Sharps and Flats: The Secrets of Cheating
home introduction book content links advertising contact


foreword to the online edition


I. introductory

II. common sharpers and their tricks

III. marked cards and the manner of their employment

IV. reflectors

V. holdouts

VI. manipulation

VII. collusion and conspiracy

VIII. the game of faro

IX. prepared cards

X. dice

XI. high ball poker

XII. roulette and allied games

XIII. sporting houses

XIV. sharps and flats










Bookmark and Share

The Rules of Faro

Please note that you may find another description for the rules of faro in the Rules of Card Games chapter on Playing Cards Online.

The appliances above described being available, the game is played in the following manner:

At the termination of a deal the cards are all lying face upwards upon the shuffling-board in two heaps at 'C' and 'D,' and the faro-box is empty. Without taking the cards off the table, but simply turning them back upwards, the dealer mixes the two heaps together. The pack is then cut and placed with the faces of the cards upwards in the dealing-box. The players then stake their money, placing their stakes upon the layout over the card which they think will win. Each player, of course, may select any card he pleases, irrespective of the fact that another player may choose to bet upon the same card. In fact, they can all back the same card if they like. This, however, is a case which is rather rare, anyhow at the outset of a game. Meanwhile the top card of the pack has all along been visible to the players, through the aperture in the top of the box. This card, therefore, counts for nothing, and no bets can be made with respect to it. From the top card downwards, the cards alternately win for the players and the 'bank,' or dealer. The second card, then, when displayed will win for the players.

All the bets having been made, the dealer draws off the top card and discloses the face of the second. The top card is placed upon the shuffling-board in the position indicated by 'C' (fig. 40), and those players who have staked their money upon the card in the layout which corresponds in value to the card which is now seen through the window of the dealing-box will have to receive from the dealer the amount of their stakes. If no player has bet upon that card the dealer of course has to pay nothing.

The dealer has now to draw off another card from the box and display the face of the third. As explained above, this card will win for the bank. The second card is therefore drawn off, and placed upon the shuffling board at 'D,' and the players who have staked their money upon the card representing the one which is now visible will lose their stakes to the dealer.

The two cards thus played constitute what is called a 'turn.' After each turn the dealer pays the money he has lost and receives what he has won. All money staked upon cards other than those which have either won or lost remains undisturbed upon the layout. The players are then at liberty to rearrange their bets in any manner they may think fit, and the game continues. Again the top card is removed from the box, revealing a fourth, and placed upon the card already at 'C.' As before, those who have staked upon the card now showing in the box receive the amount of their bets in due course. And so on until no more cards remain in the box.

There is one advantage enjoyed by the dealer in which the other players do not participate. When it so happens that both cards of a 'turn' are of the same value, both kings, for instance, such an occurrence is termed a 'split,' and a split means that the bank loses nothing, but, on the contrary, takes half the money, if any, which is lying upon the card of that value in the layout. This advantage or refait gives the bank a preponderance of the chances to the amount of about three per cent.


The above is the simplest form of the game; but, in reality, it is usually played in a more complicated manner. For instance, the players can 'string their bets'; that is to say, they can bet on more than one card at a time. A counter placed between any two cards signifies backing either of the two cards to win, and then the player will win if either of those cards wins, or lose if either loses, and so on. A single counter may be so placed as to back all the high cards to win, and the low ones to lose, or vice versa. By 'coppering,' or, in other words, placing a special counter called a 'copper,' upon his stake, a player can bet that any card will lose instead of win.

With this short explanation of the game, we will proceed to consider the various methods of cheating at faro.

Bookmark and Share


« the game of faro the game of faro (cheating) »

home | introduction | book content | links | advertising | contact