The casino gambling landscape is an ever-changing mix of old favorites and new and exciting technology. Casinos are always in the market for new ways to make a profit while keeping their customers entertained, and companies are lining up for their shot at becoming casino royalty.
New and exciting games are constantly being pitched to the casinos, and when a new game comes in, it means out with the old. These 7 failed and forgotten casino games didn’t have what it takes to maintain the casino gambler’s attention for the long haul.
1 – Casino War
War is the forgotten card game many of us played in the back seat of cars on road-trips. I still carry fond memories of playing with my mom when I was home and not feeling well.
It is very much a child’s game. There is incredibly little to no strategy involved with the game War.
Casino War is no different. It can be an utterly boring game to play, especially given all of the modern casino choices.
The dealer flips over a card for the player and the dealer and whoever has the higher card wins the hand. There’s not much to it, and hands move at a rapid pace.
If the player and the dealer tie, the player has the option to go to war by placing an additional bet equal to their initial wager.
The dealer burns 3-cards, then deals the player a card and does the same for themself. Again, the high card takes the win.
However, on a War, the player is only paid on their second bet, and the first is a push for a win. If the dealer wins, both of the player’s bets are lost.
The game has a house edge of almost 3% because of the tying factor. If you know much about casino gaming, you know that the fast action paired with a high house edge makes the game pretty terrible for the player.
Casino War is one of the latest fad games that’s beginning to be on its way off the casino floor and into the history books. I say, good riddance.
2 – Pineapple Poker
Poker variations are a favorite of casinos because players get excited about poker derivatives. The casinos love them because they are the opponent, which means they make much more money on these casino poker games.
In a typical poker game, players face off against each other. The casino will keep a relatively small ante or percentage from the players. After all, they are providing everything to facilitate the game; they deserve a cut.
However, in these table game variations, the casino is raking in a tremendous amount of cash. The reason is that it’s now the player versus the house, and the house always wins.
Pineapple Poker is actually an exciting casino game. It will be a tremendous advantage if you brush up on your basic poker strategy beforehand. Assuming you can find a table, Pineapple Poker offers the player a chance to incorporate strategy into their casino gambling.
It seems that the biggest reason for the lack of popularity for the game is largely based on market saturation. Poker derivatives are everywhere you look on the casino floor.
Remember, just because a game seems more exciting to play doesn’t make it a better choice.
3 – 5 Card Draw
Almost everyone has played the classic 5-card draw at some point in their life. My family and I would sit around the table and play for hours when I was a kid.
I remember having my first sip of beer during one of these games with my day and uncles at our farm during deer season. Far away from the ever-watching gaze of my mother, I never snitched on dad.
Sometimes, the game is played for loose change or pride. Other times the money can get rather significant.
The latter is no doubt what garnered the attention of the casinos. In fact, up until the 1980s, you could still find the game, favored by many of the “old school” poker players like Doyle Brunson, in casinos.
Unfortunately, the casino friendly nature of other games and the rise in popularity of Texas Hold’Em relegated 5-card draw to the annals of history. Like so many of the cowboys and frontiersman that made the game so popular.
Still, 5-card poker lives on through home games and Video Poker. Video Poker takes the gameplay of 5-card draw and turns it into a hand building adventure.
Instead of playing against an opponent, a player must use strategy to make the best possible hand. It’s overlooked by most casino gamblers because it’s not constantly flashing lights and ringing bells to snag their attention.
It’s an absolute shame, too. Video Poker has the lowest house edge of any game in the casino. In fact, when proper strategy is used on the right machine, the advantage actually falls to the player.
4 – Faro
Faro was a game most similar to modern roulette that was more popular in the Wild West than poker. The game was prominently portrayed in the movie Tombstone, one of my all-time favorites.
The fact of the matter is that Wyatt Earp was a bit of a card shark, and he and his brothers did have a share of a saloon in which the brothers ran the gaming action.
Faro was played on a table with all 13 of the Spades laid out on the table. Ace was the lowest all the way up to King being the highest card.
The bettors would place their bets on the cards, much like modern roulette players place their chips on the wheel’s numbers.
The dealer would then draw 2 cards. The first card was the losing card, and the house collected any bets on the matching card.
The second card was the winning card, and all bets placed for that card were paid out. Any remaining bets could push, be collected by the player, or moved to another number.
An element of skill could be employed, much like card counters in blackjack. If the player could keep track of cards played, they would have a much better chance of guessing a range of hands.
I wish I would’ve had the opportunity to play a game of casino Faro.
Ultimately, the game wasn’t profitable enough to be worth the casino’s time, and it was retired from the casino. Still, it would be a great party trick to throw Faro into the mix for your next casino night.
5 – 7-Reel Slots
The late 2000s were a time of significant technological advancements. Of course, not everything is a win in the casino world. Many of the changes billed as the “latest innovation” were nothing more than a passing fad.
7-Reel Slots made sense on paper. I mean, if 6 reels are good, 7 must be great. The problem is that 7-reel slots didn’t really offer more to the player.
While the 7-reel machines never took off in the brick and mortar casinos, many online casinos boast massive 7-reel grids as their most popular slot machines.
6 – Showtime Hold’Em
The poker boom was another big contributor to the pile of failed and forgotten casino games. Showtime Hold’Em was one of the doomed experiments.
Showtime poker was essentially just Texas Hold’Em with more information.
For example, the players were allowed to see the mucked cards from their opponents.
When PokerStars released the game, it was with great fanfare and the backing of their top pros. Even with so much marketing effort, the game fell flat.
The main problem I see is that I don’t care about seeing the folded cards if it means I’m showing the table my mucked cards.
Most good poker players have learned to put opponents on a range based on how they’re betting the board.
Having the information after the fact really only helps weaker players learn their opponents’ tendencies faster. In the end, the masses agreed, and the game was scrapped within months of its release.
7 – Duplicate Poker
Duplicate Poker was a rather intriguing proposition developed in the 1990s. The game reached its pinnacle of popularity in 2007 when a dedicated website was launched.
Duplicate poker is intended to enhance the skill aspect of Texas Hold’Em further. The idea was to have 2 tables going on in the same game, and every corresponding chair would be dealt the same cards simultaneously.
The idea is to see what players would play the same hand more effectively. For a gambler like me, which emphasizes skill-based games and doesn’t believe in luck, the game is beautiful.
However, it appears that most poker players appreciate the role that chance plays in determining our fate.
The website was offline within 12 months, and duplicate poker faded into the shadows like so many other poker variations,
These forgotten casino games have been a fond trip down memory lane for some of you, not unlike looking through an old high school yearbook.
There were probably more readers going over the failed and forgotten casino games, much like a kid going through their parent’s yearbook and muttering, “What were they thinking?”
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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