WAR is one of the games we all learn to play in childhood. It’s easy to play, easy to learn, and sometimes even easy to win! It has become available in casinos, and people seem to enjoy revisiting this childhood pastime to win a little money.
Though the game isn’t a variation of poker, it does use the poker rankings for cards. Ace is high, 2 is low, suit doesn’t matter, and the rankings carry from highest to lowest.
A fast-paced game, you start WAR by placing a bet in the betting circle on the table in front of you. Once the bets have been placed, the dealer will deal one face up card to each player, and then take one face up card for himself or herself. Winning is determined by the following:
- You lose if the dealer’s card is higher than yours.
- You win if your card is higher than the dealer’s. You’re paid even money on you bet in this case.
- You must choose your next move if your card and the dealer’s are of equal rank.
When tied, you have two options: surrender your hand or stand up and fight! If you surrender your hand, you lose half of your bet. If fighting is more your style, you and the dealer will play one more hand.
However, if you fight, keep in mind that if you win, you win one bet, but if you lose, you lose two bets. That’s because you must place a second bet equal to your original on top of your card to indicate to the dealer that you wish to fight. The house edge comes into effect here, because the dealer doesn’t need to double the bet to go to war!
Both of you are dealt a second card, and there are three possible outcomes:
- Your card is higher, yielding a payout of 2 to 1 on your second bet.
- The dealer’s card is higher, and you lose both of your bets.
- Another tie, which pays you 3 to 1 on your second bet and ends the game.
There’s one final betting option in WAR: you can bet that your card and dealer’s card will tie. It requires a $1 minimum bet, placed in the Tie betting circle, and you’ll win 10 to 1 if the first cards tie! There’s only one problem: the house edge is an astounding 16 percent on tie bets. Tie bets just aren’t worth the money.