Author: Gary Meade
Pro Gambler
Gary Meade

The Worlds Most Weird And Strange Casino Games

When you walk into a casino, you have expectations of what you will find, Roulette, Blackjack, Craps and so on.

But it seems that some players are finding their thrills with some very childish, tedious and downright weird games instead! We will tell you more...

Back to Childhood

War

War is one of those card games, like Snap, which your Nana probably taught you on a rainy Sunday afternoon when you were three years old. There are variations, but generally, it is a two-person game.

The only objective is to win all of the cards. Simples. Shuffle and deal the full pack of 52 cards, face down. Players turn over one card at a time from the top and the higher card wins the pair Ace is high in the game of War. After going all through the pack, if there is no clear winner that is when war erupts. Three cards are laid face down and the fourth is put face up, the owner of the highest card is the overall winner.

If we have not already sent you to sleep, you may be surprised to know that this is a game offered in a lot of land-based casinos, albeit for a very low stake. Some establishments even provide variations of this, but we have decided not to bore you with them here.

Perhaps a game most suited to non-gambling partners and trainee croupiers!

Dreidel

A group of men gambling on the outcome of a spinning top, that figures! The Jewish holiday Hannukah is traditionally the time when Dreidel gets played and there are many land-based casinos (mostly in New York) who add it to their repertoire knowing that they will be greeting Jewish visitors.

Dreidel is a super simple game which requires a spinning artefact that resembles a stick through the middle of a 4-sided wooden block. The block has different symbols on each of the four sides, which denote:

  • ‘Nun’ (nothing happens, next player spins)
  • ‘Hey’ (player claims 50% of the pot)
  • ‘Shin’ (player must add a further amount equal to his original stake)
  • ‘Gimmel’ (player takes the pot)

Play is clockwise with each participant taking their turn to spin, having first placed their bets. The game ends when a player achieves ‘Gimmel’ meaning they win the whole pot. Variations include the European version known as ‘teetotum’, popular in Ireland and one played with a six-sided block with dice-like markings.

The most exciting thing about this game is when the stakes get high.

More Animated Games

** No animals come to any harm during these games **

Rodent Roulette

Oddly, this game dates back to the days when casinos were rough enough to have a real rodent problem, but the tradition seems to have lived on into modern times. Rodent Roulette is usually played with gerbils in recent times, as they are rather cute; mice are too small and rats are too scary apparently!

The roulette wheel is an adaptation, but in a similar way to the traditional version, you bet odd/even or black/red. The rodent of your choice is then released and whichever pocket it decides to hide denotes the winner.

Belgium Birdsong

Still played in some Belgian casinos, this game involves a variety of (well looked after) caged songbirds placed in random locations around the casino.

Players then place bets on the one that will sing for the longest (or loudest) with the results scientifically analysed!

This game is believed to be a variation on a theme of the original Trinidadian birdsong contests, which are still a big part of the Caribbean lifestyle. The most common choice of bird species is male larks or finches because they will naturally ‘compete’ against each other, as men tend to do.

Chicken Tic Tac Toe

Chicken racing is not uncommon around rural parts of the UK (check out your local country fete!) It involves up to 6 (pre-trained) chickens wearing coloured vests, yes seriously, running a course. Not easy to replicate that in a casino, but someone, somewhere did come up with the idea of ‘Chicken Tic Tac Toe’ (noughts and crosses for the UK followers here).

Chicken Tic Tac Toe is a little more high-tech, played on an electronic ‘board’ with pressure buttons operated in turn, first by the player and then by the chicken until there is a winner. Although playing against a bird may sound entirely out of whack, but this is a real casino game, with a $10,000 prize if you can beat the chicken. It seems that said chicken is always called ‘Ginger’ regardless of the actual colour of the hen because the original Ginger was virtually unbeatable.

By the way, there are even some weird offline casinos out there, but perhaps we shall save those for another time!

Meet The Author
Gary Meade
Gary Meade
Pro Gambler

Gary has been an author for us since our launch in 2014. When it comes to all things gambling, Gary knows his stuff. Being born and raised in Las Vegas means the casino world is second nature to him. Learn more.

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