OBJECTIVE OF ROYAL CASINO: Capture the cards from the layout.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2-4 players
NUMBER OF CARDS: 52 card deck
TYPE OF GAME: Casino
INTRODUCTION TO ROYAL CASINO
Royal Casino is the English name given to variations of the Anglo card game Casino in which face cards have numerical values. Despite the slight difference, the game is played with the same principles.
This version of Casino is less popular in North America and Britain, but is the most common version many other places in the world, such as the Dominican Republic. The following instructions are the Dominican variant, as African and Nordic Casino have slightly different rules.
PLAYERS & CARDS
Royal Casino is most commonly played with 2 people, however, it is possible to have games with 3 or 4 players. A 4 player game consists of two partnerships.
Both the deal & the play pass clockwise.
Number cards 2-10 are worth face value.
Kings have a value of 13, Queens 12, and Jacks 11.
Aces have a value of 1 or 14, depending on what the player needs or wants.
A dealer may be chosen at random. The dealer deals each player four cards and four cards to the table, face-up. Once players have played all their cards in hand they are dealt four more cards and play resumes. However, the cards on the table are not re-dealt. Play ceases once the deck has been completely depleted and the hands are scored.
Play starts with the player to the right of the dealer and passes counter-clockwise. During a turn, a player must play only one card from their hand, face-up on the table. Cards may be played in the following ways:
- A card may capture one or more of the face-up cards on the table. A single card of equal value may be captured or sets of cards which sum the value of the capturing card may be captured, only if the set of cards captured are not a part of a build. Builds may be captured in their totality, the capturing card must equal the value of the build. Captured cards and the capturing card are set aside in a face-down pile.
- A card played may be combined with cards on the table to form builds. These are piles that can only be captured as a unit.
- a single build has a capture value equal to the sum of the capture values which compose it. For example, a build with a 5 and a 9 has a capture value of 14. This build can be captured by an Ace.
- a multiple builds is two or more cards or sets of cards which have an equal capture value. A multiple build of 8 can consist of two 4s, an 8, a 6, and a 2. Or, it may be a pair of 8s, or an 8, 6, and 2.
- the owner of a build is the player who most recently added to it. Cards not in a build are called loose cards.
- A trail is when the played card is left alone on the table to be captured or built upon.
Below are the restrictions on Trails, Builds, and Capturing:
- 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. You may not start or add to your partners builds. Adding or creating a build is ownership of the build.
- If you own a building you cannot trail. You must either create builds, add to builds, or capture cards. If you are unable to exercise any of these options, you must capture your build.
- You cannot trail if the card you wish to trail is of equal value to a loose card on the table. That card must capture a loose card or several loose cards of equal value to create or add to a build. However, it is not required that players must capture sets of cards or builds.
- You may increase the value of single builds owned by other players by adding a single card to it. As with adding to and creating any build, you must hold in hand a card equal to the new capture value. For example, if a build consists of a 6 and a 4, and you have a 2 and a Queen in hand, you can add the 2 to that build for a total capture value of 12.
- Capture values of multiple builds cannot be changed. Single builds can be converted to multiple builds with the addition of cards.
Royal Casino is also played with the variant sweeps. This happens when one player takes all the cards from the table and the next player must trail. If a sweep is made, the capture card is put face-up on the pile of cards they have won. Each sweep is worth 1 point. Sweeps of opponents cancel each other’s out.
Scoring in Royal Casino follows this order:
- Player with the most cards = 3 points
- Player with the most spades (espadas) = 1 point
- Big Casino (10 of Diamonds/Diez de Casino) = 2 points
- Little Casino (2 of Spades/Dos de Casino) = 1 point
- Aces in this order: Spades, Clubs, Hearts, Diamonds = 1 point
- Sweeps = 1 point each
If there is a tie for most cards no players receive the points.
Teams and players start with zero points and play until someone or a team reaches 21+ points. If a team has a score near 21, the following rules apply:
- If a player or team has 18 points they can only win if they capture the most cards.
- If a player or team has 19 points they can only win if they take Big Casino.
- If a player or team has 20 points they can only win if they take Little Casino.
Meeting these requirements gives them an automatic win.
Players with 18+ points can not score for any number of sweeps. Their sweeps, however, may be used to cancel other players sweeps.
If players happen to tie, reaching 21 points in the same deal, the game continues without a point limit until one team or player passes the other and finally wins.