Chemin de Fer
Play the fast-paced version of baccarat called Chemin de Fer, a game with low house edge and an easy to learn and master game mechanics.
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Baccarat is one of the oldest casino games out there but like almost all other games it has changed and developed over the years. So, today, there are several different versions of baccarat and Chemin de Fer is the oldest one still around. Although the game shares many of its rules with modern variations, there are some important differences as well.
The biggest one is that Chemin de Fer isn’t played against the house. Instead, players play against each other. One of the players holds the bank and they match any bets from their opponents. The game is traditionally played with the minimum of 8 and the maximum of 12 players.
The shoe containing six deck of cards moves around the table so that all players get their turn acting as the banker. This gives Chemin de Fer a whole new dimension and makes it quite popular with some players.
There aren’t many online casinos hosting Chemin de Fer and the reason is very simple. The game isn’t played against the house. With this being the case, the casino can’t make money from the house edge like with other baccarat variations. Additionally, the rules of Chemin de Fer make it somewhat difficult to set up in an online environment.
How to Play Chemin de Fer
The game of Chemin de Fer is quite different from casino-hosted baccarat variations. At the start of a round, the player who’s designated the banker will place a certain wager at their discretion. Players will then bet together to match this wager in full before cards are dealt.
At any time, a player can call “banco”, which means they’re putting all of their chips at risk against the banker’s wager. The priority is always given to players calling “banco”, starting with the first player to the dealer’s right.
In the event that players’ bets don’t cover the banker’s wager in its entirety, observers may be allowed to participate as well. If the total of players’ bets is bigger than the banker’s initial wager, they have the option to either raise their stake or remove excess bets.
Once the betting is done, the banker will deal four cards in total. Two cards are given to the player side and two cards go to the banker. Initial cards are dealt face down and the player with the highest wager will be the one representing the player side.
When the cards are dealt, both sides will look at their hands. If either side has a Natural, i.e. a total of either 8 or 9, they will announce it and the hand will end right then and there. When this isn’t the case, there are rules for additional cards that are different for both sides.
The player will stand on 6 or 7, draw on totals 0 – 4, and can either draw or stand on 5. Rules for the banker are somewhat more complicated so for less experienced players it’s good to have them handy somewhere during the play.
Chemin de Fer Payouts
Once the draw is complete, hands will be compared. If the player side wins, all bets will be paid at 1 to 1. If the banker wins, they’ll collect all wagers from the tables. Additionally, the banker side will take a 5% fee from all the player bets.
When the hand is completed, the person acting as the bank has the option to continue or pass the shoe onto the next player. Although the banker is allowed to pass at any time, it is an unwritten rule of Chemin de Fer that they should always continue for at least one hand after a winning round.
Chemin de Fer Guides
Although old, Chemin de Fer is still quite a popular baccarat variation and if you’d like to know more about how to play it correctly, we offer a variety of free guides for you to use.
Why Play Chemin de Fer?
There aren’t many casino games that involve players as much as Chemin de Fer, which is one of the biggest reasons to give this game a chance. It offers a different kind of dynamics and allows players to take turns being the “house”.
Because of the rules and the way the bets are placed, Chemin de Fer isn’t too fast-paced so you might not get too see that many hands during a session. At the same time, every round can be quite entertaining and requires involvement from all players and even observers sometimes. So, the game is much more about the whole experience.
Finally, unlike other baccarat versions, Chemin de Fer does give players at least some level of control. When your hand total is 5, you can decide to take the card or pass the action to the dealer, which may not have a huge influence on the overall bank edge but does make the game more involved.
Top Three Tips for Chemin de Fer
If you’d like to try your hand at Chemin de Fer but are uneasy about it, here’s a few tips to help you get started and play the game correctly:
- Only bet what you can afford. Action can sometimes get really heated at Chemin de Fer tables but you should always stay within your betting limits regardless of what other players are doing.
- When playing the bank, don’t let the players pressure you into raising your initial wager. Play at the level you’re comfortable with. There is nothing wrong with returning excess bets.
- Always do an extra round as the banker after winning. It’s in line with the etiquette of Chemin de Fer and there is really no reason not to do it.
How We Rate Chemin de Fer Online Casinos
Chemin de Fer isn’t a really popular variation for online casinos for a number of reasons. However, those rare operators that do offer the game or some altered versions of it undergo the same process like the rest of the operators recommended here. They are thoroughly tested for fairness, withdrawal speeds, and all other relevant factors.
Can I play Chemin de Fer online?
No, not really. Online casinos don’t host this particular version of baccarat because it’s not played against the house and it’s complicated to set up in the online environment. However one may be able to find a live dealer baccarat version of this game. This game is very rare to find in an online casino.
Does the banker have an edge in Chemin de Fer?
Do I get to play the banker in Chemin de Fer?
What happens if both sides have the same hand in Chemin de Fer?
This is what’s known as a tie or a push. When this happens, the bets will stay in place and new hands will be dealt.
Do I have to cover excess bets as the banker?