The Faro: Gameplay and Rules

Book’s extract: Jean Boussac. Encyclopedia of card games. Paris, 1896, p. 245–246.

Translated from French by Lidie M.

The Faro is a variety of lansquenet, here are the rules:

It is played with a deck of 62 cards, a banker and an unlimited number of players.

After the cards have been mingled and the banker has cut, thirteen cards are offered to the choice of the bricks who choose the amount they want to risk on one or more of these cards, then the banker draws a card he puts on his right and another on his left: this last card is called the English card.

Of these two cards, when they do not form a doublet, the first makes the banker win the bet that the pigeons have placed on this card, and the second requires the banker to double, in favor of the pundits, the money they covered it.

The advantage of the banker is in the doublets or replays, and in the last card when it comes a doublet, the banker earns half of the money that the bricks have risked on the card at the doublet.

The advantage of the banker, as for the last card, is that he is exempt from doubling the money that the pundits have played, although he has drawn the one they had put on the penultimate. 

A game can only be changed or transformed with the consent of the banker, who, when he has only about eight cards left, must announce it to the bosses.

The banker rules the laying of the pigeons and no one can force him to play more than what he wants.

The banker is a tall man when he puts two cards in a row on the same pile, either on the right or on the left. It is the same if he puts on the heel a card that has been detached. But it is not so when, without wanting it, he draws at the same time two cards which hold together. It is enough to separate them at the sight of the clutches and to place them according to the rule of the game.

When one realizes that a banker has made an error, he is made to pay all the wagers on the cards as if they had won.

A card more or less in the game does not allow error, but the banker loses, because of this, the advantage that could offer him the last card.