European Games and a Favorite Destination . September 2000

Free Listings

Discount Travel


In the News


European Games and a Favorite Destination

by Gayle Mitchell

After our European casino tour last month and to continue your international education, I present European games and a preview of Monte Carlo, a favorite destination of this casino traveler.

European Rules & Games: Knowledge of the French language, specifically numbers is beneficial.

Punto Banco:  similar to American baccarat, but some of the names change: shoe = sabot. player hand = punter. dealer = croupier and  is in charge of the game, representing the punter.  Tie bet pays eight times the stake and may not be more than a quarter of the maximum stake.  The first card brought out by the croupier and turned over determines the value of cards forthcoming  before the first game of a new shoe begins; if face card=10 unturned cards are discarded, 7 shows=7 unturned cards discarded, etc.  Makes card counting a little more difficult. All cards are dealt face up, unlike Chemin De Fer -- face down.

Chemin De Fer: European version -- you cannot bet on banker or player, you must be one or the other, therefore the casino has no direct involvement in the game.The bettors wager amongst themselves, similar to American poker. The player who is acting as the banker by making the largest bid retains possession of the shoe, places his/her bid, (currency) in the middle of the table, and is responsible for all losing bets with their own money, as well as collecting all winning bank bets while betting the banker hand. The other players can now bet against all (banco), or any portion of this money. The highest bidder is now dealt the player hand.  There is no tie bet in this game, however similar to the American version, no money changes hands when there is a tie.The casino takes a 5% commission, or rake, as in poker, on all winning bank hands.  In return the casino provides a croupier as referee, table,  and necessary equipment. Third card rules are different from the American version, and your bankroll requirement, especially if you want to play banker, is definitely higher.

Baccarat Banque, or Baccarat a Deux Tableaux (Double Table Baccarat): Dealer or croupier acts as Banker, deals all the cards, and banks all bets. Dealer stands in the middle of two tables joined in the middle and deals two player hands, one hand to each table, then 2 cards for Banker hand.   Players always bet on the Player hand paying even money, or bet both tables by placing their bet on the line dividing the two tables.  Card and table rules are the same as Chemin de Fer. This game is usually privately run with a cut going to the casino.  This is not the best baccarat bet to make, generally the person making the most money is the individual who puts up the bankroll to run the game. 

30/40-Trente & Quarante:  simple French card game called Rouge et Noir (red and black) played with 6 decks of cards offering 4 bets: rouge, noir, couleur inverse, all paid even money. Aces=1, face or courtcards=10, others=face value.  Two hands are dealt, each row must exceed 30, not over 40. First card row is black, second red, and the winning point payout is the one nearer to 30, or lower hand.  If the first card dealt in the first row is the same color as in the winning row, the color bet wins, or if first card is of the opposite color, inverse bet wins. A tie is a push, however if both rows equal 31, then bets only lose half the value.   Player may then divide their bet, or wait for next deal where bet will be free if it wins; the same as the "en prison" rule for roulette.  All these games are available at..

Monte Carlo

The ultimate European experience would have to be Monaco, the little principality tucked away on the French Riviera; and its capital, Monte Carlo, where 4 casino selections await.  The playground for the rich and famous, and the rest of us. Opening hours are posted,  closing times are not, as casinos will remain open as long as gamblers would like to play.


Casino de Monte Carlo-Place du Casino, Monte Carlo 98007, in the heart of Monte Carlo. T: 011-377-9216-2121. F: 011-377-9330-1585. W: --EY, PS, DCJ, G=B, BJ, CF, PB, RL, SL. Built in 1863 in "royal" style, period decorations. Bohemian glass chandeliers, rococo ceiling, lots of marble, gold fixtures, with tables of the finest wood, and intricate design.  "Belle Epoque" architecture popular during the reign of Napoleon III. Entering to the Atrium with its 28 Ionic columns, across the Renaissance Hall to the main gambling hall, divided into rooms or salles, e.g. European Room and the American Room, which opens at 10 am offering slots, while the European Room opens at noon for roulette, (American & European versions), baccarat, chemin-de-fer, 30-40. Rose Hall is a lively room set aside for video poker players. Prive Salons (private salons) featuring baccarat and chemin de fer, some open at 3pm, others--9 pm and Salon Super Prive by appointment only. Languages: French, English and Italian.  Currency: FF = French Franc or Monegasque.

Loews Monte Carlo Hotel & Sun Casino-Avenue des Spelugues 12, Monte Carlo. T: 011-377-9216-2123  1-800-23-LOEWS  F: 011-377-9315-4891 W:   G=BJ, CR, RL, SL. Casino is built out over the Mediterranean; a spectacular park nearby.

Monte Carlo Sporting Club & Casino-Av. Princess Grace 26, Monte Carlo. 98000. T: 011-377-9216-3636. F: 011-377-9216-6210.  EY, DCJ, PS, G=B, BJ, CF, RL, SL. Salle de Palmiers offers French and American style gambling from end of June-September. La Salle des Etoiles,  club for nightly dinner dancing and cabaret, Parady'z, and Jimmy's disco nearby.

Cafe de Paris-Place du Casino, across the plaza from Monte Carlo. EY, DCJ, PS, G=B, BJ, CF, CR, RL, SL, H: Slots-open at 10 am, table games at 5 pm.  A Grand Hotel from yesteryear.

Monaco is a fairytale come true for travelers, especially at night,  and Monte Carlo, a must-see for gamblers.  Although I was there many years ago, I can  still close my eyes and remember the details.

Gayle Mitchell is author of  Casino Gambling Made Easier   books, booklets and strategy cards.