How to play casino the card game

Since ancient times, people have been looking for various forms of entertainment that would keep them occupied in their free time. Card games were some of the fun activities that were invented first, and they quickly became popular all over the world.

One such game that has been around for decades is Casino, which represents a combination of strategic skills and a bit of luck. Unlike other popular card games that can be found in numerous online casinos these days, this classic card game is mostly played at home or at some gatherings with friends.

So, if you’re looking for a new activity that’ll be a theme of your next family night, Casino could be a great idea.

In case you have never played it before and need a comprehensive guide, keep scrolling down, and by the end of this article, you’ll already be a pro.

Objective and Requirements

Casino is a fishing game where players are required to capture the cards on the table with the ones they are holding in their hands. The aim of the game is to collect as many cards in each round as possible and, by the same token, the most points.

  • Note:The number of players usually ranges from two to four when the standard 52-card deck is used. Players can also team up and play in pairs if they prefer.

General Rules

Before the game starts, the dealer hands out four cards to each player and places four face-up cards in the center.

  • Note: Usually, the cards are dealt two at a time — two to every player, including the dealer, and two down on the table.

The rest of the cards are put aside and used for the next round, after all the players have used their first four cards. The game will have as many rounds as necessary to deal all the cards from the deck.

Remember that placing the cards on the table only happens in the first round, whereas only the players get a new set of four cards in the remaining rounds.

The first one to play is the person sitting to the dealer’s left, and the gameplay continues clockwise. When it’s your turn to play, you can only use one card to try to collect as many cards as possible with a single move.

  • Note: Before collecting anything from the table, each player must turn the card face-up so that the others can see it, too.

In the final round, the last player to collect will get all the cards that have remained on the table.


As stated above, the main objective of the game is to collect as many cards as possible. This can be done in a couple of ways with a move called capturing. Also, players can either form a build to be collected later or simply trail a card.

You will get to learn more about all this in the following paragraphs.


Capture CardsCapture is the main move for collecting one or more cards from the table. The player must turn his playing card face-up so that the others can see what’s being captured.

After capturing, the player will set those cards aside face-down. Capturing can be done in two different ways:

  • With a face card — You can capture a face card from the table with the face card of the same value. However, even if there are more cards of the same value on the table, you’re limited to capturing only one. For instance, if there are two kings on the table, you are allowed to capture only one of them with the king from your set of cards.
  • With a number card — If you decide to play with a number card (including ace), you can capture the card with an equal face value. Also, you can capture a set of cards provided that their sum equals the value of the card you are using, meaning you can capture two 3s and a 4 with a 9. You can also capture another 9 along with the previously mentioned combination if all those cards are on the table.


Building CardsIn case you can’t capture anything with the cards you’re currently holding, you can use your playing turn to build a combination that you can capture later on.

For example, if there’s a 2 on the table, and you have a 4 and a 6 in your hands, you can place the 4 on the 2 and announce the total value to other players, which is, in this case, building six.

Bear in mind that you need to have a card that will later be used to capture this build. Of course, other players may capture your build before your turn comes again.

You are also allowed to include more cards into the build if their sum adds to the value of a card you’re holding, and you can build upon other players’ builds as well. Just like in the first example, this added build has to be announced.

  • Note: No face card can be a part of the build.


Trailing CardsIf your cards don’t allow you to either capture or build, you can simply place a single card on the table next to the already existing cards.

This move is called trailing, and it can also be used as a part of your playing strategy in case you just want to lay off a card.


When the last card is collected from the table, players count their cards in order to calculate their total number of points. The list below shows how the points are calculated:

  • Majority of cards — 3 points
  • Most spades — 1 point
  • Ten of Diamonds (also known as Big Casino or The Good Ten) — 2 points
  • Two of Spades (also known as Little Casino or The Good Two) — 1 point
  • Aces — each is worth 1 point

The winner is the player who collects 21 points first. If a tie happens within a single game (for example, two players have the same total number of cards or spades), no one gets points.

  • Note:If two players reach 21 points at the same time, they have to play one more round.


Of course, there are several variations of this game — such as Royal Casino, for example — and they all differ in terms of rules and gameplay.

You may also come across Casino variations that have a different scoring system, but if you are playing this game with friends and family, you can follow the rules you all find most suitable.

Royal Casino vs. Classic Casino Card Game

As mentioned, Royal Casino is a variation of the standard Casino card game that provides more options for building and capturing. In this version, “royal” cards, including jacks, queens, and kings, can be used for builds and captures just like other cards. Naturally, they had to get numerical values so they could be used as other cards from the deck, and they are as follows:

  • Jack — 11
  • Queen — 12
  • King — 13

In addition, aces have flexible value and can be used as both high and low cards, whatever suits players at their turn. In other words, an ace can be worth either one or 14. All the other rules and the scoring system are the same as in the classic Casino game.

So, for instance, you can use a king to collect another king as you would when playing traditional Casino. However, you can also use the royals to form a build that can later be captured with another royal.

Let’s say you have a king worth 13 on the table and two aces in your hands. You can combine one of the aces with the king and then use the other ace on your next turn to capture that build.

Final Thoughts

Casino is one of the oldest and simplest card games that can be mastered quite quickly. It may take some practice, but once you learn the rules, you can have a lot of fun playing this game at home parties, on picnics, on camping, or literally, anywhere else you can imagine.

The only thing you need is at least one fellow player and a deck of cards, and you’ll be good to go.

About the Author

Author Sadonna Price has been part of the online casino industry for over a decade, watching it develop and expand across the US. She enjoys playing online slots and table games, as well as Texas Hold’em.