African Casino

OBJECTIVE OF AFRICAN CASINO: Capture the cards from the layout.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2-4 players 

NUMBER OF CARDS: 52 card deck 



African Casino, or Swazi Casino (from Swaziland), is a variant of Casino that is defined by keeping capture cards face-up and the ability to capture the top card from opponents capture piles.

As in Royal Casino, face cards have numerical values.

2-10: face value

Jack: 11

Queen: 12

King: 13

Ace: 1 or 14


The first dealer is chosen randomly and the deal passes to the right from then on.

The dealer shuffles the deck, the player to the right of the dealer cuts the deck and draws four cards out of the middle of the deck. The cards are placed face-up in the center of the table, these cards form the primary layout. The deck is returned to the dealer who proceeds to deal each player all of the cards, one at a time.


Captured cards are kept face-up in a pile. In a 4-player game with partnerships, partners share capture piles. If you capture several cards at once, they may be organized in any manner. However, the capturing card must be on top.

In the center of the table is the layout. These cards are available for capturing and may be added to. Cards in the layout may contribute to builds. Builds are piles of cards with a specific value and are captured as a single unit.

  • Single builds are piles of cards whose sum is the value of the build.
  • Augmented builds are piles of cards, either with 2+ single cards or sets of cards, which total to the same value. For example, if the value is 12, an augmented build could consist of a Queen and a 7+5.
  • The owner of a build is the player who most recently added to it. Cards not in a build are called loose cards. 

Turns present players with several opportunities, however, players must play one card from their hand:

  • Capture a card(s) from the layout or a build
  • Create a build
  • Add a card to a build to change its value
  • Create or add to an augmented build
  • Discard a card in your hand to the layout


Captures are made by playing a single card in hand, if that card

  • matches a card in the layout
  • matches the total of multiple cards in the layout
  • matches the established value of a build

You may capture all single cards, sets of cards, or builds that match the value of the capturing card.

Players are not permitted to capture directly capture the top card of an opponent’s capture pile, although you may indirectly, which is discussed under augmented builds.

You cannot add to build in order to capture it. However, you may use a card that could have been used as a capture card to create a build, this is referred to as drifting. 


Creating Single Builds

Single builds may be formed from the single cards in the layout, adding a single card from your hand is not necessary but legal. Whoever creates the build owns it. In order to create or add to a build, you must have a card in hand equal to its capture value and keep it in hand unless it is captured by another player.

Changing the Value of Single Builds

Single builds values can be changed if:

  • an opponent is the build’s owner
  • the value is changed by a single addition of a card from your hand
  • you have a card in hand that is equal to the new value of the build

Since you may only play one card at a time from your hand, you may not change the value and capture a build in a single turn.

Augmented builds cannot have their value changed.


Players may augment their builds and builds owned by their partner. This is done by adding single card combinations or sets of cards with the same value. These cards may be the single cards from the layout, a single card in hand, and top cards from your opponents’ capture pile(s).

For example, if you have a card in hand that matches a card in the layout these can be used to create a build. It becomes an augmented build by adding cards to it that sum or matches the value of the build. You would be the owner of this build.

Builds may be created an augmented in a single turn, so long as only one card from your hand was played.

Opponent owned builds may be augmented as well as captured in a single turn, only one card from your hand may be used.

Note, you are not permitted to use the top card of your own or your partner’s capture pile(s) to augment any build.


You do not have to capture if you own a build, cards that cannot capture any other cards or builds may be left in the layout.

If you own a build, you may not abandon it by playing your capture card(s). Builds can not be split up or combined to have a higher capture value.

Top cards from opponent’s capture piles can only be used to augment builds. In order to play this card, you must have a base to assist in augmentation. A base is:

  • a build owned by your or your partner
  • at least one card in the layout which does not match the value of any build that already exists, which you could
    • capture with a card in hand
    • establish your partner could capture it, most likely because they have a build of equal value which was captured or changed by other players.

All builds most have different capture values. If you already own a build of a particular value and wish to make another, simply combine those cards together– this is a single augmented build.

Aces have the capture value of 1 or 14, this is at each player’s discretion. After an ace is added to a build, its value is fixed and cannot be retracted and changed. A pair of aces in a build must have an established value of 1 or 14.


If a partner’s build is captured or its value changed, you may create a new build of equal value. Your partner will be the owner of said build. This is, of course, if your partner has not played that card.

If your partner chooses to capture a build owned by either one of you, and you have a card in hand of that same value, you can ask your partner to refrain from capturing. They are not obligated to listen to you. However, some may augment and opponents build, which makes you its owner.


After all the cards have been played, the player who makes the last capture collects the remaining cards in the layout.

Players (or teams) score their cards in their capture piles.

Most Cards: 2 points, if tied 1 point each

Most Spades: 2 points, if tied 1 point each

Two of Spades (Spy Two): 1 point

Ten of Diamonds (Big Ten): 2 points

Aces: 1 point each

11 points total per deal

No extra points for sweeps, which is when you capture all the cards of the layout.




Nakoa Davis

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