Cassino (also written as Casino) is a fun and unique card game in Western countries. Cassino is the only fishing card game that became popular in English-speaking countries!
So, if you want to give this extra-special card game a try, make sure you read the rest of our guide.
What is the Cassino Card Game?
Cassino is thought to have originated in Italy, although other historians argue that it may have been created in France. But what we do know is that the game had made it to London around the late 18th century.
The aim of this card game is to capture cards. You capture cards by playing a matching one from your hand; it’s a little like Pitty Pat in this regard. But you can also capture several cards at a time if multiple cards add up to the card’s value.
Any cards you capture are stored face down in front of you. At the conclusion of the game, they are tallied up and scored. There are a few rule variations for Cassino, although most Western countries play with what is known as Royal Cassino rules.
With these rules, the picture cards have no numerical value, and players can also use builds. We’ll explain how this works in the rules section below. So, now you know a little about how Cassino works, let’s look at what you’ll need to play.
What You’ll Need to Play?
To play Cassino, you’ll need a deck of cards. But before you make plans to play this game down at the pub, make sure you consider all the tablespace you’ll need. So, Cassino isn’t what we’d call a traditional pub game.
But it can make a good two-player card game, though! Any deck of playing cards can work, and if you’re looking for some ideas, why not try these Bicycle Sea King Playing Cards. Their flashy design is sure to stand out.
Rules and Gameplay
The Aim of The Game
Cassino can be played with between 2 – 4 people. If you are playing with 4 people, you can even play in teams. Below, we’ll outline all the rules you need to know if you want to give Cassino a try!
This fantastic fishing card game uses a regular deck of 52 cards; you don’t use the Joker cards. One player should be nominated to be the dealer, and they should start by dealing 4 cards to each player.
They will also deal 4 cards into the center; these cards should be laid out one at a time in a row and face up. The rest of the cards are dealt out 2 at a time. So, the dealer will deal 2 cards to each player and then 2 to the center.
Each player should have 8 cards in two hands of 4. After the first lot of cards have been played, the remainder of the deck is used to deal out more cards. This continues until all cards have been dealt. The number of deals depends on the number of players.
- 2 Player Games – 6 Full Deals
- 3 Player Games – 4 Full Deals
- 4 Player Games – 3 Full Deals
When the dealer for the current hand deals out the last cards, they should announce “last” after the previous hand has been played, the player to the dealer’s left becomes the new dealer.
The aim of Cassino is to capture cards. The player to the dealer’s left goes first, and play continues in a clockwise motion. You should play a card by placing it down on the table on your turn. We’ll outline how both these moves work below.
If you can’t capture a card, you should place one of your cards face-up on the table. Other players (or even yourself) may be able to capture this card on another turn.
Ideally, it would help if you aimed to capture cards as often as you can. Cards are captured by playing a matching one. For example, if you see the 10 of Spades on the table and the 10 of Hearts in your hand, you can capture it.
You can also capture a card by playing cards equal to its total value. Face cards can only be captured with matching face cards. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, there is one other new element to learn about Cassino.
Some variants of Cassino don’t use builds; however, we think they add a whole new level of strategy to the game.
With a build, you can capture cards you don’t equal exactly. For example, let’s say you want to capture a 6 card but don’t have a matching card and can’t make the number with multiple cards either.
Then you can place another card on the 6 to make another number. For example, let’s say you put a 2 on the 6, then you can say building an 8. This means you can capture these cards by placing an 8 down.
However, you will need to do this on your next turn, which means another player may be able to steal your build before you can capture it! Builds can be pretty risky, especially if you try to build them too soon.
Scoring in Cassino can take two forms. You can either count cards individually or use a unique score setup. No matter which rules you use, the scores should be calculated after each hand has been played.
If you count cards individually, the number cards have their face value, while the face cards don’t carry any points. The other score rules are slightly different; we’ve listed how they work in the bullet points below.
- The player with the most cards gets 3 points.
- The player with the most spade cards gets 1 point.
- Each ace card is worth 1 point.
- The 10 Diamonds are worth 2 points.
- The 2 Spades are worth 1 point.
Cassino – A Fantastic Fishing Card Game
So, that’s everything you need to know about Cassino. This fun card game is a particular case being the only fishing card game that reached popularity in English-speaking countries. So, if you’re bored of Rummy and Poker, why not give Cassino a try?