Cassino tips and tricks

I’ve talked about Cassino before and given some general tips here. In this post I’d like to share some little tricks you can use to help improve your Cassino game. All of these will be assuming a 2-player game, because once you get into 3 and 4 player games strategy becomes pretty iffy. But this first trick will still work with more players, as long as you’re the dealer.

Saving your Ten: – Let’s say you’ve just dealt out a new round of four cards, and your opponent starts by trailing, leaving this situation:

Opponent:

Table:

Your Hand:

Since Big Casino is just sitting there for the taking, you should grab it right away, right? No! Actually you should leave it for now, hoping you can use it to take more cards later, in addition to the 2 points for Big Casino. The reason? Opponent has already trailed, and there is no way he would leave Big Casino sitting there if he could take it, so he must not have a Ten. So you should just take the J♠ with your J for now. If opponent drops a Two you can use your Eight to build Ten, or maybe he’ll trail an Ace and you can use your Nine to build Ten! You can’t be hurt by letting Big Casino sit there, and you can very easily gain. You won’t pick up extra cards with this trick every time, but I would say close to half the time you will.

The Decoy – My best friend and I play a lot of Cassino and “The Decoy” is the name we’ve come to call this play by. It comes up fairly regularly and will save you a point or more pretty often. Here’s the layout:

Opponent:

Table:

Your Hand:

Of course, you would like to put the 2♠ on the 8♣ for a build of Ten and then take it next round. But if your opponent has a Ten you’ll lose Little Casino. So instead you put the 3 on the 7 for a build of Ten. If opponent has a Ten he will take that build with the non-pointer cards in it and you can make the “real” build on the next turn. If your opponent happens to have another Ten, well then they’re just a lucksack and you need to find someone else to play with 😉

This play can backfire in another way; in the above example your opponent may not have a Ten but instead an Eight and take the Eight on the table away before you can use it to build (especially likely in a 3 or 4 player game). It is a risk, but at least if that happens you still have Little Casino in your hand and can possibly take it some other way later. If you build right away with it you’re taking the risk that it will be snatched up right away and you’ll never get another shot at it.

The Trailing Build – This is a pretty simple one but takes a little creativity to see initially. Let’s say you’ve got these cards after your opponent just trailed the 4:

Opponent:

Table:

Your Hand:

Again, your goal here is to save Big Casino. There’s no build or match available (remember, you can’t build something you don’t have in your hand, so no building Eight this turn and then increasing it to Ten next), so you might just take the 4 with your 4 and hope to save Big Casino later. Instead you should trail the 4! If opponent isn’t able to take the Fours you can use both of them plus the 2♣ to build Ten next round. The fact that opponent may be able to take both Fours with an Eight or with another Four in his hand is inconsequential; all you really care about is saving Big Casino, and this is your best chance to do so. I will admit though, that is a play best utilized later in the round (notice opponent only has 2 cards left in this example). But losing a couple of non-pointers doesn’t matter, and once again even if this play doesn’t work you still have Big Casino in your hand and may be able to save it later.

This trick and the previous one deal with a common idea: priorities. In both examples the idea was to be willing to sacrifice some unimportant cards in order to save the important ones. Whenever you play Cassino your first priority should be to save any point cards you can from the table or from in your hand. Only if there aren’t any point cards to worry about should you start to think about grabbing any other cards you can. There are only 11 points in each deal and game is 21 so each point is vital! Keep your priorities straight, keep your eye on the prizes, and let your opponent grab the decoys 😉

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Cassino tips and tricks

  1. I love this post! Here’s why:

    1. I know the game enough to know exactly what you’re talking about. 😀
    2. You’re using the little card graphics I sized for you.
    3. Now I have a renewed desire to play some Cassino!

    Also: If your opponent happens to have another Ten, well then they’re just a lucksack and you need to find someone else to play with

    Yeah, I have this problem! I don’t really have anyone else to play with, though. :/

    • dantherpgman

      Yeah, I hadn’t used those little graphics in a while and I wanted to so this was perfect.

      You don’t need to find someone new to play with though!

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