Baccarat Chemin de Fer
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.
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
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.
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 consist of
either two cards or three cards. The score for each card is detailed below:
Face cards and 10s have a score
- Aces have a score of 1 point.
- 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.
The game is played in the following sequence:
Bets are placed.
- Hands are dealt
- Additional cards are dealt
- Hands are compared and then bets
The game needs a couple decks of standard 52 card decks. Other equipment used
in the game includes:
A very heavy table that is
covered in green felt, or baize, and has a layout marked for nine to 12
- The cards are usually dealt from
a “shoe” or a box that holds the cards.
- A box for discards. This box is
located underneath the slot on the table.
- Wooden palettes are also needed
because these are what are used to distribute payments and cards to the
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, 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.
or four cards are dealt by the dealer from the shoe. He shows them and then
first choice is:
- The second option is by auction
when the amounts that the players are willing to put forward in the bank are
- 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.
- 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 bank is as
follows on the first play as banker:
Whatever was bid to obtain the
bank at auction.
- 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.
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.
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:
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.
- Both the player and the banker
check out their hands while ensuring they are hidden from view.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
Option to draw/stay
6 or 7
8 or 9
0 or 1
4,5,6,7 or 3
2,1,0 or 3
2, 1, or 0
7 or 6
5 or 4
6 or 7
3 or 2
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.
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
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.