Underappreciated Casino Card Games

min read
A croupier taking casino chips out at a poker table.
BetMGM Jan 17, 2024, 6:54 AM

Texas hold’em, blackjack, slots, and roulette — these games are synonymous with casinos the world over. However, many other onsite and online casino games that aren’t as well known can still deliver just as much of a thrill.

Casino card games have long been a staple in gambling culture. Some of the most popular card games of all time date back centuries, and in recent years, these traditional fan favorites have started to evolve into newer and often more exciting types of casino card games. 

If you love card games and are looking for a break away from the usual casino table games, here are a few you can dabble in and perhaps even enjoy more regularly. They could even become the best casino card games that you play. Several of them have online and in-person versions, allowing you to take part anytime, anywhere.

To pique your interest, this list includes a few lesser-known or underappreciated games, as well as the rules for some of the associated card games played in casinos.

Which ones would you like to try out?

Three-Card Poker

Three-card poker is one of the more common, though still incredibly underrated, variations of modern poker. It is fun, easy to learn, and adds an interesting twist to the conventional forms of poker. 

The main difference between three-card poker — also known as brag — and most other versions of the game is that, instead of trying to beat the other players at the table, you’re only playing against the dealer. The objective of three-card poker is to make the best poker hand (a hand that outranks the dealer’s) using just three cards.

This poker variant is played at a blackjack-style table and can include up to seven opponents. The players will make their bets, and then the dealer will deal three face-up cards to each player and three face-down cards to themself. Once all cards are on the table, players can either raise their bet or fold based on what they see in front of them. With more than half the cards now dealt, it’s up to you to decide what’s left in the deck that the dealer could possibly have. On the final decision, the dealer will reveal their hand and the players’ subsequent wins or losses.

Interestingly, three-card poker was one of the Easter Eggs in the hit video game GTA III.

Teen Patti and Yablon

Teen patti, also known as flash or flush, originated in India and is similar to three-card poker. This game’s stand-out feature is that players receive only one round of three cards face-up. They must then raise the ante or fold based only on what they see in front of them.

Yablon, another three-card game, can be compared to red dog poker or acey-deucey. Suits don’t matter, and the bet takes place on the outcome of the third card.

Casino War

Casino war is one of the easiest casino card games to learn because it is based purely on the luck of the draw, so you don’t need any skill to play it. This game is all about having the highest-ranking card, drawing on the fundamental concepts of hand values in poker,. However, instead of valuing an entire hand, the player and dealer each get only one card, and the card with the highest value wins. Bets are placed on whether the dealer or the player will have the winning card, and if both cards have the same value, then players will need to decide whether to declare “war” or fold and lose half of their original wager. 

If you choose war, you will be required to double your initial bet before the game can continue. The dealer will then discard the following three cards from the deck, pull the fourth as your card, discard another three cards, and pull the final dealer card. You can’t, however, go to war twice in the same round. So, if there is another tie, you won’t need to double your bet again, but the game will restart, and the next round will use your bet. This process will repeat until either you or the dealer wins. 

Spanish 21

Like blackjack, Spanish 21 is a good card game to challenge strategic thinkers. It still requires the player to draw cards that add up to 21, but there are a few differences (like more options and payouts) that set it apart from blackjack. The game also uses multiple decks of cards, with all 10 cards removed. So, instead of playing with standard 52-card decks, there will only be 48 cards left in each deck — which introduces a surprising new challenge to the game. For an outright win, the player must get 21 with two cards (which isn’t as easy without the 10s, of course). Beating the dealer with other card combinations will also result in a win and a payout.

The payout ratio depends on the number of cards used to make the winning hand. A decent combination that pays everybody at the table is if a player has a suited 7-7-7 against the dealer’s initial 7. You’d be fortunate to get this because it could win you a super bonus of up to $5,000, depending on your bet, with your fellow players also getting a $50 payout. It’s the real “sharing is caring” kind of hand — but of course, it’s very rare.

Faro

Faro is another exciting casino table game with a long history, having been hugely popular in 17th-century French noble houses. Although initially played with 32 cards, the game now uses the standard 52-card deck.

The faro table has one suit of cards pasted to it (usually the spades). Players place bets on which cards the dealer will flip, the cards’ face value, and the order in which the cards will flip. Punters can even make reverse bets with special chips or tokens.

Faro is a game with a fascinating history that includes renowned players like the Italian adventurer Casanova and the American icon John ‘Doc’ Holliday. The game even made it into pop culture, featuring in the 2014 Assassin’s Creed Unity game.

Trente Et Quarante

The French seem to have had a penchant for gambling, given that they took up and refined many of the games we play today. Trente et quarante, which translates as “thirty and forty,” is one such game. 

Wondering how to play this casino card game? Well, it’s easy. Trente et quarante is yet another pure-luck game played with six combined card decks. The card values in this game are ace = 1; number cards = their face value; and jacks, queens, and kings = 10.

It’s played across two lines and requires two dealers. Punters who play trente et quarante bet on which row of cards’ sum will be closest to 31. They can also bet whether the first cards in the two rows will be identical.

Baccarat

Last but not least is baccarat, which is one of the best online casino games for beginners. Baccarat is quickly becoming one of the most-played card games in casinos because it’s just as much fun in a live dealer online casino as at a brick-and-mortar casino and also relies solely on luck. In a comparison of card game odds, baccarat gives players a relatively favorable chance of winning with a house edge of around 1.06% for the banker bet and 1.24% for the player bet.

The basic idea of this casino table game is to bet on either the player’s or banker’s hand being the better option, which you would do before dealing the cards. The player and the banker each receive two cards: you bet on whose card will be closest to 9 or whether they will have the same score. 

Browse BetMGM’s Amazing Online Casino Games Catalog

Now that you’ve discovered some of the more underappreciated card games online casinos may offer, perhaps you’d like to try your hand at a few here at BetMGM. We’re home to some of the best casino games you can play, including real-cash online slots and live dealer casino games. When you’re looking for a digital solution to your gaming needs, BetMGM is the place to go to play casino games online.

You’ll even have access to exclusive casino games you won’t find anywhere else. Simply register to explore the spectacular selection of titles.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.