Classic casino table games every gambler should try at least once

If you are a gambler, there’s every chance that you are already familiar with some of the top casino games available in land based casinos as well as online gaming sites such as Wild Casino and other popular platforms. These include blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps, slot machines, poker, keno and so on. 

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However, even if you consider yourself something of an expert where these classic casino table games are concerned, there’s every chance that you may not have had the opportunity to try out some older games that were around long before some of the more modern offerings hit the scene. 

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The Fortune Of War

Have you ever come across a game called “The Fortune of War”? Even though it sounds like something straight out of a pirate movie, it was actually a really early form of card game that predates the likes of baccarat and blackjack and was very popular during the Napoleonic Wars. Basically, each player would put forward a purse of money and then roll a die; if it came up six, they would win, but lose if it showed any other number or didn’t roll the die at all. The winner then had the option to take their opponent’s money or risk it in a game of cards. It’s believed that both baccarat and blackjack evolved from this rudimentary game over time.

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Another early dice game that pre-dates craps is a game called hazard, which became very popular among British soldiers and sailors during the 1700 and 1800s. In fact, it was said that knowledge of how to play the game was considered compulsory for any young man who wished to enter high society! To play, players needed two dice; they would place a bet on either “single” (the outcome of eight) or “double” (the outcome of a double six). They would then roll the dice; if they landed on one of their chosen outcomes, they would win an amount equal to their stake. However, if they lost, they would forfeit their stake and add an additional amount equal to it. Craps eventually evolved from hazard, although the two games are quite different.


If you find yourself in a historic casino or private members club, you may be lucky enough to catch a game of racket. This early card game, which is still played today, uses a special table with targets marked on it and special cards known as “rackets”, which are similar to jokers. Players must attempt to score points by getting their cards to match targets on the table using their rackets. As well as being found in historic establishments, it’s also possible to play an online version on various casino websites including Wild Casino.

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Bassette is another old school card game that is still enjoyed by gamblers today. It originally appeared in France during the 1700s and is thought to have been inspired by the game of baccarat. Unlike baccarat however, bassette is played with just one hand, making it more similar to baccarat’s close cousin, blackjack. In bassette, the aim of the game is to get a hand total of six. Like baccarat, cards are counted according to their face value, with the exception of face cards which are worth nothing and aces, which are worth one point. Players are dealt five cards, and can ask for more until they stick (“basse”) with what they have. A tie pays 9 to 1; the banker wins if the player goes over six, while the player wins if they reach six before the banker goes bust.

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If you ever get the chance to visit one of France’s many historic casinos, why not look out for a game of boussolai? This curious game is played with four players and a wheel containing 52 sections, each section bearing an image related to playing cards (eg an ace of spades). In the middle of the wheel is a silver ball; players place their bets on which sector the ball will land in when the wheel comes to a stop. The game also includes a deck of cards, which are used to determine where the winning bets should pay out.

Ridendo Ridiculosi

We’re not sure you’ll find ridendo ridicolosi on the gaming floor of even the most historic casino, but it’s still fun to learn about this ancient Roman lottery game, which translates as “laughing at foolish things”. To play, tickets were sold with various combinations of letters on; these tickets were then placed in a jar, shaken up, and drawn out one by one. If the tickets formed a funny-sounding word or phrase, those holding tickets with vowels won a prize.

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Incidentally, it’s believed that the English word “lottery” derives from the Greek word for fate or destiny, “karman”, which was used by the ancient Greeks to describe the way in which beans were drawn out of a jar as the winning combination in a game rather similar to ridendo ridicolosi. Thebeans were usually coated in coriander, which is why we now refer to small slips of paper in lottery draws as “berries”.


Passe-dix is a rather fancy French name for a simple dice game which involves rolling two dice and adding them up; whoever has the closest guess to the total wins. It’s often played as an ice-breaker or party game.


