There are many baccarat versions available at online and land-based casinos, with some being more and some less popular among players.
One of the original variants of this game is Chemin de Fer, and unlike Punto Banco, which is by far the most popular one, this version is regarded as much more refined. That’s because it requires skill since the draw doesn’t come with the usual tableau rules of pulling cards.
Finding Chemin de Fer online is difficult. Due to the game rules, it’s very hard for casinos to profit from it, and it’s not easy to control the play. The only way a casino can make a profit from Chemin de Fer is through an obligatory fee of 5%, which players pay on every Banker bet.
But let’s start from the beginning.
What Is Chemin de Fer
As its name suggests, Chemin de Fer originates from France. It’s a baccarat version played with six decks of 52 cards, kept in a dealing shoe. Up to eight players can take part in a game, seated at an oval table.
When it comes to rules, they are generally the same as the ones in Punto Banco. There’s a slight difference, though. Since the rules are not strictly implemented, players themselves have more freedom during the game. In practice, that means more control over the outcome. This difference brings skill into play.
In Chemin de Fer, a single player takes the Banker’s role and sets the wager the rest of the table will place on the hand. This version of baccarat allows players to compete against each other instead of wagering against the House. You won’t find this option in Punto Banco.
If you’re familiar with the game’s most popular version, you’ll realise that card values are the same. That means two eights or nines constitute a “natural”, while tens and picture cards are “baccarat”.