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CASINO

CASINO is a game of  Italian origin, sometimes spelt as royal casino, but this is believed to be an early printing error which was perpetuated.  The game possibly takes its name from the casino where gambling takes place.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

Although Casino is essentially a game for two, it may be played by three or four.  The only difference is that if three players take part they all play against each other, and if four take part two play in partnership against the other two.

CARDS

The full pack of 52 cards is used.  The numeral cards count art their pip values.  The Ace counts as 1, and the court cards are used only for pairing: they have no pip value.

The dealer deals two cards two cards face downwards to his opponent, then two face upwards to himself.  This is repeated, so that both players end with four cards each, and there are four exposed cards (the layout) on the table.  The remaining 40 cards (the stock) are placed face downwards on the table.

The object of the game is to take in cards which score as follows:
♦ 10  (great casino)                                            2
♠ 2 (little casino)                                                1
Majority of cards (27 or more )                         3
Majority of spades (7 or more)                          1
Aces                                   

                              1
All cards in layout (the sweep)                           1

THE PLAY

Each player in turn, beginning with the non-dealer, plays a card until both players have exhausted their four cards.  When this occurs, the same dealer deals four more cards to his opponent and four to himself, but none to the layout. 

Play continues in this way until the stock has been exhausted.  In all, therefore, there are six deals to complete the poker game, and before making the final deal the dealer must announce it.  if he does not, his opponent has a right to cancel the deal.

When a player plays a card from his hand he has the choice of several plays.

He may Pair.  If, for example, there are one or more 5s in the layout, he may play a 5 from his hand and take it up a trick with all the other 5s in the layout.  A court card, however, may be paired with only one card of the same rank at a time.

He may Combine.  It is an extension of pairing that allows a player to pick up cards from the layout of the total pip value of a card in his hand.  Thus a player playing a 9 may take up a 7 and a 2, or a 6 and a 3 from the layout, or all four cards if they are in the layout.

He may Build.  He may play a card to a card in the layout to make up a total that he is in a position to take with another card in his hand. 

If, for example, a player holds a 9 and a 2, and there is a 7 in the layout, he may build the 2 on the 7, so that the next time he plays (provided his opponent has not forestalled him)  he may play the 9 and take all three cards as a poker trick

The build may be continued by either player up to a maximum of five cards, but a build can be taken only as a unit.  The player who has built must take up the combination when next it is his turn to play, unless he prefers to win something else, or he decides to make another build.

He may Call.  It is an extension of building that allows a player to ear-mark one or more combinations for subsequent capture.  Suppose, for example, a player holds in his hand two 8s and that there is a 5 and a 3 in the layout (see illustration). 

He could, of course, combine one of his 8s with the 5 and 3 in the layout, but this would only give him three cards in the trick.  The better play, therefore, is for him to play one of his 8s to the layout and announce ‘Eight’.  Then, when next it is his turn to play poker, provided his opponent has not forestalled him, he may play his other 8 and pick up all four cards in the trick.

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Card Game Dictionary

Spider

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Windmill

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Clabrasella

Cut-throat Bridge

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Towie