early 1600s as Vingt-et-Un, it resembled blackjack remarkably and was even written about in Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote. Quickly becoming popular among French and Spanish upper class families, and quickly spreading worldwide.

Rules

Casino is a card game designed for two to four players that involves scoring points by capturing cards on the table with matching values. Each turn, players use one or more cards from their hands to capture other cards positioned around the table; captured cards are scored at the end of the game.

On their turns, players may also “build.” This involves stacking together cards whose combined values add up to the value of one of the played cards; for instance, if there are two 6s and 2s on the table, a player could lay their 6 on top and declare they are building 8, then on their next turn play their 8 against both cards to capture both.

Players can also capture face cards (king, queen and jack) if they hold an identical one in their hand; if there are multiple matching cards on the table only one may be captured; otherwise face cards cannot be captured unless part of a set that shares its rank with that being played.

Variations

Casino card games can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Some variations aim to avoid capturing cards while others combine multiple cards into one unit. The goal of any such game is to capture cards from an arrangement of face up cards on the table; once captured cards have been stored in front of their capturers and scored at the end of playback. Players may also combine table cards with their hand cards into builds which must only be taken as one unit.

Traditional Solitaire requires each player to deal four cards to each opponent and two for themselves, before arranging them into a line in the middle of the table. Capturing cards requires matching up two from your hand with one from the center or taking combinations that add up to something specific (for instance an 8 on the table and 9 in your hand allows you to take both 2s and 3s from either card).

Some players allow “trailing” of builds, with the intention of altering its value. For instance, if an opponent has an 8 on the table and you have 10, you could play 9 to trail their build and say, “Building 10s”. That way your opponent won’t take over its value by leading with their 10 instead of your 8.

Scoring

Players in each round score points according to specific conditions. Three points are awarded for winning most cards, one point for gathering the most spade suited cards and two points for landing the Ten of Diamonds (commonly referred to as The Big Casino). Anyone taking most pairs earns four points; King, Queen and Jack cards may only be captured by matching them up with an existing hand card and cannot be combined with any other table cards; they can only be captured once per turn.

Players may build cards during their turn by combining cards from their hand with those on the table, and must announce this combination to all other players. For instance, one might play their 2 onto an unfaced 6 on the table to form an 8.

Once a player has won all of the cards in the middle, their scores are awarded and new cards are distributed – with another player taking their turn before returning back into play again and so forth.