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Baccarat Chemin de Fer

Baccarat Chemin de Fer

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Back in the 1830s, a version of baccarat became popular in the French casinos and it traveled to the United States from Europe, then back again and from both of these locations to other casinos all over the world. Because of the game traveling so much the games vary significantly There are three basic version of baccarat and chemin de fere. It is important to understand how both of them work so you know what to look out for at a casino.

Quick links to Chemin de Fer Topics
- Card Values
- Objective of Chemin de Fer
- Chemin De Fer Variation
- Chemin de Fer layout
- How to play Chem de Fer
- Natural 8's
- Natural 9's
- How to Win

Card Values

Card Value = 1

Card Value = 2

Card Value = 3

Card Value = 4

Card Value = 5

Card Value = 6

Card Value = 7

Card Value = 8

Card Value = 9

Card Value = 0

Card Value = 0

Card Value = 0

Card Value = 0

Players

This game requires a minimum of two players; however you will find that at least seven are usually playing. People who do not have seats may also bet on the game.

Croupier

A croupier assists in the making and settling of player bets, and this is provided by the casino. The croupier also advises players on odds and rules and is responsible for taking the cut for the casino. When the game is banked by the casino then the croupier will play the bank in that hand. An hourly rate is charged by the casino for the croupier and his helpers.

Objective of Chemin de Fer

The objective of the game is to bet on the hand that will win. This means the hand that has the highest point value when compared to the other hands.

Hands

Hands consist of either two cards or three cards. The score for each card is detailed below:

  1. Face cards and 10s have a score of zero.
  2. Aces have a score of 1 point.
  3. All other cards are scored based on their face value. For example, a two scores two and an eight scores eight. Tens are always ignored when scoring a hand. Therefore, a hand of four and six would be one, not 10.

Play

The game is played in the following sequence:

  1. Bets are placed.
  2. Hands are dealt
  3. Additional cards are dealt if/when requested
  4. Hands are compared and then bets are settled.

What’s Needed?
The game needs a couple decks of standard 52 card decks. Other equipment used in the game includes:

  1. A very heavy table that is covered in green felt, or baize, and has a layout marked for nine to 12 players.
  2. The cards are usually dealt from a “shoe” or a box that holds the cards.
  3. A box for discards. This box is located underneath the slot on the table.
  4. Wooden palettes are also needed because these are what are used to distribute payments and cards to the players.

Chemin De Fer Variation

Chemin de Fer is not exactly the same as baccarat and there are some distinctive features. First of all, the banker role changes among all the players quite quickly and there is only one hand that is a bank hand and one hand that is a non bank hand dealt at one time. In addition, bets may only be placed against the bank in this version.

Cards

For this version, there are usually size or eight standard 52 card decks used.

Groups of cards are shuffled by bother the croupier and other players. These groups of shuffled cards are then shuffled together.

The cards are gathered by the croupier and then shuffled a final time, made into one deck, and then cut a few times.

A final cut is made by one of the players when asked by the dealer.

Many times an indicator card will be inserted into the deck by the croupier to show where the shuffled cards ends.

The cards are then placed face down into the shoe by the croupier.

Finally, three or four cards are dealt by the dealer from the shoe. He shows them and then discards them.

The Banker’s first choice is:

  1. By lot
  2. The second option is by auction when the amounts that the players are willing to put forward in the bank are bid upon.
  3. The third option is by acceptance. This occurs when the first player to the left or right of the croupier. The player that the banker offers to first will depend on the rules. Then, the bank will be offered either clockwise or counterclockwise until a player choose to accept the banking responsibility.
  4. The first banker will receive the shoe from the croupier.

Chemin de Fer layout

The Chemin de Fer layout is just an oval table with sections divided from one to nine around the table.

Bank Amount

The bank is as follows on the first play as banker:

  1. Whatever was bid to obtain the bank at auction.
  2. Whatever amount the banker is willing to risk if the bank was acquired through acceptance or lot. The rest of the turns will be the amount that the first play consisted of as well as any winnings after that.

Betting

Before the cards are dealt all betting takes place. Bets may only be placed against the bank. An example would be that they bet the bank will lose. On a single play the total of all the bets is limited to the amount in the bank. Any payments over this amount are not covered by the banker.


Natural 8s are shown in each of the following three examples.

Natural 9s are shown in the following three examples:

The first bet is made by the player to the banker’s left or right, depending on the rules. Any amount the player does not bet against is up for grabs, so to speak, for the next player in line to bet against. The betting continues from player to player around the table until all bets have been covered, “banco” is called, or all players that want to place a bet have done so. If part of the bank is still in need of covering then bystanders are welcome to place bets. If one of them calls “banco” then they are also welcome to bet.

If players do not place enough bets to cover the bank then the banker will keep this amount regardless of whether he wins or loses.

“Banco”

When either a player or bystander is interested in betting against the entire bank then the way to indicate this is by calling out “banco”. All other bets are void after someone calls “banco.”

