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June 2nd, 2016 at 1:14:59 PM permalink
Baccarat a deux tableax (or baccarat banque) is basically baccarat with one banker hand playing against two player hands simultaneously. Is there any strategy that the banker can follow that is based on either or both players drawing a third card and what the third card/s is/are?

I've read some sources that say if neither player draws a card, then the banker MUST draw a third card. Other sources make no mention of this rule, and it would appear that the banker and both players have completely free decisions on whether or not the draw a third card no matter what the circumstance.

Anybody done the math on this baccarat variant?
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June 5th, 2016 at 7:17:25 AM permalink
Where can you find this variation?
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June 6th, 2016 at 8:34:43 AM permalink
Quote: CyrusV

Where can you find this variation?

Sorry, should have mentioned that...

I'm not sure if it's offered anywhere in the world anymore, but I know back in the early 20th century it was popular in European casinos.

I was just wondering if there was any kind of mathematical strategy for it.

EDIT: Actually I think some online casinos offer it, but I don't know if players have the option to bank in that case.
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May 15th, 2022 at 3:06:47 AM permalink
20 years ago the game still existed in Monaco (not sure these days) and that is the only place where I ever saw it.

Interesting article from The Vegas Guy dated July 31, 2001. I can no longer find it on the web, but here you go:

MONACO -- Outside the Casino of Monte-Carlo, clustered around the fountain like gawkers at a traffic accident, are 50 or 60 backpackers and tourists, most of them American, staring toward the grand marbled steps of the world's most beautiful gambling palace, waiting, chattering, looking for . . . what?
"They're here every day. They're hoping to see someone famous," explains Claudia Kozma, spokesman for Societe des Bains de Mer, the French company which has held the monopoly on gambling here since the 19th century.

So why don't they go inside? I ask.

"We don't know," she says.

Occasionally someone will venture toward the green-jacketed security officers who hover around the entrance like eagle-eyed sentries, but inevitably they'll ask a single question and turn back to their vigil in the late summer heat, which can become fairly oppressive even on the fabled Riviera.

The casino of Monte-Carlo is, in fact, so grandiose--it's like gambling in the Louvre, complete with the eerie shuffling silence of museums--that it actually intimidates people. To get to the main gambling rooms, you must first pass through a huge atrium flanked by 28 marble columns, present your passport for inspection, walk through the Renaissance Salon, where drinks are served by impeccable gentlemen in white jackets, and thence to the Salon de l'Europe, which may be the single most famous gaming room in the world. Only two games are played there--French-style roulette and "Trente et Quarante"--and, even though the minimum bet is only 20 francs, or about three dollars, it's not uncommon to stand next to someone wagering $100,000 on each spin of the wheel.

For the first 136 years of its existence, the casino required coats and ties for men, dresses for ladies, and had gendarmes stationed outside to fend off the riffraff. That rule was abolished two years ago, mostly for public relations reasons. "We were turning too many people away," explains William "Billy" Ray, the charming Englishman who hosts high-rollers and is a walking library of Monte Carlo history. "So many tourists come here. The times had changed. Of course, when I see that . . ."

He gestures toward two young men, wearing loose T-shirts, baggy shorts and tennis shoes.

". . . I still flinch a little bit."

Is it a palace? Is it a museum? Is it the residenceof the king? Oh, pardon me, it's the casino. The Casino of Monte-Carlo.I was actually disappointed to find the dress code abolished--I like to think there's still one James Bond-style casino left in the world, or at least a place where the Rat Pack would feel at home--but the French have been ingenious about preserving the character of the casino in spite of fashion trends. The casino is a series of grand Belle Epoque salons that become progressively more exclusive the father back you travel. To get into the "Salons Prives"--two galleries beyond the Salon de l'Europe--you must pay 50 francs and wear a coat and tie. To reach the "Salle Medecin," a gorgeous atrium in the farthest reaches of the casino, you must be invited. And for those very special guests, there's the "Super Prive" or the "Touzet" salons, where the casino entertains very wealthy, very secretive gamblers who are allowed to bring only a single guest and can be admitted by a private entrance. (Sorry to disappoint the gawkers out by the fountain, but your chances of seeing Roger Moore are nil.)

The owners have made a few accommodations for Americans in recent years. Two of the salons and a small room off the atrium have been turned into slot-machine areas, including the old cabaret, where the ceiling is decorated with angels smoking cigars. (Oddly enough, the casino, when it opened in 1863, was non-smoking, and smokers had to retire to the "Salon Fume"--used today as the buffet. Now the only complaints about smoking come from fussy Americans, much to the amusement of the staff.)

