Basset – The Gambling Card Game

For many casino enthusiasts, card games offer the most authentic casino experience. In fact most casinos separate their gaming floors into slots/electronic games and classic casino games. As opposed to slots, most casino card and table games usually require a lot of concentration and skill in order to play the game and come out ahead. Players who regularly play card games at land based and online casinos enjoy the thrill of the high stakes and skill involved. For hundreds of years card games have been used for gambling purposes. In 16th Century France one of the most popular card games at the time was Basset. This unusual game was intended for persons of high rank due to the extreme nature of the losses involved.

A High Risk Game for the Wealthy

As a precursor to the game of Faro, the game of Basset was similar to many gambling games at the time where players could win large sums of money or lose it all within a single round. The game was played with a number of people all sitting around a table. The banker would sit among the players at the same table. The banker would house the banker chips which were laid down against each of the players bet at the table.

The Banker’s Edge

In the game of Basset, each player had a small chance of winning the round. This was not actually based on any sort of skill but rather a chance happening. The biggest winner of the game was always the banker. The rules of the game stipulated that the banker has a number of privileges including having the sole disposal of the first and last card in the game. This gave the banker a significant edge. This knowledge was so widely known that the French king ordered that the privilege of being the banker should belong only to the sons of noblemen.

How the Game Worked

In Basset, each player around the table held a set of 13 cards that were randomly drawn from a shuffled deck. Each player could place one or more cards on the table with their stake sitting on top of each card. Once every player around the table had their cards and stakes placed, the banker would take the deck of cards and flip the bottom card called the “fasse”. The banker then paid out half the stake to each player who had a card of that same type.

Winning and Losing Cards

Once the first card was drawn, the banker carried on with his deal. The next card drawn from the pack paid out in full to the player who had the matching card of the same type. The card drawn after that paid out to the banker for every card around the table. In the game of Basset, after the third card was drawn the banker took the top two cards and displayed it to the players, the first card would be a winner and the second a loser. All players with a winning card won their bet, all players with a losing card lost their bet. This carried on until all the cards were dealt. The final card was stipulated as a winning card for the banker.

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