Chemin de Fer – or Baccarat as it is also known - is played with 6 decks of cards and has very strict rules. It is not necessary to have prior knowledge of the game to play.
Any player, even if they are completely inexperienced, can sit at the table and ask the croupier to play according to the rule table «jouer selon la règle».
This means that the steward will help and safeguard the player and make sure no mistakes are made.
The game begins with the banker laying down a stake that cannot be less than the minimum set for the table. The aim of the game is to reach a score of 9 points or as near to 9 as possible, whereas 10 (or multiples of 10) correspond to zero, the lowest score, called "Baccarat".
The banker deals four cards, the first and third are for the punter (I.E. The other player), the second and fourth are for the bank. Scores are reached by adding together the values of the cards drawn and bearing in mind that all multiples of ten count as zero.
Picture cards count as ten and therefore have no value at all.
A picture card plus a 9 therefore scores 9, whereas two or even three picture cards score zero (Baccarat).
A 7 and a 6 score 3 because the 10 is subtracted from 13. If the punter scores 8 or 9, they must announce the number (“abatage”) and turn their cards over. In this situation the punter wins unless the banker also turns up an “abatage”.
If the banker and the punter draw, the round is considered invalid (“égalité”).
If a punter scores 7 or 6 they stand simply by saying –no card-, whereas if they score 5 they can choose whether to draw another card or stand. Punters with a score of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, must ask for a third card from the banker and turn them over if they score an abbatage of 8 or 9.
With a score of 7 the banker has to stand and with 0, 1, 2, they always draw a card.
Other scores will be regulated according to the “règle” that customers can ask game stewards to explain.
The sum staked by the banker can be covered by one player only or divided between various players who play the stake together. This decision is usually taken by the player immediately to the right of the banker.
The game inspector is at the customer’s service for any further explanations.