Even though Sega Casino for the Nintendo DS includes a pair of poker variants, the main share of games included on the game card are odds-based games like roulette and craps. By nature, odds-based games are less interactive than skill-based games, so, in turn, this collection of casino games is primarily a passive exercise. To further complicate matters, the artificial intelligence programming in the two poker games is rudimentary at best. This collection is best suited for people who enjoy noncompetitive, simple wagering games.
The game card includes 11 casino parlor games.
All told, the game card includes 11 different casino games. If you want to leave your fate purely up to the odds, you can indulge in roulette, baccarat, keno, and Chuck-A-Luck. If you'd like to be able to vary your bets or get out midgame but still mainly play the odds, you can test your mettle in blackjack, craps, and three separate versions of video poker. Rounding out the collection are two skill-based poker variants, Texas Hold 'em and seven-card stud. Play modes include free play, casino, and multiplayer. In the casino mode, you start out with $1,000 and move up to higher-stakes rooms as you increase your bankroll. The multiplayer mode is limited to blackjack and the two poker games, but on the upside, as many as five people can link their systems together using only a single game card.
Clearly, the majority of games included on the card are odds-based games, which don't offer much in the way of interactivity or competition. Games like roulette, keno, and Chuck-A-Luck are more like lotteries, in that you throw down multiple bets and win or lose depending on the numbers that turn up. Blackjack and craps are somewhat more interactive, and, in turn, more enjoyable, because you can choose to continue or pull out based on the initial cards or dice that come up. The lack of interactivity in these game's isn't Sega's fault. That's how they work. In fact, if you're a fan of odds-based games like these, you'll be pleased with the accurate representations that are included in the compilation.
Not so hot, unfortunately, are the skill-based poker variants, Texas Hold 'em and seven-card stud. CPU opponents only bet when they have a strong hand, always, and they never bluff. Otherwise, they check and make calls rather randomly. With that knowledge in hand, you quickly learn to muck your cards whenever a CPU player bets and to hang in there and leech away the CPU's money the rest of the time. Texas Hold 'em is extremely dull when there's no risk or psychology involved. Multiplayer play is much better, obviously, because your friends are more likely to bluff and play aggressively.