A form of baccarat played chiefly in France, Chermin de fer is said to be the original version of the game when it was brought to France from Italy and is the most popular version even today. The game gets its name Chemin de Fer or “iron roads” because the cards were stacked in an iron box. It is played entirely in French.
While the French version of Baccarat conforms to most of the rules of American baccarat, the object of the game as in American baccarat, is for the player to get a hand whose value is nine or as close to it as possible. However, there are several differences between the American and French versions of this game. Let’s take a look at them:
Number of decks
Chemin de Fer is played with a six-deck card pack rather than in an eight-deck shoe, as in American baccarat.
Role of the banker
In American baccarat, the casino is the banker, but in Chermin de Fer, this role is played by a player. At the end of each round, the banker’s role is passed on to the next player in clockwise direction. However, a player may pass up this role if he does not wish to take it on. However, if a player wishes to bet, he must play the game as either a player or banker.
Placing a bet
In Chermin de Fer, players bet amongst themselves rather than against the house. The casino provides the necessities—a gambling table, a pack of cards and a dealer to supervise the game. He also watches the game intently to see that no player cheats. For providing this service, the casino usually takes a five percent commission for all winning bets.
Drawing a third card
The difference between drawing a third card is that in American baccarat, a player should necessarily draw on a five, but in Chermin de fer, if he has a hand of five after the first couple of cards are drawn, he can decide whether to draw or stand. Besides, the banker can opt to play or withdraw.
Role of casino
In American baccarat, players play against the house while the casino provides all the money for the game, the venue and the necessary equipment. Apart from this, the house must ensure that all the rules of the game are strictly followed. However, in Chemin de Fer, the casino is not directly involved in the betting aspect of the game.
Chemin De Fer has many more variations and nuances than online baccarat. Here, there is much more reading of hands to do and many more decisions to take. For die-hard gamblers who love playing baccarat but don’t like it to be as pat as Mini Baccarat, might enjoy playing Chemin de Fer only because it’s much more appealing than its variants. The most popular variant of this game is its online version. People worldwide are flocking to online Chemin de Fer sites to enjoy this fascinating game.
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» Online Baccarat History
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