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Since the advent of the  casino games of Bank Craps and Black Jack, Faro is no longer widely played.  Many people believe that the game has now disappeared, but at the time of writing there are about seven Faro games in operation in Nevada.   But once-when Mark Twain was roughing it- this was perhaps the most celebrated and popular game in the United States.  It may be the oldest banking game in the world, and seems to have been of Italian extraction originally: but it got its vogue and name in the court of Louis XIV.  “Faro” is the English version of Pharaon; Louis ’ royal gamblers called the game Pharaon because one of the honor cards bore the face of an Egyptian Pharaoh.  Maybe it doesn’t really matter, but the game’s language is a matter of legitimate interest; it has given us such ineradicable phrases as “coppering the bet” and “calling the turn.”  And will some etymologist tell me why the first card in the box is called soda and the last is called hoc or hock?  Faro was introduced into this country by way of New Orleans, moved up river on the Mississippi steamboats, and spread across the country like a prairie fire.  Many a plantation, many a slave, and many a poke of gold were won and lost on Faro tables.  To advertise that a Faro game was available, Western houses used to display a big sign bearing the likeness of a tiger, that’s all; that’s where the game got its alias, “Bucking the Tiger.”

  1. A Faro table.  This is a big table covered with green felt on which is painted a layout of 13 cards, running from ace to king of spades.  The spades suit is conventionally used for the layout, but the suit of the cards in actual play has no bearing on the game.
  2. A Faro dealing box.  This, like all other dealing boxes, is open at the top.  Only one card at a time is available, appearing to be framed by wood on all four sides.  The box has a narrow slit at one side through which one card at a time can be slid out.  A spring in the bottom of the box holds the deck firmly against the top frame.
  3. A device called the case keeper, which resembles a counting rack, having pictures of the thirteen cards painted across its middle.  Running from each card to the outside frame of the rack is a metal spindle.  On each spindle are four sliding wooden markers like the big beads on an abacus or a child’s toy.  Each market represents one of the four poker seasons cards of that rank.  Their use and usefulness will be developed presently.
  4. A rack of chips, generally kept to the right of the dealer, about a foot from his right hand.
  5. Markers, used to denote bets not to be confused with the markers on the case keeper described above.  The bet-denoting markers are flat oblong ivory or plastic chips, about the size of half a piece of chewing gum.
  6. Faro coppers.  In the Gold Rush days, pennies were used to copper a lose bet.  But today a black or red hexagonal chip is placed on top of a pile of chips when they are bet that a certain card will lose.
  7. Betting chips.  Their value runs generally as follows:]

White – valued from 25 cents to $ 1
Red – valued at either $1 or $5
Blue – valued at either $5 or $10 Yellow – valued at either $25 or $50
Note : Color and value of chips are discretionary with the casino.

  1. A standard deck of 52 playing cards.  The suits have no relative value, the only thing that matters being the rank of the cards.
  2. One dealer, who keeps the deal and banks the game; one case keeper; and one lookout, who manages the markers and sees that bets are paid and collected.
  3. As many players as can comfortably sit or stand around a Faro table.  About ten is average.

