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Chemin de Fer

Chemin de Fer

Chemin de Fer is considered the initial form of modern baccarat, but it is still played in France. The name is French for “railway”, but the older meaning of the name meant “iron road” because of the iron box in which the cards were kept.

Naturally, the game is very similar to modern-day baccarat since it is its predecessor, but Chemin de Fer involves more decision making than baccarat. It is extremely hard to find a land-based casino with Chemin de Fer tables in the United States, and online casinos don’t offer the game too. However, if you go to Monte Carlo, you will surely find a Chemin de Fer table.

Early History of Chemin de Fer

The true origins of Chemin de Fer are practically lost to history, but it is known that the game existed during Napoleon’s reign over France and Europe, and was fairly popular among the French. The earliest account of Chemin de Fer can be traced back to the invention of the railroad, because that is what the name means. The first railroad opened in 1832, so it is probably around that time that Chemin de Fer appeared.

How to Play the Game and Rules

The hand valuation is the same as in baccarat. Six standard 52-card decks are used and the role of the banker rotates among players. The banking of the game is made by a player instead of the casino. The banker hand is always with the banker and he indicates the maximum that he can lose. The maximum player bet depends on the maximum loss stated by the banker.

Each player is dealt two cards, and the one with a total of 8 or 9 has to show his cards immediately. The player with the largest bet can choose if he wants to take a third card. Usually a player with a total of 4 or less hits, but stands if he has a 6 or more. If he has a 5 he can go either way. There are no records if a tie bet is possible. Another difference from standard baccarat is that the players bet against each other, instead against the casino. The casinos profit is the 5% commission on all winning banker hands.

Chemin de Fer Strategy

The best tips that we can give you are to find a Chemin de Fer table where the commission on the banker hand is the lowest, to manage your bankroll well, to learn the odds and to avoid betting what you have won. Also:

  • You can use a same strategy for drawing a third card after the player draws on 5 as in standard baccarat.
  • If you are the banker you should always draw on 6 or less when the player stands.
  • Anyway, your strategy will largely depend on the other bettors’ strategy, so basically you will need to learn the game well in order to devise your own strategy when playing against others.

Can I Play Chemin de Fer Online?

Unfortunately, you cannot play Chemin de Fer online, because online casinos don’t offer it, which is maybe because the game is more exciting to be played sitting at a real table with other players as you would at land-based casinos.

Other Online Casino Baccarat Games

Instead you can play other popular baccarat variations, such as Mini Baccarat, American Baccarat, Punto Banco, European Baccarat, Baccarat en Banque and you have plenty of high limit baccarat games. Moreover, all online casinos offer the standard baccarat game.

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