Twenty years ago the casino had devoted one of its grand rooms to slots and American games, in what it called the Salle des Ameriques. The hall is still there--it has an interesting slot-machine historical exhibit--but casino director Francis Palmaro decided the slots atmosphere was just not in keeping with the traditions of Monte-Carlo. The same company now owns three other Monaco casinos where slots are prominent, encouraging the Americans to go there and leave the main casino as the Temple of Table Games it's always been.

"The Italians are the greatest table-game players in the world," says Billy Ray, my tour guide and a former chemin-de-fer dealer himself. "The French are close behind. Europeans love table games. I don't think the customer has changed so much. I think that, because of the profit margins on slot machines, it's the casino companies who have changed the customer."

For me the most fascinating game played in Europe is all but unknown in the states. Called "Banque a Deux Tableaux," it consists of two chemin-de-fer tables joined together, with a dealer at the center on one side, a croupier on the other, and an inspector hovering around the edges to make sure the bets are proper. Sixteen people play against the dealer, who deals one hand to each table and then one hand to himself. He must then use that hand to play against both sides. Obviously we're into some serious mathematics here. His decision as to whether to draw to a five, for example, is influenced mainly by how much is bet on the respective tables. If one table holds $600,000 in chips and the other only $100,000, he must compute the short table's odds at one-sixth and then run it through a computer--his brain--to determine the true odds for his money. He must do this in less than one second.

What makes it more interesting is that the dealer of this game is the only casino employee in the world who must make actual judgment calls--based on the size of the pots, the character of the players, and the odds--that can make million- dollar differences in amounts won and lost. The house advantage is technically 1.32 per cent, but that can change according to the whims, habits and aggressive play of 16 people. The dealer's salary is based on a percentage of the casino's win, and the casino is forbidden by law from influencing his decisions.

"There are actually about 200 mathematical formulas that must be memorized," said Billy Ray. "I used to re-memorize 20 of them every day before I came to work. I would work out especially thorny math problems and then try to solve them quickly. Because you have no time. As soon as the table is ready, you must take a card or pass. The sessions last two hours, and when you finish, you're exhausted. Someone could say to you 'What's nine plus two?' and you wouldn't know the answer. But it's the most exciting job in the world. You're not just hitting 16 and staying on 17. You're actually gambling."

I asked him if dealing the game was considered one of the more desirable jobs in the casino.

"Well, it's a moot point," he says. "There are only 12 people in Europe capable of dealing it. Unfortunately, it's a dying game. I doubt that we'll see it anymore in three or four years."

Yes, even Monte Carlo must enter the 21st century. Sometime very soon a convoy of trucks will leave Paris, carrying 3200 tons of new chips. By the end of the year all bets at the casino will be in Eurodollars. For the first time in 138 years, there will be no francs on the table at Monte Carlo. Even the Americans will know exactly how much they're betting--assuming they decide at last to actually go inside.

Email Joe Bob Briggs, "The Vegas Guy," at JoeBob@upi.com or visit Joe Bob's website at http://www.joebob-briggs.com/. Snail-mail: P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, TX 75221.

© Copyright 2001 United Press International and Joe Bob Briggs

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May 15th, 2022 at 3:30:33 PM permalink
Just seen this thread. A few years ago (perhaps in the 80s) there was someone who worked in my local casino who had dealt this game (I suspect in London). I don't know the exact rules but he was responsible for making the decision whether to take a third card. Possibly there were more than two players' hands.

I remember playing pontoon on a ferry where the dealer had to option to hit soft 17, and perhaps 18 (or stand). I imagine at some Californian casinos, those taking the bank have similar situations (some used to have the rule that bankers had to hit X and stand on Y but had options between).
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May 15th, 2022 at 3:51:33 PM permalink
I've played it some years ago in Monaco. Not to any great level - I confine my gaming to Vegas, so I can't recall all the rules, but I do recall that in certain situations where the hand on the left had more money than the hand on the right, and say, drawing was offering a potential advantage only to beating the lower wager hand, the Banker would stand.

Keep in mind that in Chemin de Fer or true Baccarat (the version you refer to is true Baccarat versus the fixed draw game we play in the U.S. which is actually Punto Banco) there are situations where the Player may decide to draw or not, such as when holding a 5. I don't recall all the rules to true Baccarat so I don't recall if drawing is optional at certain times for either side, I believe yes.
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