Object of the Game.  To win money by betting correctly on the rank of cards as they are dealt from the box and on whether they will be winning or losing cards.  this is strictly a gambling game.  There is very little, if any, latitude for skill and strategy.
            Betting Limits.  The betting limits in the seven faro games being played in Nevada vary, ranging from $ 1 up to $100 and sometimes $5 to $200, with special exceptions over and above for some high-rolling customers.  The lower limits are most common and in some games   the minimum bet is 25ç and the maximum $25.
            The Shuffle and Deal.  The house banker shuffles the deck, cuts it, and places it  in the box face up.  The first card of the deck, exposed in the this act, is called the soda card, or just soda, and is dead as far as betting action is concerned.
            After the bets have been placed, the dealer then removes soda to the far right of the table, commonly putting it to rest in contact  with the rack of chips just off his right of the table, commonly putting it to rest in contact with the rack of chips just off his right hand; then he removes the next card from the box is the loser card.  The card which remains in the box but is also visible is the winner card.  Now the bets on the two exposed cards are won or lost.  Then the dealer proceeds to slide the winner card out of the box and to discard it on the soda stack.  Thereupon the action is repeated.  The next card is put on the loser and the exposed card remaining in the box is the winner.  The all bets rema9in on the painted layout until a decision is reached through the appearance of the bet card as one of the two dealt cards that have action.
            Players may change or remove a bet between actions.  But if a bet remains on the layout, it must win or lose.  Every time the dealer removes two cards from the box it is called a turn.  The entire deck is dealt – down to the last card to complete a deal.  Then, after reshuffling the deck, the action starts again.  The last card is called the hoc or hock card; and, like the soda card, it is arbitrarily dead as far as betting action is concerned.
            The Case keeper  As the dealer proceeds to make the turns, the case keeper with his peculiar gadget keeps a record of each card that has received action and whether it was a winner or loser.  For instance, if the first seven dealt is a loser, the first button or marker on the spindle of the seven is slid down to touch the other end of the frame.  Should it be a winner, the marker is moved down the spindle, but not until it touches the frame; a space of  about a half-inch is left between frame and marker.  If the next seven is a loser, the next marker is moved down to touch the first.  If the next seven is a winner, the same small space is left between the two.  This goes on until all four of that kind are dealt from the box, whereupon all four markers are pushed down together  to touch the frame, signifying to the players that there will be no more action  on that number in that deal.
            From the case keeper’s record, the play poker player can tell at all times how many cards are left in the box awaiting their turn, what their denomination is, and whether preceding cards of that rank won or lost.  On the basis of this record, many players develop and constantly play occult “systems.”
            cases.  When three cards of a kind have received action, the remaining card bearing that number, the card still in the box, is referred to as cases.  The idiom is “Cases on the King!” Many smart players will bet only the cases on any deal. The reason is that the houses does not have any percentage in its favor on this bet, due to the fact that splits cannot occur.  However, Faro banks today compel a player to make at lest one possible split bet before he can bet on cases.
            calling the Turn.  After 24 successive turns of two cards each have been dealt, there remain in the box three cards.  This stage of the game is called the last turn.  (The last card in the box, the hoc or hock card, is dead for betting action.)
            When the last turn comes up, the player may either bet any one of the cards as an individual bet or call the turn –that is, bet that he can enumerate the next cards dealt in the order of their appear4ance.  Example: The three cards remaining to be played are a deuce, a jack, and a king.  The player may bet that the three will come out as follows:
            Deuce first to lose
            King second to win
            Jack to be the hoc card