If you like baccarat, you might enjoy bouillotte, another old card game from days gone by. Again, it’s thought that this game originated in France, and like bassette, it’s similar to baccarat but is played with just one hand. Eight decks of cards are used; players can bet on either the banker’s or player’s hand, with the aim being to get as close to six as possible. Cards are worth their face value, while face cards are worth zero and aces are worth one. There are several complex rules regarding standing, hitting and scoring, so it’s best to brush up on these before you start playing!

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Force et Dextérité

Force et dextérité translates into English as “strength and dexterity”, which could apply to many different games besides the one we are discussing here. However, in this case, it refers to a rather unusual game played with a leather-bound book containing pages of metal wire. Players roll dice to determine how many times they can hit the wires with a hammer, with higher scores being achieved by targeting smaller groups of wires. As far as we know, this game is exclusive to the Casinò di Venezia in Italy.


Query is another dice game that’s similar to craps but with slightly different rules. You may be able to find query listed under the name “Stick” or “Street” craps if you search through the table games at an online casino such as Wild Casino. To play, the shooter will roll the dice; if they land on a seven or eleven, they win, while a two, three or twelve sees them lose. If they roll any other number, this becomes the “point” and the shooter will keep rolling the dice until they hit the point again; if they do so before rolling the point a further two times, they win, but if it takes them longer or they roll the point only once, they lose. Shooters are also allowed to “lay” bets on the point not being reached before a further two rolls.

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Zwegle is a German version of the ancient Roman game described above as “ridendo ridicolosi”. It’s played using a wooden board containing 48 drawers, 36 of which contain letters while the remaining 12 contain stars. Before the box is built, players each pick a set number of vowels at random; the aim of the game is to build a word using these vowels plus letters drawn at random from the box. If players are able to build a word containing at least four letters with at least one star, they win.


Flic-flac is another dice game that bears a resemblance to craps, although it was very popular in Europe during the 17th and 18th Centuries. In this game, the shooter will roll the dice; if they land on a six, they can continue to roll until they score another six, accumulating their total with each subsequent six scored. However, if they roll a three, they must cease rolling immediately and lose whatever points they have scored. Players can also bet on the dice landing on a particular number, or on a certain pattern of numbers.

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Thirteen is a curious card game often played on historic cruise ships or at land based casinos that still feature original fittings from the 1800s or earlier. It’s thought that the game was inspired by the much newer game of blackjack but has several key differences, not least the fact the goal is to score as close to 13 points as possible rather than exactly 13 points. As with blackjack, if the player beats the dealer, they receive a payout of three to one; if the player and dealer tie, there is no exchange of money. However, if the player exceeds 13 points, they will lose their stake. Aces are counted as one or 11, while fixed value cards are self explanatory.

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As the name suggests, bouille is a forceful game that requires players to use a metal rod to propel ping pong balls into a series of targets in order to score points. It’s a bit like a cross between pool and darts, and is only likely to be seen at a handful of very historic casinos worldwide.


Rondite is another card game that appears to have been inspired by baccarat. However, instead of having just one hand, there are usually four in play. Each player is responsible for one hand, with players betting against each other rather than the banker. The object of the game is to get a hand total of seven; if your hand total exceeds seven, you must inform your opponent(s), who will then pay you an amount equal to their stake. Cards are worth as they are for the most part, except for aces, which are worth one, and court cards, which are worth nothing. Interestingly, there are several regional variations of this game, including Belgian rondit, Dutch rondit and German Rondeau.


Karnöffel is a dice game that was extremely popular among Austrian and German soldiers during the First World War, partly because the equipment needed to play – a set of dice and a board divided into grids – could easily be carried in a soldier’s kitbag. To play, the shooter will throw the dice and add up the total; they can then choose to roll again, with the aim of scoring a specific combination of numbers (eg sixes) or avoiding a specific combination (eg threes). Players can also make general bets about the next roll, or bet on the total being an even or odd number. There are numerous variants of karnöffel, depending on the region and the particular military branch involved.

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Clearly, these are just a few examples of the many interesting and lesser-known casino games that have stood the test of time. Have you tried playing any of them? Which is your favorite? Alternatively, are there any other “forgotten” classic casino table games that you would recommend trying? We would love to hear your views, so please leave a comment below.