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Chemin de Fer
Chemin De Fer is the version of baccarat
that is mainly played in France.
In this game you cannot bet on Player
or Bank (Punto or Banco), you must BE one or the other.
The House (or the Casino) has no involvement in the
betting. Therefore the players wager strictly amongst
The House provides a "Croupier"
or dealer to make sure the rules are adhered to and
that everything runs smoothly. Also, the House provides
all the necessary gaming equipment; table, chairs, the
shoe called "sabot" and the cards. For that,
the House takes a percentage commission, or rake, (usually
5%) on all winning hands.
Each player can be a Banker in turn.
The player who is acting as the Banker is responsible
for all losing bets with his/her own money, as well
as collecting all winning Bank bets.
Unlike Baccarat, Chemin De Fer has flexible
third-card-rules i.e. there is some optional play whereby
the Player and Banker can decide whether to call a third
card or not. Also, the game is played entirely in French.
The player’s only decision is whether to draw
or stand on a five. He must stand on a hand of 6, 7,
8 or 9 and draw to hands of 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4.
When on a total of 5, there are four card values that
can help a player, and five cards that will worsen the
total. 10 value cards make no difference. It would seem
logical to stand, but is more complicated than that,
if a player consistently stands, or consistently draws,
he is effectively revealing his hand to the dealer.
If he wants to keep his opponents guessing he must therefore
bluff. It has been calculated that a players best strategy
is to draw with a frequency of 9 times out of 11 and
to stand the other two times. Obviously this must not
be done in this order. Remember also that on occasion,
the banker will also be the one bluffing.
The bankers strategy is more complex as he has more
options. A usual strategy would look something like
If his count is:
0 then Draw
1 then Draw
2 then Draw
3 then Stay if the player draws on 8, otherwise draw.
4 then Stand if the player draws on 1,8,9,10; Draw
if the player stands on 2-7.
5 then Stand if player draws on 1-3, or 8-10. Draw
if player stands or draws on 4-7.
6 then Stand if player draws on 1-3, or 8-10. Draw
if player stands or draws on 4-7.
7 then Stay
“Tells” are the giveaways that a player
indicates through body language and can give an insight
into their concealed cards. Typical tells of a good
hand can be pupil dilation, lip-sucking and biting and
an overly confident posture, whilst a hand over the
mouth indicates that a player is trying to deceive.
Folded arms are said to be a defensive gesture, and
an indication that the player is trying to deceive.
01 June 2013
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