Release Date: 1978
Publisher: Atari
Controller: Paddles
Players: 1
Genre: Cards
Alternate Title: Poker Plus
Model #: CX2652
Rarity: 1
Programmer: Bob Whitehead

Casino gives you three different card based games to satisfy your gambling desires.

Blackjack, or twenty-one, is a surprisingly fleshed out version of the game (and considerably more in depth than the previous standalone cartridge). The basic premise of the game is to get as close to 21 without going over and to have a higher total than the dealer. Before the deal you place your bet (up to 200 chips), the hand is dealt and you have the option to hit (take another card), split (break into two hands if you have identically valued cards), or double down (double your bet while taking only one more card). Once you decide to stand the dealer reveals his hand, if you have a higher total you double your bet, and if not you lose everything. After that the dealer shuffles and deals the next hand.

Stud Poker is a high stakes game that allows you to bet four times during the hand. Before the first card is dealt you and the dealer ante up. All cards are dealt face up so you can see exactly what you are up against. If you like your chances you will have the opportunity to raise the stakes after the second, third, fourth and fifth card are dealt. After the final betting takes place whoever has the best hand wins (standard poker hands apply).

Both Blackjack and Stud Poker can support up to four players and have some surprisingly advanced features for this early of a 2600 game. For starters each players bank roll can be carried over from Blackjack to Stud Poker and back again by hitting the game select button. Not only that, but if one of the players needs a break from the action they can drop out of the game while keeping their chip stack. All it takes is a simple button press for them to be dealt in again. While this may seem mundane, in 1979 it was groundbreaking.

The final game is called Poker Solitaire. When you begin you will have twenty-five empty spots (five rows/columns), and a random card at the top of the screen. You get to choose where you place each card as it comes up, with the goal being to create the best possible poker hands horizontally, vertically and diagonally. Once all twenty-five cards are in place the computer will tally up your score, which gives you something to shoot for the next time you play.

Casino does what it does very well, unfortunately given the plethora of web and app based blackjack and poker games there is very little reason to pop this cartridge in nowadays.


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Derek Slaton (41 Posts)

Derek began playing video games in the early 80s, cutting his teeth on every Atari 2600 game he could get his hands on. This kickstarted a lifelong love of games, which continues to this day. No matter how advanced the systems and games become, the love for Atari remains supreme, which is why the Atari 2600 Encyclopedia project was done. With this massive project completed, Derek looks to begin work on another system encyclopedia, hoping to pay tribute to the games that shaped his childhood.