Now the dealer pulls out and tables the loser, exposing the winner.  But he also moves the winner halfway out of the box, so that the players can see the hoc card at the same time.
            A player may call the last turn any way he chooses.  In the instance here cited, a player would say he was calling it deuce-king.  On the painted layout before him he would place his bet on the loser card’s facing his winner card, and would tilt his wagered chips on the edge of the bottom chip.  In this case the player, having perhaps six chips to bet, would place one chip on the edge or corner of the deuce nearest the king and would tilt the other five on that chip so that they would tilt toward the king.  If the player wants to call a last turn on two cards separated on the layout by the third  card, he must tilt his bet toward the outside edge of the layout, signifying that his call goes around the middle card.  Example:   The last turn is comprised of the king, queen, and eight; so he must tilt his bet on the outside (lower) edge of the king.  But this convention for placing last-turn is comprised of the king, queen and eight.  The player wants to call the turn as king-eight; so he must tilt his bet on the outside ( lower) edge of the king.  But this convention poker leads for placing  last-turn bets by tilting them on the bottom chip is valid only for a bet of two or more chips, of course.  If a player means to bet only one chip, the bet must be placed differently.
            Last –Turn Payoffs.  Should the player call the turn correctly, the payoff is four to one.  If he does not call it in exact sequence, he loses his bet.  There are six ways for the last turn to show up.  Should the last turn include two of a kind in the box, this is called a cat-hop.  Obviously, it is much easier to call this turn; so the payoff is two to one.  There are three ways for the cat-hop to show up.
            Should the last turn be comprised of three of a kind, then players bet on the colors at the same odds as govern a cat-hop.  Example:   The last turn has come up with three queens in the box, two red and one black.  The players bet  on red or black to win or lose.  Bets are placed in front of the dealer and called as to color.
            In case of Error.  If the case keeper is wrong as the last turn comes up, and does not show there are three cards in the box. Then the dealer must check back through the winning and losing discard piles to correct the mistake.  If the dealer has made a mistake and the last turn shows only two cards instead of three, then the turn is void, and no bets have action.
            The Betting Apparatus.  The majority of all betting is done with chips of different colors.  Most modern houses assign a different color to each player, thus eliminating any possibility of dispute between players as to ownership of a bet.  For each color category of chips there is a smaller matching chip, which is placed atop all chips   of that color in the rack chips.  By extension, of course, this indicates the price per chip.
            The Lookout.  The lookout man sits to the right of the dealer on a high chair and watches the game.  His duties are to see that all bets are paid correctly and that the game proceeds in an orderly way.  His job is comparable to that of a pit boss in the common casino.
            The routine Payoff.  To place a bet on a card to win, the player puts his money on the table’s painted or enameled representation of the card he wants.  If the number he bets is the exposed card which remains in the box, he wins the bet.  All bets except those on calling the last turn are paid at even money.
            The House Percentage.  If any turn comes up two of a kind, the turn is called a split and the house takes half the bet forthwith.  The split and the payoff on calling the last turn are the only percentages in favor of the house.  The percentage in favour of the house on splits amounts to approximately 2 percent.  On the last turn, the payoff is at four to one, the correct odds are five to one; therefore, the house gets a favorable  casino percentage on this bet of 16.66 percent.
            Betting on the Loser.  If a player wishes to bet on a card to lose, he still places his money on the layout of his choice, but must also place on top of his money a small marker, generally black and hexagonal, made for just this purpose.  This marker is called a copper.  The move is called coppering the bet.
            Other Bets.  As to straight bets on the last turn, the same action applied as during the entire deal.  First card out is the loser, second is the winner; and if the bet is made on the card which remains as the hoc card there is no action; the bet is a standoff.
            Another bet may be made: on odd or even.  This bet applies to the whole 13 cards.  Only one bet is necessary, and it takes action on every turn.  The bet is that the winning (or losing) card will be an even number (or odd; it’s your bet).  If a split occurs and both winning and losing cards are even or odd, the bet is a standoff.  The money is usually placed in front of the dealer on the table between the represented deuce and the edge of the layout to signify even; behind the five to signify odd.
            Systems.  Three main types of systems are played, plus another kind of betting on the high card to win or lose, which is itself in reality a kind of system.  As for the latter, the player betting the high card puts his money on the proper space on the layout.  It signifies that, of the two cards in the next turn, the higher numbered of them will win (or lose, according to the bet placed).  In the event of a split, the bet is a standoff.  The three most common systems may be classified as follows:

  1. Double Out.  After the first of a kind has received action, the player bets the other three of the same kind to follow the same pattern of win or lose as the first.  Example:   If the first king dealt is a loser, the player bets the other three too will be losers; and the reverse prevails if the first king were a winner. 
  2. Single Out.  After the first card of a kind is played, the player bets the next of that kind to come out the opposite, the third to revert to the first’s character, and the fourth to be the same as the second.  Example:   If the first deuce is a winner, the player bets the second deuce to lose, the third to win, and the fourth to lose.  (Note: Most Players bet the above systems on the cases only.)
  3. Three-One.  After the first three of a kind have taken action and if the action was alike, the player bets the last card to be opposite to the first three.  Example: The first three  eights were winners; so, the player bets the last eight to be a loser.  When a player bets one card to lose and another to win and loses both bets on the same turn, he is said to have been whipsawed.

