Ultimate Casino War | Discount Gambling

UCW_table card

UCW_table cardI saw this new variant of Casino War at Barona Casino, where they player gets an option to swap his card and make a 1x Raise bet. Of course, the catch is the dealer gets two cards, and gets to use the highest one. I wanted to see what the strategy and house edge were, and to check if it was at all countable out of the One-2-Six CSM they use.

The rules are pretty simple. You’re dealt one card face up, and the dealer is dealt two cards face down. The dealer will use his highest card. You have the option to replace your card with the next card out of the shoe (CSM), but you must wager an additional 1x bet to do make this swap. Finally, you may wager an optional 1x Raise on your final hand.

The dealer reveals his hand, and all your bets receive action against the dealer high card. Wins win a Six or lower pay 2:1, else it pays even-money. Ties push, and there’s no “going to War”.

For a 6-deck CSM game, the house edge is a fair 2.56%.

The basic strategy is pretty simple. You should swap an Eight or lower card. You should Raise a Jack or higher final card.

I checked the countability in a CSM by assuming perfect play given 16 known cards before every hand. The EV barely changes by +/- 0.3%, and thus is never +EV.

Ultimate Casino War Optimal Outcomes (6 Decks)
Outcome Combinations Frequency Net Return
Win 3x bet with drawn A 165,477,312 0.035607 3 0.106820
Win 3x bet with drawn K 138,914,496 0.029891 3 0.089673
Win 3x bet with drawn Q 114,674,112 0.024675 3 0.074026
Win 3x bet with drawn J 92,756,160 0.019959 3 0.059877
Lose 3x bet with drawn card 163,441,152 0.035169 -3 -0.105506
Tie 3x bet with drawn card 97,187,328 0.020912 0 0.000000
Win 2x bet with drawn T 73,160,640 0.015742 2 0.031485
Win 2x bet with drawn 9 55,887,552 0.012026 2 0.024051
Win 2x bet with drawn 8 40,772,160 0.008773 2 0.017546
Win 2x bet with drawn 7 28,274,400 0.006084 2 0.012168
Win 2x bet with drawn 6 18,057,600 0.003886 4 0.015542
Win 2x bet with drawn 5 10,121,760 0.002178 4 0.008712
Win 2x bet with drawn 4 4,466,880 0.000961 4 0.003845
Win 2x bet with drawn 3 1,092,960 0.000235 4 0.000941
Lose 2x bet with drawn card 1,409,976,288 0.303394 -2 -0.606788
Tie 2x bet with drawn card 88,157,160 0.018969 0 0.000000
Win 2x bet with original A 306,488,448 0.065949 2 0.131898
Win 2x bet with original K 257,453,856 0.055398 2 0.110796
Win 2x bet with original Q 212,690,880 0.045766 2 0.091532
Win 2x bet with original J 172,199,520 0.037053 2 0.074107
Lose 2x bet with original card 301,682,880 0.064915 -2 -0.129830
Tie 2x bet with original card 179,437,536 0.038611 0 0.000000
Win 1x bet with original T 135,979,776 0.029260 1 0.029260
Win 1x bet with original 9 104,031,648 0.022385 1 0.022385
Lose 1x bet with original card 409,808,160 0.088181 -1 -0.088181
Tie 1x bet with original card 65,156,976 0.014020 0 0.000000
Total 4,647,347,640 1.000000 -0.0256406
Expected 4,647,347,640

According to Dan Lubin, there’s a version that pays 2:1 for a win with a Six, 3:1 for a win with a Five, 5:1 for a win with a Four, and 8:1 for a win with a Trey. For a 6-deck game, these payouts reduce the house edge to 1.27%. The basic strategy remains the same. Still, the game never gets +EV with only 16 known cards.

Ultimate Casino War Optimal Outcomes (6 Decks, 2-3-5-8 Pay Table)
Outcome Combinations Frequency Net Return
Win 3x bet with drawn A 165,477,312 0.035607 3 0.106820
Win 3x bet with drawn K 138,914,496 0.029891 3 0.089673
Win 3x bet with drawn Q 114,674,112 0.024675 3 0.074026
Win 3x bet with drawn J 92,756,160 0.019959 3 0.059877
Lose 3x bet with drawn card 163,441,152 0.035169 -3 -0.105506
Tie 3x bet with drawn card 97,187,328 0.020912 0 0.000000
Win 2x bet with drawn T 73,160,640 0.015742 2 0.031485
Win 2x bet with drawn 9 55,887,552 0.012026 2 0.024051
Win 2x bet with drawn 8 40,772,160 0.008773 2 0.017546
Win 2x bet with drawn 7 28,274,400 0.006084 2 0.012168
Win 2x bet with drawn 6 18,057,600 0.003886 4 0.015542
Win 2x bet with drawn 5 10,121,760 0.002178 6 0.013068
Win 2x bet with drawn 4 4,466,880 0.000961 10 0.009612
Win 2x bet with drawn 3 1,092,960 0.000235 16 0.003763
Lose 2x bet with drawn card 1,409,976,288 0.303394 -2 -0.606788
Tie 2x bet with drawn card 88,157,160 0.018969 0 0.000000
Win 2x bet with original A 306,488,448 0.065949 2 0.131898
Win 2x bet with original K 257,453,856 0.055398 2 0.110796
Win 2x bet with original Q 212,690,880 0.045766 2 0.091532
Win 2x bet with original J 172,199,520 0.037053 2 0.074107
Lose 2x bet with original card 301,682,880 0.064915 -2 -0.129830
Tie 2x bet with original card 179,437,536 0.038611 0 0.000000
Win 1x bet with original T 135,979,776 0.029260 1 0.029260
Win 1x bet with original 9 104,031,648 0.022385 1 0.022385
Lose 1x bet with original card 409,808,160 0.088181 -1 -0.088181
Tie 1x bet with original card 65,156,976 0.014020 0 0.000000
Total 4,647,347,640 1.000000 -0.0126955
Expected 4,647,347,640

Author: editor

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