Introducing Chemin de Fer

Baccarat variants have come and gone, but one game has remained, and that is Chemin de Fer. In fact, there are some who believe that this "variant" is actually the source of Baccarat.

Chemin de Fer, as you may have guessed is a French card game, and according to historical records, played in various forms from the 15th century onward. The rules of this game are also markedly different from the standard fare.

The name, by the way, is translated as "railroad" because the role of the banker is "transported" or moved from player to player. Before the game begins, one player is assigned the role of banker, and as such he or she can only place a wager on the banker, while the other participants can only bet on the player. The banker is the one who accepts the bets placed by all players, and also pays out the winning players, or himself for that matter.

Because the banker in Chemin de Fer is also responsible for handing out the cards, and (based on the cards) determine if players can hit or stand, there is very little participation for the casino in this regard (they still take the commission, usually about 5%, after the every hand).

Another unique aspect of this Baccarat variant is that the banker is not subject to the "must hit" or "must stand" rules, and can play the hands any way he or she wants.

(Technically speaking, no one is "forced" to hit with a 4, or stand with 7, but to do otherwise would not just be a break from custom and protocol, but affect the strategies of other players, so it is frowned upon. In some casinos, "breaking" these rules could results in a fine.)

According to Chemin de Fer rules, a tie will keep the current bets in place, but if the banker loses, the role is assigned to the next player, although this may be turned down and assigned to someone else.

The innovations in Chemin de Fer make this one of the most interesting Baccarat variants in casinos. If this game isn't available in your favorite live casino, you can find one on the Internet. Before you play for money, be sure that you know the rules by heart.

The key is to play as often as possible so as to familiarize yourself quickly with the fundamentals. It won't be long before you become prepared to play and win in Chemin de Fer.