16 Jun

How to Gamble with Cards

How to Gamble with Cards

You’ve got a group of friends, a deck of cards, and a pocket full of change. Sounds like the makings of an exciting evening around the kitchen table! There are a number of ways you can turn a deck of cards into a fun and potentially prosperous evening.


Ideas on How to Play Cards for Money

Whether you’ve got a jar full of pennies or a wallet teeming with c-notes, a single deck of cards offers a lot of choices. In the proceeding paragraphs, you’ll learn how to gamble with cards in various ways, no matter the type of crowd you’re in, or what size bankroll you have to work with. Options include…

  • Poker: The most obvious choice is a good old fashioned game of poker. There are plenty of variants to choose from – classic draw poker, stud games, holdem, etc.
  • Blackjack: A professional gambler’s delight, blackjack is a great choice for card-based gambling both in and outside the casino.
  • Penny-a-Point Card Games: Turn family game night into friendly gambling night with penny-a-point betting on old school card games like Bridge, Canasta, Hearts and more.
DisclaimerNot all forms of gambling are legal in all provinces of Canada. The legal age to gamble also varies by province. Breaking the law is a serious matter. The information provided on this website is meant for educational purposes only, and we will not be held liable for any irresponsible / illegal activity on your part. Know the gambling laws in your province and follow them. The following pages provide more information on Canadian gambling laws:

Poker Games – The Obvious Choice for 2-10 Players

Poker games are the easiest choice to play in a modest sized group. There are many different poker variants to choose from, capable of suiting all bankroll sizes and anywhere from 2-10 players. Some games, like classic draw poker, have only two betting rounds, which are perfect for low-level risk takers. Others, like Texas Holdem, Omaha and 7 Card Stud, feature up to five rounds of betting.

Choosing the right game for your group is a matter of asking a few simple questions. First and foremost, what game rules is everyone familiar with? The less rules you have to learn or explain, the better. Consider not just game rules, but betting structures, like antes and bring in bets versus small and big blinds.

Also think about the number of players you have. 7 Card Stud isn’t usually a good idea among groups larger than 7. If nobody folds – an all-too-common occurrence among amateur poker players – there won’t be enough cards to accommodate 8+. 5 Card Draw creates a similar issue, wherein it’s possible to run out of cards with anything over 5 players. If it does happen, you can always establish a “shuffling of folded hands” rule to extend the draw pile, as needed.

With all of this in mind, I offer you an alphabetized list of popular poker games you may be interested in. Each link below leads to a thorough gaming guide complete with the poker variant’s rules, betting structure and even a little strategic advice.

Blackjack – The Ultimate Casino Classic

One of the simplest bet-worthy card games of all is blackjack. Every casino has it, and every good gambler loves it – not just for its simplicity, but its minimal house edge. Blackjack is the closest thing to a fair shake most casinos offer, which makes it perfect for a fair card-based betting game among friends and family.

Normally, blackjack is reserved for up to 7 players, plus a dealer, but that’s mostly due to table size restrictions and ease of security monitoring. Realistically, you can have around 15 players in a game, if you can provide enough seats to keep them all comfortable. Or, for larger groups, set up an additional table or two and play it blackjack tournament style.

Getting back to the issue of fairness, by traditional house rules, everyone in your group has a reasonable chance of winning. The dealer has a slight edge, as we all know, and frankly, this person deserves a little advantage since they are committing greater monetary risk to each round of play than any individual player. However, it is possible to adjust the rules so that the dealer and players are on equal ground.

The page linked below details more than 50 sets of blackjack rules and the house edge for each. Decide how much advantage you want to give your dealer, then play by whichever game rules align with that choice. Remember, the closer the house edge is to zero, the less advantage the dealer has.

If you want to tweak the variables for a perfect 0% edge (e.g. 100% RTP), the following guide offers a complete list of house rules and their positive/negative impact on the house edge.

Card Games Primed for Penny-a-Point Betting

There are many, many card games to choose from in the Family Game department of this column. Everything from Bridge and Canasta, to Hearts and Spades, to Sergeant Major and Two Hundred. Most of them have high-scoring win requirements, which makes them perfect candidates for a “Penny a Point” betting system.

That doesn’t always mean the games are cheap, though. Canasta, for example, is traditionally played to 5,000 points. If one player or team manages to sweep the other, that’s a loss of $50.00 for losers. Always take into account the target score of a game, and adjust the payout system accordingly, so that no one’s bank is being crippled. Card games are meant to be fun. Keep the bet limits low, and you’ll keep the games friendly.

Here’s a fantastic resource on family-style card games, including rules, strategies, real money betting, histories, and more.

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