Obscure but Awesome Casino Games From Around the World


Obscure but Awesome Casino Games From Around the World


Red dice bouncing onto a casino table.

Obscure but Awesome Casino Games From Around the World


Red dice bouncing onto a casino table.

People have so many options when it comes to choosing casino games and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are many more betting games in existence than the usual online slots and casino table games. The internet has introduced us to some weird online games that will keep you thoroughly entertained. We’ve scoured the planet for our pick of seven obscure and awesome games you’ve probably never heard about. You never know — if game developers can figure out how to design virtual versions, some of them may eventually catch on at casinos! 

1. Sic Bo

Sic Bo is essentially roulette with a twist: you play it using dice instead! Imagine a large betting surface similar to a roulette table with players grouped around, deciding to bet on results with short or long odds. A croupier tumbles three dice in a cage and the players wager on the results of the throw. Why not try this one out at your next casino-themed party and add a few rules of your own to up the stakes?

2. Casino War

A dealer in a white shirt and dark waistcoat, shuffling cards at a casino table.

Casino War is inspired by the card game of the same name. This one’s a bit more complicated than Sic Bo, but it’s just as much fun — and it gives you a chance to beat the dealer more than half the time! The game starts with players and the dealer being given one card each: if the dealer’s card is less than a player’s card, the player wins. What happens if there’s a tie? Then you can decide whether or not to surrender and quit the game with only half of your original bet returned to you. Alternatively, you can “declare war” on the dealer, which means you must wager an amount equal to your original stake to continue playing. You’ll be pleased to know that an online casino games version of Casino War is now available for fans of the game. When it comes to the weirdest games online, you should try Casino War for its sheer entertainment value.

3. Dreidel

This gambling game uses a strange, four-sided spinning top — called the dreidel — and is traditionally played during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Over the years, it has found its way into several casinos worldwide. Astronaut Jeffrey A. Hoffman has even spun a dreidel in outer space!

Each of the dreidel’s four sides has a Hebrew letter inscribed on it: nun, gimel, hey (or chai) and shin. Players start with the same number of game pieces — typically between 10 and 15. These can be any object, but they effectively act as casino chips. Each player puts one item in the “pot” and spins the dreidel once. When it comes to a stop, depending on which letter shows on the side facing them, that player has to take a specific action that affects how much is in the pot in three out of the four outcomes. 

If the letter “nun” (meaning “nothing”) is facing up, the player does nothing and the next player gets a turn. “Hey” means “half,” so the player gets to take half of the pot, while “shin” means “put in,” so they have to add another object to the pot. Finally, if the letter for “gimel” (“everything”) is facing them, the player gets to take everything in the pot! We think this might make for an entertaining casino slot game offering if an online version is ever developed. 

A dreidel spinning top next to a stack of gold- and silver-foiled chocolate coins.

4. Pusoy dos

This unique “shedding game” version of poker is played all the way out in the western Pacific in the Quezon Province of the Philippines. Typically played by three or four individuals, the aim of the game is to get rid of your hand of cards before everyone else (one card at a time or in combinations) by playing them on the table. Weirdly, the hierarchy puts the 2 as the highest card, then ace, king, queen and so on, down to the 3, while a particular hierarchy also governs the suits. Through each progressive round, the loser is the person holding the most cards when the winner clears their hand and effectively “goes out.” They are then penalized depending on the value of cards they’re still holding.

5. Teen patti

This gambling card game started in India and is played both informally (particularly during the festival of Diwali) and formally in some casinos across South Asia. It’s thought to have been adapted from the English three-card brag game, with some inspiration from poker thrown in for good measure.

Before play starts, a “pot” is set up by charging players an equal entry fee. Next, bets are placed. Before each subsequent round, players must place an “ante” with money or chips in the pot. The reasoning is that players will gradually lose money if they fold every round, giving them the incentive to play a hand instead of folding. So, the more players there are who stay in the hand, the larger the pot size and the more interesting the game becomes.

6. Tong-its

This three-player shedding card game became popular in the Philippines (they love their card games there!) in the 1990s and is still played in some gambling establishments today. Tong-its uses a standard 52-card deck and the game rules and name bear some resemblance to the American game of Tonk. There are also some similarities with Mahjong. The aim of the game is to discard all your cards or have cards with the lowest value when there are no longer any cards left in the central stack.

7. Kratzen

This Austrian trick-based card game uses a 33-card William Tell or German-suited deck whose suits are acorns, leaves, hearts and bells. All the 6s are removed from the pack, except for the Weli (6 of bells,) which represents the second-highest trump card. There are two parts to Kratzen. In the first part of the game, participants may not fold and must contribute an ante to the pot. During the second part of the game, individuals play for the contents of the pot and may drop out if it seems they won’t be able to take the minimum number of tricks.

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