Monte Carlo Card Games
Among the most popular of Monte Carlo card games are trente et quarante, punto banco and chemin de fer. Both punto banco and chemin de fer are variations on baccarat.
Trente et Quarante
Trente et Quarante uses six packs of 52 cards, with players seated around a shield-shaped table. Face cards are worth 10 and other cards retain their nominal value.
There are four kinds of bets – red, black, couleur, or inverse. The return on each of these bets is the same.
To begin, the croupier deals a row of black cards and a row of red cards. The total of each row should be between 30 and 40. The total nearest to 30 wins.
Couleur and Inverse are linked to the first card of the first row. If the first card in that row is the same colour as the winning card, Couleur wins and Inverse loses, or vice versa. If the two rows have the same total, the result is invalid. However, if the total is 31, the stakes lose half their value unless the player waits for the next round.
In Punto Banco, each player must play either with the bank (“banco”) or against the bank (“punto”). The game uses 8 packs of 52 cards that are placed in a shoe, or holder. The croupier pulls out the first card, and discards as many cards as the number value on the card indicates.
The game then starts. The cards of those who are playing against the bank are placed to the right of the croupier and those for the banker are placed to the left. The croupier draws or does not draw a third card, depending on the values of the cards in play. The cards are worth their printed value, except for the 10 and face cards, each of which is worth 0.
The winner is the hand that is nearest or equal to 9. If a punto win is the same as the bet, 5 percent is subtracted from the bank’s win. If the hands are equal, the payout is eight times the amount of the bet.
Chemin de Fer
Chemin de Fer, which means “railroad” in French, is a variation of baccarat. The name refers to the holder – or shoe – in which the six packs of 52 cards are placed. The shoe passes clockwise from one player to another, with each player taking the role of banker in turn.
The highest score is 9 and the lowest is 0. Aces are worth 1, face cards are worth 10 and other cards have their printed values. A score is determined by adding up the values and deducting 10 or multiples of 10.
A player who has the shoe keeps the role of banker for as long as they continue winning the coup. The banker distributes two hands of two cards each by dealing first to the player and then to the bank. The player then looks at the cards and says either “card” from 0 to 4, or “no” at 6 or 7. If the value of the player’s hand is 5, he or she may then take a card or pass. When the value of the hand is 8 or 9, the player lays down the hand and concedes the game.
For details of where and when you can play Monte Carlo card games, see Monte Carlo casinos.