Chemin de Fer Baccarat – Guide: How to Play

chemin de fer baccaratPeople mostly know about the Chemin de Fer baccarat variation thanks to James Bond. The game appears in a lot of the old movies like Dr. No, On her Majesty’s Secret Service and GoldenEye.

Like with Baccarat en Banque, Chemin de Fer is one of the oldest versions of baccarat. In fact, some believe it to be the original version, having appeared in France in the 19th century.

Let’s take a look at the rules and strategy of this classic table game.

Chemin de Fer Gameplay and Rules

At the beginning of the game, one of the players is given the “banker” role. He will also deal. Like in other variants, in Chemin de Fer the role of banker goes around the table from player to player.

  1. Banker and Players Place Their Bets

The banker places his wager first. Then, the other players have two options:

  • “Go bank” (match the banker’s amount): if 1 player does this, the others don’t bet
  • Everyone places small wagers so that their combined amounts match the banker’s wager

The sum total of the players’ wagers cannot go over or under the banker’s amount.

  1. Banker Deals Cards

The banker will then deal two hands face-down: one for himself, and one for the players. Each hand is comprised of 2 cards.

Among the players, the one who has wagered the highest amount will be the one to make the final decisions. All players can see their cards in online Chemin de Fer.

Like in regular baccarat, both the players and the banker must immediately reveal any “natural” hands (whose total score is 8 or 9), as this signals a winning hand.

Players can decide whether or not to take a hit according to their card score. If they take a hit, the card will be dealt face-up for the banker to see.

  1. Chemin de Fer Strategy: When to Hit or Stand

The strategy in this variation doesn’t much differ from regular baccarat, which itself uses the same sorts of odds as in blackjack.

Basically, players are encouraged to hit between 0 and 4, and stand between 6-9.

  1. Chemin de Fer Payouts

When the player hand is higher than the dealer’s hand, the players all win. They will each get their bets back, plus a 1:1 payout, so basically double their bet.

However, if the banker wins, that’s when the pay-outs get interesting. The banker rakes up everyone’s bets. Which means that he technically still gets a 1:1 payout, but with much bigger figures than the players.

If there’s a tie between the player and banker’s hands, then the bets all remain on the table and the game continues.