Based on the same principles as Baccarat, Chemin de Fer now draws a public of real aficionados. It is played exclusively in the Salons Privés at the Casino de Monte-Carlo. These rules will enable you to familiarise yourself with the game, though nothing’s better than initiation with a confirmed player.
Minimum wager : 500 euros, though the table minimum can be decided by the inspector.
Aim of the game : whether he’s the “banker” (ie. the person who plays on behalf of the bank against the other players) or the “ponte” (punter or person playing against the bank), the player must obtain a total closest to 9 with a maximum of three cards.
Before the game can begin, the croupier shuffles six packs of 52 cards and has them cut by one of the players before placing them in the shoe.
The game can only commence if the table seating nine or eleven players is full. The “banker” then sets the stakes. The player seated to the right of the “banker” starts to place the wagers. He can decide to cover all or part of the sum at stake. The part of the sum that is not covered may be covered by the following player, and so on, until the sum staked by the “banker” is equalled.
When a player announces that he is playing “With the table”, he thereby commits himself to covering half of the banker’s stake, and the other players must then complete the sum. When a player announces “Banco”, he is committing himself to covering the total amount of the banker’s stake and will then play alone against him.
The player seated to the right of the croupier is the first to take the card shoe and thus become the “banker”. He keeps the shoe for as long as he continues to win. If he loses, he passes the shoe to his neighbor. The latter can refuse to take it, but must then leave the table. The “banker” can also stand aside if he so decides
The player who declared “Banco” or placed the largest bet becomes the “punter” : he is dealt the cards and plays on behalf of all the other players.
Before proceeding, you need to know the value of the cards as follows (don’t be surprised : in baccarat games, the cards do not have any numbers in the corners !) : the picture cards – also known as “bûches” – and the ten are worth 0 while all the other cards have their face value. To calculate your card total, you only take the final digit into account (eg. : 6 + 5 = 11, the total is therefore 1).
The “banker” first deals a card to the “punter”, then one to himself. He then deals a second card to the “punter” and himself. The “punter” looks at his cards and if he has : • A total from 0 to 4, he is obliged to ask for another card (by saying “carte”). • A total of 5, he can either ask for another card (by saying “carte”) or staying with his hand (by saying “pas de carte” or “non”). • A total of 6 or 7, he must stay with his hand (by saying “pas de carte” or “non”). • A total of 8 or 9, he lays his cards on the table, and the “banker” must do the same.
Note : if the “punter” is playing solo, he can take another card or stay with his hand, as he chooses. However, if he has a total of 0, he is obliged to take another card.
Once the “punter” has announced his play, the “banker” looks at his cards and, depending on his total, decides whether he will draw another card or stay with his hand, as per the drawing table below.
Either the “banker” or “punter” who has the highest number of points wins the game.
• If the “banker” wins, the casino takes 5 % of the sum that has been won. The winning stake is put back into play for the following round and is added to the sum initially wagered. If the “banker” decides not to continue playing, he collects his winnings and the hand is auctioned. • If the “punter” wins, wagers are paid at even money and each player recovers his stakes. When a player does not know what to do, he asks advice from the croupier and conforms strictly to his opinion.
T : Tirer / Draw (the banker draws another card)
R : Rester / Stay (the banker stays with his hand)
O : Optional
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