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Baccarat Variations

There are many variations of baccarat nowadays, all of which are descendants of the original Italian version 'baccara', meaning 'zero'. While European baccarat is the most prevalent type in most of Europe, the French prefers to play their 'chemin de fer'. American baccarat is is the main variation played across North America, though you might be able to find some of the other versions considering that both countries have such a large mix of cultures. What you find largely depends on where you play; all casinos operate in their own individual way. One thing I would suggest you do is find out exactly which baccarat game you're about to play before sitting down at a baccarat table. This is just a precaution to avoid any confusion that might otherwise arise.

The baccarat variations that I have described below are all based on the same set of rules originally established by Falguiere. All are being compared to standard American baccarat game, which I have described on the baccarat rules page.


European Baccarat

  1. Can decide whether to stand or draw on five, as compared to always drawing in the American version.
  2. The play of the dealer, who also operates the permanent bank for the casino, is optional.
  3. Betting with the bank to win constitutes a 5% charge of the winnings on each bet.
  4. The player has the option of playing for or buying the bank.

Chemin de Fer

  1. The bank rotates among the players (Chemin de Fer is French for 'railroad' and refers to the shoe moving among the players like a train).
  2. Player has the option of either standing or drawing on five.
  3. The play of the banker is optional.
  4. The house plays the role of a broker and collects a fee from the winnings of each banker (no risk involved for the house).

Baccarat en Banque

  1. One bank hand and two player hands are dealt, instead of one.
  2. The players are allowed to bet on one or both of the player hands, but never on the dealer's hand.
  3. The bank is operated by a casino employee.
  4. There are no particular rules as to whether the dealer stands or draws, it's completely optional. Sometimes, the dealer will follow the American rules, other times he will alter them to enhance his winning chances.

It's obvious that the differences aren't significant enough that an experienced baccarat player couldn't manage. In most cases, a person with enough knowledge of the American rules can grasp the flow of the game very easily, regardless of which game it happens to be. Trying to remember the exact rules of each of the variations can become a rather tedious task; there is an easier way of going about this problem. As long as you know the basic rules of the game and what's involved, you can pick up the bits and pieces as you play the game. Being able to practice what you study makes for a much easier learning process.