Chemin de Fer Baccarat: Review the Thrills of a High-Stakes Favorite

Chemin de Fer is a sophisticated version of baccarat that has been thrilling players in European casinos, particularly in France, for centuries. – Chemin de Fer is a sophisticated version of baccarat that has been thrilling players in European casinos, particularly in France, for centuries. Unlike other baccarat versions predominantly governed by the casino, Chemin de Fer puts the power back in the players’ hands, offering a dynamic gaming experience where strategy and skill play crucial roles. This article dives into the elegant world of Chemin de Fer, outlining the rules, strategies, and nuances of this high-stakes game to help you master its challenges and revel in its thrills.

Understanding the Basics of Chemin de Fer Baccarat:

Chemin de Fer, often simply called Chemmy, is played with six decks of cards shuffled together. It’s a game marked by its distinction in that one of the players acts as the banker and plays against the other participants who are the bettors. The game’s name, which means ‘railway’ in French, refers to the speed of the game, which is quicker than the original Baccarat version.

Gameplay Mechanics:

  • Role of the Banker and Players:
    • At the beginning of each round, the role of the banker is auctioned off, usually to the player willing to risk the highest amount. The banker sets the initial stake and deals the cards. Other players at the table can decide to ‘go bank,’ meaning they challenge the banker by matching his bet.
  • Dealing the Cards:
    • The banker deals four cards, two to himself and two held in common by the other players. The player with the highest individual wager represents the group of non-banker players. If the cards total an 8 or 9, this is declared, and the hands are compared immediately.
  • Third Card Rules:
    • Similar to other baccarat games, if neither hand totals 8 or 9, the player can choose to draw a third card with hands valued at 0-4 and stand with 6 or 7. The decision to draw a third card on 5 can vary, adding a strategic layer not as pronounced in other baccarat forms.

Strategic Insights for Winning at Chemin de Fer:

  • Banker Advantage:
    • Acting as the banker can be advantageous since the banker wins on ties and may have more leeway in terms of managing the game. If comfortable with high stakes, consider bidding to be the banker.
  • Risk Management:
    • Due to its fast-paced nature and high stakes, effective bankroll management is crucial. Set limits for losses and stick to them. Being conservative when you’re the bettor and slightly more aggressive as the banker can be a prudent strategy.
  • Observation and Adaptation:
    • Pay attention to the outcomes of each hand and try to detect patterns or strategies employed by other players, especially the banker. Adapt your strategy accordingly, whether it involves changing how you bet or opting to go bank against the banker.


Chemin de Fer baccarat offers a unique blend of strategy, psychology, and chance, making it a captivating game for those who appreciate its finer details. By understanding its rules and nuances and implementing strategic play, you can enjoy the sophisticated excitement it offers and increase your chances of success. Whether at a glamorous European casino or an elegant private game, mastering Chemin de Fer can make you not just a participant but a connoisseur of one of the oldest and most prestigious card games in the world.


1. What is Chemin de Fer Baccarat?

Chemin de Fer is a popular version of baccarat that originated in France. Unlike the more widely known version of Punto Banco, where the casino banks the game at all times, in Chemin de Fer, the players take turns to be the banker which adds a layer of strategy that isn’t present in other versions. The name “Chemin de Fer” (French for “railway”) originally refers to the speed of the game in its early days, which was faster than the original baccarat.

2. How does Chemin de Fer differ from other baccarat games?

The primary difference in Chemin de Fer is the role of the banker. Players alternate being the banker, and each can decide whether to take a third card or stand. This player choice introduces a strategic element not found in Punto Banco. Also, while the basic goal of reaching a hand value of nine remains the same, the interaction and negotiation between players make Chemin de Fer more interactive.

3. What are the basic rules of Chemin de Fer?

In Chemin de Fer, the game is played with six decks of cards. Players sit in a circle, and the deck is passed around. The player acting as banker decides how much they wish to wager, and other players choose to “go bank,” matching the banker’s bet. If no single player matches the wager, multiple players can combine their bets to cover it. Players then decide to draw or stand based on their hand value, and the game aims to beat the banker’s hand.

4. What strategies can help players succeed in Chemin de Fer?4.

Successful Chemin de Fer strategies involve understanding when to draw a third card or stand based on the banker’s potential hand. Since players have the opportunity to serve as the banker, knowing when to take on this role and how to manage the bank’s money can significantly affect the game’s outcome. Advanced players often pay close attention to the remaining cards in the deck and make statistical decisions based on this information.

5. Where can players experience Chemin de Fer?

Chemin de Fer can be found in many European casinos, particularly in France and Monaco. While it’s less common in North American casinos, players can sometimes find it in high-stakes rooms in places like Las Vegas. Online casinos also offer virtual Chemin de Fer tables for players around the world.