Betting More Than One card.  Most players have more than one bet on the layout at the same time; and so there are alternate methods of placing a bet so that one gamble can cover more than one card at a time.  But should any of his designated cards lose, the player loses the entire amount of his bet on the layout, and must cover his remaining bits again if he still wants to play them.  Example:   The player has placed $5 in such a position as to cover the ace –deuce –king.  This indicates that he has $5 bet on each of these cards.  Now should the ace turn up a  loser, the dealer takes the $5; and the player must bet again if he still wants to cover the deuce and king.  But should the turn come up with the ace a loser and the king a winner, the bet is obviously a standoff.
            How Bets Are Placed.  In the illustration here, the various ways of placing a bet are indicated by the position of the chip on the card.  Each bet is numbered.  Now for the explanations:

  1. Bets the four only.  This position is used on every card.
  2. Bets the five and six.  This position may be used between any two cards.  between six and seven, and between eight and seven, the chip would be slightly off center from the seven.
  3. (a) Bets the eight and five.  This may be used wherever two cards are diagonal to each other.  It cannot be used on a seven.  This is called a heeled bet.  The top chips are tilted on the bottom chip toward the other card included in the bet.  This is the usual position for bets of two or more chips.  If the player wishes to bet both to lose, he coppers the top chip only7.  if he wishes to bet one to lose and the other to win, he places the bet as in example 10.  For one chip, see the example below.
  4. (b)  Bets the six and nine.  This is the same bet as example 3a, except that this is position for one chip only.  It may also be used for a bet of more than one chip, but that is not customary.  If the player wants to bet one card to lose and the other to win, he places a copper on the corner of the to-lose card, and heels the other chip toward the winner.  The copper is underneath the chip.

The Faro layout

  1. Bets the deuce and queen.  This may be used between any two cards opposite each other.
  2. Bets the ace and three, skipping the deuce.  This may be used on any outside corner which will skip one card and bet the following one.  It cannot be used on the upper left corner of the six, lower left corner of the eight, upper right corner of the ace and deuce, lower right corner of the queen and king, or the seven.
  3. Bets the four, five, and six.  This may be used anywhere if three cards are included in the bet; it cannot be used on the outside of the ace or king, or on the seven.
  4. Bets the six, seven, and eight.  This position is used only on the one shown and on no other.
  5. Bets the three, jack, and ten.  This may be used anywhere possible to include a triangle of which the card holding the chip is the center card.  It cannot be used on the lower right corner of the ace, the upper right corner of the king, the lower left corner of the six, the upper left corner of the eight or seven.
  6. Bets the four, five, nine, and ten. This may be used to include any four cards forming a square.
  7. (a) 10 (b).  This bet is the same as example 3a, with the copper on the bottom chip and the other chip heeled.  It bets the ace to lose and the queen to win.  Bets are always placed on the card games bet to lose and heeled toward the card bet to win.
  8. This is the position of a chip when betting even.
  9. This is the position of a chip when betting odd.
  10. This is the position of a chip when betting high card.
  11. This is the method of placing one chip to call a last a turn.  The player must place copper on the edge of the card, then tilt the chip on it and place another copper on top of the chip.  This is to make certain, doubly certain, that the player is calling the turn and not just heeling his bet as shown in example3b.  It is meant to eliminate all doubts as to the bet made.


