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French Gambling Card Games – Can You Play Them?

  • Learn about legal gambling in France
  • Get to know the French gambling card games!
  • Here is how to play pinto banco, faro, and chemic de fer!
French Gambling Card Games

When you go to a casino, you have several options: table games, slot machines, and card games – just to mention a few. And even if we only consider card games, there are so many of them, it is hard to keep up with all of them! So now, we would like to lead you into the world of French gambling card games – to get at least a little part covered.

When thinking about France, many things can pop into one’s mind. A beautiful language, Napoleon, the Eiffel Tower, the Mona Lisa, the delicious wines, special cheeses, great slopes for skiing and snowboarding, not to mention the nation’s great artists, like Monet or Cézanne. We can agree on one thing: the French culture is pretty rich, and it is also true when it comes to their gambling card games! Those have a long history, but many of them are still popular today. That is to say, many gamblers like to engage within casinos in France, and everywhere around the world. But what are these card games? Have you heard of them before? Do you know how to play them? Keep on reading to find out!

French Gambling Card Games
Let’s play!

Legal gambling in France

Before moving on to French gambling card games, let us dive into French gambling legislation. Starting with one fact: France is basically a gambling-friendly country, there are no strict rules regarding this field. According to gamblingsites.org: “All forms of gambling are regulated and legal in France. Brick-and-mortar operations may host card games, casino games, sportsbooks, and racing betting while online operations may offer all the same except casino games.” It means, that anytime you feel like bumping into a casino to try its games, you can do that freely. Of course, only if you are over 18 – that is the minimum age for wagering. However, when it comes to online casino sites in France, the situation is not that easy: online casinos are not allowed in the country.

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Legal online gambling in France

On the other hand, there are online gambling sites in France. Those are pretty popular – especially lately. But it has not always been like that! The country needed – and well deserved – the Gambling Act of 2010. It was a huge change for the business, as it created the Regulatory Authority for Online Games. (It is the body to license and regulate online gambling in the country.)

But it was not only important for the business, but for gamblers as well! Gamblingsites.org puts it this way: “The Gambling Act was important for players because it disbanded the government monopoly that existed previous to the passage of the law. Now, the French market was open to competition from other EU gaming sites. 35 companies applied for licenses and became the first non-government entities to offer online poker, sports betting, and horse racing betting. French politicians chose not to include traditional casino games such as roulette, slot machines, and table games because they felt those games would be too addictive. To this day, traditional casino games aren’t offered by French-licensed gaming sites.” This is why it is important to check out the online casino directory in France, before starting to play any games online! And you can still see some French gambling card games at Ignition Casino!

French Gambling Card Games

When it comes to card games, there are a few, that we do not need to explain to anyone. There is poker, Texas hold ’em, and blackjack – just to mention the most popular ones. But it is not all there is for card games! France is a country that has a long history of card games. They have Bisque, Coucou, Homme, Marjolet, Napoleon, Piquet and so on. And they also have those ones that people can also play in casinos! The most famous ones are punto banco, chemin de fer, and faro. You have probably heard about them, but do you actually know how to play them? Are you familiar with the rules? Or their history? Keep on reading to find out more about these French gambling card games!

Baccarat

This one is probably the best-known of the French gambling card games. Baccarat or baccara is usually played at casinos. It dates back to the 19th century, but some say that it was already in the country by the 15th century – bought there from Italy. However, they still impute it to the French. The game has three variants. The punto banco, the baccarat chemin de fer, and the baccarat banque. The punto banco is usually the one that is played in casinos or online, such as at Ignition Casino.

Punto banco

And how does it look like? According to baccarat.net “Punto Banco is a game where players bet against the dealer, similarly to blackjack. The name accurately describes the two opposing sides: punto – meaning “player” and banco – standing for “bank”. The objective of the game is to reach nine or closest to nine before the other side does and before going bust or exceeding nine.” Playing the game in brick-and-mortar casinos is no different than playing it online – the thrill is the same! The dealer still handles all the shuffling, cutting, and dealing.

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Chemin de fer

Another famous type of French gambling card game – and baccarat – is chemin de fer. They also calle it Shimmy or Chernay – so that you know when someone is speaking about the same thing. Britannica.com explains the game: “The game is played by up to 12 players, on a kidney-shaped table; the object is to total 9 with a hand of two or three cards. When the cards total a two-digit number, the first digit is ignored, so that 14 would count as 4. Ace counts as 1, number cards at face value, and picture cards as 10 (which counts 0).” It is different from punto banco, as the players here bet one at a time against each other instead of against the house.

French Gambling Card Games
Which one is your favorite game?

Faro

Another one of the French gambling card games is Faro – Pharaoh, Pharao, or Faro bank. Its history dates back to 17th century France. They play it at an oval table with green baize and has a cutout for the banker. They place one suit of cards – traditionally spades – on the table in numerical order, as a betting layout. The players lay their stakes on one of the cards – or they can even place multiple bets. This game can be a bit confusing, so it is worth watching a video or two about it, before starting to play.

Are you ready for the French gambling card games?

If you live in France, you can brace yourself and go to a land-based casino to try any of these exciting games. If you live somewhere else, you can still seek these card games in brick-and-mortar casinos. Or you can just check out and see the online gambling sites in your country! Sites like Ignition Casino give you the experience of these games, you just need to sign up! And if you are already there, you might want to check out their slot machines and the bonuses they offer from time to time!

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