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Top-10 secondary casino card games

9 August 2010

One of the great aspects of the casino is the variety of games people can play. It's not just poker, craps, blackjack and slots. Here are the top-10 secondary card games at the casino.

10. Face-Up 21

Face-Up 21 is an intense blackjack variation, with the premise being to beat the dealer without going over 21. In this version, you get to see both dealer's cards. Sounds great, right? However, there are a few catches. All player wins, including blackjack, are even money. Pushes, with the exception of blackjack, go to the dealer. And you can only double-down on 9, 10 and 11.

9. Mulligan Poker

Poker can get frustrating if you are dealt bad hand after bad hand. Mulligan Poker gives you the opportunity to re-drawing your hand after you are dealt. The game is basically Three-Card Poker played with five cards and is found only online. After betting the ante, you are dealt your cards. You then can choose to fold, raise or re-deal. However, if you re-deal, you must place your raise bet. Also, if the dealer's hand is King high or worse, there is an automatic re-deal.

8. Red Dog

Red Dog is a fun, simple and mindless card game that even the most novice casino player can learn. With two cards face-up, you're simply trying to predict if the value of the next card drawn from the deck will fall in between the two cards on the table. If that occurs, you win. If not, the casino wins. Payouts are based on the spread between the two cards. For example, if a 4 and an 8 are deal, this is considered a three-card spread, because only three cards can fall in between the numbers (5, 6 and 7). The betting aspect of this game is also fun, because you aren't required to place another bet after the ante. So if you get a 4 and a 6, you can try to let it ride that a 5 will come on the board (with a big payout). But if you get a 2 and a King, you can raise your bet to try to win even more.

7. Oasis Poker

Oasis Poker is an offshoot of Caribbean Stud and is found only online. It is played heads-up against the dealer. To start the game you must place an ante. You are then dealt five cards heads-up, and then the dealer is dealt five cards, with only one being heads-up. You must then decide whether to make a bet, exchange cards or fold. Your bet is the same value as your ante. If you wish to exchange cards, you have to pay a price. Exchanging two cards costs you two times the ante bet. Three cards cost three times the ante, while exchanging four cards only costs you twice the ante. Exchanging all five cards costs you the ante plus a raise. The dealer must have a minimum hand of Ace-King to qualify. All winning hands (pairs and up) qualify. If the dealer's hand does not qualify, you receive 1-to-1 on your ante only, and your bet is returned to you without winnings. When the dealer and the player receive hands of equal value, both the ante and the bet are returned to the player.

6. Let It Ride

Let It Ride is a very popular game at the casinos. You don't play against the dealer. He simply deals the cards. This version at Rushmore Casino begins with you placing an ante bet and an optional progressive bet. Three cards are then dealt face-up, and two are dealt face-down. You can choose to raise or see the fourth card for free. The same goes for the fifth card. You win with any hand that is a pair of tens or better. Payouts are based on how good the winning hand is, ranging from 1:1 (pair of tens or betters) to 1000:1 (Royal Flush).

5. Blackjack Switch

As the name implies, Blackjack Switch is based on blackjack, and gives players the option of switching cards. You are playing against the dealer, but you have to play two hands. After the cards are dealt, you have the option to flip your two top cards. This is a great way to facilitate opportunities to double down or split your hands. When you make your decision to either switch or not switch, you then play out each hand under normal blackjack rules, except blackjack pays only 1-to-1. The dealer also does not bust when landing on 22. It is a push.

4. Pai Gow

Pai Gow Poker is a fun and social game that can be played with even a small bankroll. If you're playing in a casino, you can help the other players at the table, and they can help you. If you're playing online, you are heads-up against the dealer. You begin the game by making your first and only bet. After the bet is made, you are dealt seven cards face-up and the dealer is dealt seven cards face-down. The dealers cards are face down on the table. The seven cards need be arranged into the two-best possible hands. One hand will consist of five cards. The other will have two cards. The one requirement in arranging the hands is that the five-card hand must be better than the two-card hand. In order for you to win, both hands need to beat the dealer. If the you and the dealer split, the bet is a push. If the dealer beats your two hands, you lose.

3. Casino War

Everyone played the game "War" as a child, and the casino version is just as fun and easy. You begin by placing an ante. You are then dealt a card face-up, as does the dealer. The high card wins the cash. If there's a tie, you have the option to fold or place another bet equal to his ante and go to "war." War consists of three cards being dealt face down to both you and the dealer. Then the dealer gives the you one card face-up and himself one card face up. The high card wins. If the dealer wins, he claims both the ante and the "war" bets. If you win, you only win the ante bet, but can reclaim the war bet.

2. Caribbean Stud

Caribbean Stud is one of the few versions of poker played against the house instead of the dealer or other players. The game begins with an ante bet and an optional progressive bet. You are dealt five cards face-up, and the dealer deals himself four cards face-down and one face-up. You have the option of folding or betting twice the ante. The dealer cannot win unless holding at least an Ace-King. If the dealer fails to qualify, and you stay in your hand, the ante bet only is automatically paid off at even money. The second bet is returned to the you. If the dealer has a qualifying hand that beats your hand, the dealer wins all the money. If the player beats a qualifying hand, he's paid out according to a table. It ranges from 1:1 (high card) to 100:1 (Royal Flush).

1. Baccarat

Baccarat is a game made famous by James Bond, and is the oldest of all games in modern casinos. The objective is to predict which of the two hands (banker or player) will be closer to having a value of 9. The player competes against the banker. Wagers are placed in the Tie, Banker and Player areas shown on the table. Two hands of cards are dealt, one for you and one for the banker. Each hand will contain either two or three cards. The winning hand will be the one whose value is closet to nine. Different cards have different values, and the game might seem confusing at first, but it is quite easy once you get the hang of it. And there are plenty of reasons to play it.
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