This is a Faro variant, sometimes called Jewish Faro.  It is much more popular than Faro because it lacks the intricate props and is much easier for a player to learn to play.  also, gambling houses prefer it to Faro because it has a greater percentage in favor of the bank.  The game is played exactly  as Faro, with the following exceptions:

  1. The 13 spades on the layout are designed differently from the Faro layout.
  2. A Stows card box is similar to a Faro box, except that the Stows box prevents the last four cards from being dealt out.  They are held at the bottom of the box in a recess called a pocket, and are out of play.
  3. The pack is put into the box face down and dealt fro that position.
  4. The first card placed face up to the right of the Stows box is the house card, and if a online play poker player has a bet on that card, he loses to the house.  However, if the  card turned up is not covered by a bet, then the dealer deals the next card, turns it face up, and places it to the left of the Stows box.  A bet on this card wins for the player. If there is no bet on either the house or the player card, the next turn or deal of two cards takes place.
  5. Also, in Stows, there is no coppering to of bets as in Faro; in other words, the players cannot bet on any cards to lose.  Every bet must be to win.
  6. There is no calling the turn on the last four cards left in the box no pocked bets are permitted.
  7. After 48 cards have been dealt, the Stows box automatically holds out four cards in the box.  Then the dealer takes the four cards out of the box and turns them over.  If there are any bets on the layout corresponding to the cards showing on this turnover, all of these bets are won by the house or dealer.
  8. Split.  In case of splits or ties, where two cards of the same denomination appear on one turn, the house takes the entire bet instead of half the bet as in Faro.
  9. In some smaller casinos, Stows is dealt from the hand, entirely eliminating both the Stows box and the layout.  In some casinos,  second bets (a bet on a  card after a card of that rank has been dealt) are not permitted, the house does not pocket the last four cards.

The Bank’s Percentage at Stows  The bank enjoys its biggest percentage at Stows from the four last cards left in the pocket of the card box, which is calculated as an advantage of 3 11/13 percent.  (Four cards our 7  9/13, but since, on the average, two of these would be house winning anyway, half of this percentage 3 11/13 percent may be considered extra.)
            The bets on splits figure the same as in Faro, approximately 2 percent.  Whereas the house takes the entire bet on splits at stows but only half of the bet at Faro, it comes to the same thing because there are no lose bets in Stows  In Faro, the house takes half of two bets, win or lose.  In Stows, the house takes all of only win bets.  Adding these two figures together, we get a total of approximately 6 percent in favour of the bank at Stows



Pinochle many Variations

Pinochle many Variations
Two-Handed Pinochle
Two-Handed Doubling Redoubling
Auction pinochle
Strategy at Auction
CAD found
Partnership Auction
Auction pinochle without wido Individual play
Partnership Aeroplane Pinochle
Radio Partnership Pinochle

Other Members of the Bezique Family

The Bezique Family
Rubicon bezique
Two-handed sixty-six
Two-handed piquet
Boo-Ray or BOURÉ

The Big Euchre Family

The big euchre family
Strategy of euchre
Auction euchre
Table of scoring points
Spoil five
Double hasenpfeffer
Three-card loo

The Heart Group

Heart Group
Spot Hearts
Black Widow Hearts

The All-Fours Group

All-Fours Group
Shasta Sam
Auction Pitch Joker

Banking Card Games

Banking Card Games
Black Jack, casino Style
Black Jack Strategy
CHEMIN DE PER must play
Baccarat Banque
Faro or farobank
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Red Dogs

Card craps

The Stops Games

Stops Game

Skarney® and How It Is Played

Skarney® and How It Is Played
Alternate Skarney
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Skarney Gin Doubles

Cheating at Card Games

Cheating at Card Games
Professional Card Cheats
Nullifying the Cut
The Peek
How to Shuffle Cards

Dice and their Many Games

Dice and their Many Games
The Casino Game: Bank Craps
English Hazard
Double Cameroon
Partnership Straight scarney Dice
Scarney Duplicate Jackpots
Scarney Chemin de Fer
Applying All Card Games Poker

Games Requiring Special Equipment

Hasami Shogi
Follow The Arrow

Lottery and Guessing Games

Lottery guessing game
Tossing Game
Race Horse Keno
The match Game

Glossary of Game Terms


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