Life So Short, the Craft So Long to Learn

Questions for Seasoned Cassino Players

March 16, 2011

We’re testing a new version of our Cassino iPhone app, which will support at least two new variants of the game. In particular, we’ll support the variant most often played by seasoned or “advanced” Cassino players, judging from customer comments. Our original app plays Royal Cassino with simplified scoring. The most popular variant for advanced players seems to be non-Royal Cassino with scoring for specific captures and achievements.

You can find the basic rules of the advanced variant in books and on websites such as, but some details are always worked out among individuals as house rules. The testing has raised some interesting questions about the finer points of the rules.

The following situtation comes up often in the advanced variant, in around a quarter of the games when the app plays against itself.

Let’s say I’m playing this game against the app. In the non-Royal variant of the game, a queen can only capture one other queen. Here I could capture the queen on the table, but the app would then capture its build and score a guaranteed extra point for a sweep (capturing all the cards on the table). As you can see, the Suggest button is advising me to trail the queen instead. It definitely seems like the smarter play, especially since I’m already fairly far ahead on captured cards.

On the other hand, if the other queens have already been captured, this play will leave both queens on the table for the rest of the game. As I understand it, some players have house rules to avoid this kind of clutter.

The Cassino rules in books and at say that you can always trail a card, even if you could capture with it. However, this play seems a little bit sneaky and I’m wondering if any players out there have a rule against it. Send me an email at if you have a strong feeling one way or the other about this play.

We’re looking forward to releasing the new version of Cassino as a free update.

Posted by: Jeffrey