The game of baccarat is one of the oldest and most widespread casino games. It is believed to have originated in Italy and imported to France shortly before the turn of the 15th century by the troops of Charles VIII, who had learned the game during their stay in Italy.
Baccarat has numerous game variants, the most famous of which is Chemin de Fer (probably named after the railroad pattern of the deck when spread on the table) and Punto Banco.
Difference between Baccarat Chemin de fer and Punto Banco
The difference between Baccarat Chemin de fer and Punto Banco is simple: in Punto Banco, players are pitted against the dealer and not against each other. Moreover, betting is the only choice players can make. By contrast, in Chemin de Fer players are called to make choices.
Chemin de Fer
In Chemin de Fer, the players are not pitted against the Casino but against another player that acts as the Bank. After the players have taken their seats at the table, the game begins. The Casino acts as an intermediary and puts the equipment and a dealer in charge of the game at their disposal. For this reason, all winning banker bets are charged a 5% commission by the Casino.
Chemin de Fer is typically played with 6 decks of 52 French cards. Cards maintain their face value. All 10 value cards and all picture cards count as 0. Players take their seats around the table and the banker sets the stakes, that is, the amount of money that the first player (to which the function of banker has been assigned by lot) decides to put down.
All players have the possibility to accept the amount set by the bank in total or in part. As long as the banker wins, he retains his position, but if he loses then the player next in line (usually the one seated at the banker’s right) gets the chance to become the banker.
After the dealer has declared the customary “rien ne va plus”!, the game starts: the banker deals the punter and himself two cards face down, alternatively. The rules of this game are well defined and strict (players calculate their score by adding the total sum of their cards to the cards value, while ignoring the tens digit):
- The punter must draw the third and last card if he has a hand of 0-1-2-3-4
- If he has a 5 he is free to “draw” or “stand”
- If he has 6-7 he must stand
- If he has 8-9 he must expose his cards; by doing so he deprives the banker of the right to draw a third card.
After drawing the third card (if necessary), it’s the banker’s turn to decide whether to draw or stand. The banker is not obliged to follow strict rules as per the drawing of the third card. In any case, the best possible tactics according to mathematical analysis are listed in the chart below.
|Bank rules having||Draws after having given player||Stands after having given player||Optional|
If the player’s hand ends with 2 cards (6,7) the banker must ask a card if he has a total of 0,1,2,3,4,5. He has to stop with 6,7.
Payoff is 1 to 1 and if the game ends in a tie, they repeat the shot.
In Baccarat Chemin de fer the banker has a 1.37% edge over the punter. Thus, if a player had the opportunity to assume the function of the banker at every round, winning would be a mathematical certainty for him, but this is not possible since that function is handed over to the next player every time the banker loses.
Punto Banco is very similar to Baccarat Chemin de Fer. The only difference is that the player is pitted against the Banker (Casino) and therefore, it falls under the category of “online casino games”.
In punto Banco there are very few decisions to make, such as how much to bet, what to bet, whether to act as player or banker. It is also possible to bet on the possibility of a “tie”.
• The punter has to draw the third and last card if he has a total of 0-1-2-3-4-5
• If he has 6-7 he must stand
• If he has 8-9 he must stop
There are very strict rules for the Banker/ Casino aswell:
|Banker’s rules having||Draws after having given player
||Stands after having given player
|0,1,2||he must draw
|7,8,9||he must stop
In Punto Banco, payoff is 1 to 1 except for the bankers’ bet (less a small percentage due to the banker’s edge over the punter. Hands that end in a tie are usually paid 8 to 1.