How to play Chem de Fer

The game is played as follows:

  1. Two hands of two cards each are dealt by the banker. The cards are dealt face down and one at a time. They are dealt to the banker and then to the table alternating. The hand dealt to the table represents all the players betting against the bank. Whoever bet the most against the bank plays this hand. If there are two bets in the same amount then the player closest to the banker gets priority.
  2. Both the player and the banker check out their hands while ensuring they are hidden from view.
  3. If the player has a score of 8 or 9, this is a natural and can be called out immediately and turned over. “La petite” is called for hands that score 8 and “la grande” is called for the hands that score 9.
  4. The banker will show his cards if the player has a natural. All bets made against the bank win if the player has a natural. However, if both hands are a natural then it comes down to the cards. A 9 will beat an 8 and if both hands are the same it is considered a standoff and the bets are returned.
  5. The player will say “pass” if he does not have a natural. The banker will then examine his hand and if he has a natural he will immediately declare it and win all the bets.
  6. If after both hands have been examined and neither hand has a natural then the player has the option of drawing another card or he may choose to stay, which means not accepting another card. The choice made should be based on mathematical advisability and the rules of the game.
  7. The banker’s move is dependent on the player’s. So, if he accepts a card or stays will directly impact how the banker plays his hand. The table below shows how the banker should behave.
  8. Finally, the hands are shown and compared. If an error did occur then it is up to the banker to reconstruct the hand in the way it should have been played.

How to Win

The hand that equals 9, or is closest to 9, is the winning hand.

  • If the totals happen to equal the same amount then the bets will be returned.
  • If the banker wins then he collects the bets minus the amount paid to the casino. Generally, the banker pays 5% on winnings to the casino.
  • If the banker loses the hand then each player recovers the part of the bank he covered in his bet.

Keeping the Bank

If a banker wins a hand then he can keep the bank for the next hand.

In a situation where the banker wins the bank remains the same in addition to any winnings after the levy.

If a banker chooses to keep the bank after a win then he cannot remove any winnings in between hands. If there is an excess in the bank then this will not be at stake during the next hand.

Passing the Bank

If a banker wins a hand, but does not want to keep the bank, then he is allowed to take his winnings and pass the bank on. In this situation, the following applies:

  • The bank is offered to each player closets to the banker until someone accepts. When a new banker is found he decides how much to begin the bank with.
  • The croupier will have an auction for the house and the player willing to pay what the previous banker did wins.

The following tables show what the player should do and what the banker should do based on the player’s actions.

Player’s Hand Action

0,1,2,3,4 Draw

5 Option to draw/stay

6 or 7 Stay

8 or 9 Natural

Banker Giving: Action: Stays Draws

0 or 1 4,5,6,7 3,2,1,0

9 4,5,6,7 or 3 2,1,0 or 3

8 3,4,5,6,7 2, 1, or 0

7 or 6 7 6,5,4,3,2,1,0

5 or 4 6 or 7 5,4,3,2,1,0

3 or 2 5,6,7 4,3,2,10

Player stood 6,7 5,4,3,2,1 or 0

Losing the Bank

If a banker loses a hand then other players may receive the bank. This is passed in the same way as the banker choosing to pass the bank.

Reshuffling

After approximately 5/6 of the deck has been used then the cards may be reshuffled. Generally, the cards will not be reshuffled until the last of the cards have been reached.

Additional Comments.

In the case where more than one player wants to call banco the player that called banco on a previous hand is the one given precedence on calling the next banco. If this is not the case, then a seated player will be given precedence over a standing player and then the players that bet first have precedence over later bettors.

In Baccarat Chemin de Fer the players sit around the table and six packs of cards are shuffled together for the game. In the middle of the table sits a bucket where the used cards are placed. Players draw straws so to speak to choose their seat. The first place draw sits on the right of the croupier and the rest of the players follow around him.

The cards are shuffled by the croupier and then passes them around the table allowing each player to shuffle them if so desired. When the cards are returned to the croupier he shuffles them again and offers them to be cut by the player to his left. Then, the croupier will take the cards and hand a stack of cards to the player on his right to act as the dealer, i.e. “banker.”

The dealer places his bet and other players place theirs. Any of the other players, called punters, may say “banco” and play against the entire bank stake. If nobody choose to do this then every player should place their bets in front of them.

Now, four cards are dealt face down the first to the punters and the second to himself and so on and so forth until four cards are dealt to each. The player with the highest bet represents the punters. If two players have the same stake then the first one in rotation has preference. Then, the cards are evaluated and if an 8 or 9 is held the game is over and the cards turned over.

If the banker is the winner then he deals again. If not, then the cards are passed to the next player who then becomes banker.
If neither player turns their cards over to announce 8 or 9 then neither of them have it. When this happens a third card may be offered face up. If the player has a six or seven then he will not take the offered card. These rules should be followed strictly. Only when holding a 5 is it okay to decide whether to take another card or not.

At this point the banker must then decide whether or not to draw a card. This will be influenced by the cards in his hand, whether the player drew a card or not, and if so what that card was. Ties do not pay in this version, but the bets remain for the next hand.

Bankers cannot withdraw their earnings. If the dealer chooses to retire from the game he should simply say, “I pass the deal”. At this point any player may take over as banker but the bank must be started with the same amount of money that it had when the last banker was in the game. If no other player wants to commit that much money then the next person to the right of the banker that is leaving will become the banker and can start it with whatever amount he desires.



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