Off the Beaten Red Carpet: Unusual Casino Games

Written by Super User. Posted in Casino Culture

Almost everyone who made their first visit to the flamboyancy of Las Vegas or the magic of Monte Carlo probably began their gambling trip wandering amongst the slot machines, trying to decide which was going to be their very own big payout.

Slots draw in a lot of casual players, which is why Las Vegas casinos feature them the most on their websites. There is something both exciting and relaxing about pulling that handle and watching those wheels spin until the first payout. Then the exhilarated gambler looks to the tables for a little more excitement and interaction with others. Where to go next is always the question? Where are the odds of winning better? Will it be blackjack, craps, poker, or something a little more unusual?

Double Ball Roulette

As casinos continue to grow in numbers, new games are springing up all the time in order to provide enticement and allure to the recreational gambler who likes variety. While almost everyone has tried roulette at one time or another, not everyone has taken a spin at Double Ball Roulette.

While it is similar to regular roulette in that it has 38 slots (numbers 1 through 36, zero and double zero), it has the addition of a second ball. The betting table layout and roulette strategies are similar, but there is no dealer involved in releasing the ball. The two balls are released by player-controlled remote controls and kept separate by the momentary lag in their release time. There are several additional types of bets to be made as well as a double ball jackpot, which pays 1200 to 1 if both balls land in the same number. The odds of this are 1 in 38. The addition of the second ball gives this game a little more action than traditional roulette and requires a little more thinking on the part of the gambler.

Variations on Classic Blackjack

Blackjack is hand down the most popular table game in most casinos. While craps tables often line the outskirts of the pit, you can always find wall-to-wall lines of Blackjack tables in every luxurious Las Vegas casino.

Most believe Blackjack is a simple game of 21, but are all blackjack games the same and do they require the same strategies? As blackjack grew in popularity, different regions and even individual casinos started coming up with new versions and multiple varieties of the once simple game of 21. Currently, there are over 40 variations of the game; some the same game with different names and others with a variation on the rules, the amount of decks the dealer uses or the allowances a player is given.

While there are many versions of playing blackjack, including European Blackjack and Atlantic City Blackjack, the word “double” is the most often used in Blackjack variations. Double Exposure Blackjack reveals the first two cards of the dealer and pays more on 21, but the player loses on a tie. Double Attack Blackjack has slightly more liberal rules and allows a player to increase their bet after seeing the dealer’s up card. Double Deck Blackjack is played with two full decks; the dealer is not given a hole (or hidden) card and is required to hit on a soft 17. Double Deck Atlantic City Blackjack (a mouthful to say in itself) is played with two full decks; the dealer is given a hole card, must check if it is a ten, face card or ace and must hit on a soft 17. The varieties are endless, and the blackjack table always offers excitement and camaraderie as the players compete against the house.

Casino War

A simple card game and old favorite from childhood, War has progressed into Casino War. Of all the unusual games that Clark plays in the movie Vegas Vacation, Casino War is the only one that is actually spread in real life.

The rules of the game are similar to the childhood game we all played, only now there is wagering involved. Additionally, other casino games such as blackjack, the player competes against the dealer’s hand.

Each player must make a wager before a single card is dealt. Once the first round is dealt, there are winners, losers and those who can go to “War.” The choice of “War” is given to those who have tied the dealer. They then have two options. The player may wither forfeit one half of his original wager and pass or choose to go to “War,” and match his initial wager with an identical one. The dealer must then discard three “burn” cards and deal a war card for each player declaring war. Winners and losers play or pay accordingly. It is a fast moving and exciting game.

Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow holds an interesting space in most casinos. It is placed on the floor alongside most blackjack and craps tables, but is an unknown phenomenon to most recreational gamblers. Many will walk by, uncertain but curious, but Pai Gow is certainly fun for anyone who understands basic poker and allows a person to play longer without losing too much.

The players all receive seven cards and must divide them into two poker hands, one consisting of five cards and the other only two cards. To win, a player must beat both the highest and second highest hand of the dealer. If a player only beats one hand, it is considered a tie. Complicated to learn at first, Pai Gow Poker can be very energetic and fun to play.

There are so many diverse games, familiar and unfamiliar, in any given casino. There will always be something for those seeking a crowd or those seeking something unusual that they have never played. Most people will start with something simple or familiar or something they have played online. If one can remember that it’s all for fun, it’s a great experience to try a game you’ve never played or never heard of. So step up, and place your wager.