House Hospitality

The DraftKings Casino Blog: All the Casino tips, tricks, and strategies that you need to know.


House Hospitality

The DraftKings Casino Blog: All the Casino tips, tricks, and strategies that you need to know.


Casino War: Making Money Playing the First Card Game You Ever Learned


Quickly, before we really get into it, think about the first card game you ever learned. We’ll wait.

Got it?

There’s a point to that exercise. To be sure we were on the right track with it, we asked the same question on the DraftKings Casino Twitter feed (which you should obviously be following for giveaways, contests, promo details, etc.) and as you can see, there was an easy top answer:



It’s beautiful in the simplicity of the rules and the ease with which we become masters, mostly because there’s no strategy involved, so even the youngest child can match cards with the most hardened game-master adults. No wonder it’s the first game we learn more often than not; it’s the great equalizer and that makes it awfully hard to lose consistently.

Less well known than the gateway game to card-playing, the casino game gives you the opportunity to explore that same, simple game with a financial element.

What is War?


You probably know all of this, but War is a centuries-old game played with one 52-card deck. It starts with all of the cards being dealt out in even-sized portions to the players. Traditionally, players reveal the top card of their pile simultaneously, with the player with the highest card winning all revealed cards. If there’s a tie, which we call “a war,” the players who tied each burn three cards and reveal a fourth. The newly revealed cards break the tie and the higher card’s player gets all the cards. You win the game by getting all the cards. That’s literally the whole game.

How does that work in a casino, though?

Pretty simply, really. The player plays against the dealer, using eight decks, wagering on the individual round. There’s no winning the overall game; you just bet on whether your card will be higher than the dealer’s, with a 1:1 payout when you win. Additionally, you can bet on a tie. That pays 10:1 when you win.


Wars are where the game gets a little trickier. When you bet and tie, you get the option of surrendering your hand or going to war. If you surrender (the red button in the image on the right), you forfeit half of your main bet and end the game; if you go to war (the green button), you need to place a war bet that’s equal to the main bet. Win the war, and you get your war bet paid 1:1 while your main bet pushes. Lose and you lose both wagers. And if you tie again, then your war bet is paid 2:1, while your main bet pushes. You can also make another tie bet on the war round. 

We recommend that you bet small enough to be able to pay for your war bet—which is a better strategy than surrendering. Choosing to surrender is one thing; having to is pretty ugly.

Why choose this game?

Why? There are a few reasons.


First, it’s incredibly fast. It literally takes around two seconds to play. You wager and hit “DEAL.” There’s some fun animation (like that on the right) that becomes a lot more...animated when you go to war, but mostly, you’re looking at the fastest resolution of a hand in the casino. The wars take more like five seconds if you want them to, but who has that kind of time, right? Hint: You do.

Beyond the resolution time, it’s nice knowing that there aren’t really any ways to make a mistake. You do get to make choices with the wars, which is fun, but they aren’t choices that will hurt your chances of winning that particular hand unless you choose to surrender. Whether you’re alert, distracted, or maybe even sick or hungover (granted you should probably make sure you read our thoughts about responsible gambling at that point), War is a safe choice if you’re not into the math involved in games like blackjack, or get dizzy playing roulette or slots.

Whatever reason you use to justify War as your game of choice, we know there’s a good chance you’ll be reminiscing about sitting at an oversized table as a kid, learning to play from someone who loved you, and that’s a great thing. If you really want hardcore strategy, we have other games. If you want to reminisce though? Go to war with us and enjoy.

Authored By: Gary Wise