All casino games have something known as a house edge attached to them. This is basically a built-in mathematical advantage that ensures that the odds are in their favour.
Should a particular game have a house edge of 10%, for every £50 you stake, you should expect to lose £5. The longer a gambling session, the more closely the house edge is expected to play true.
There will be numerous casino visitors that have minimal to no idea of the house edge when deciding to stake chips on a game and this can differ drastically depending on either the game being played or the specific bet being placed.
Play at an American roulette table with both a 0 and a 00 and the house edge is worked out to be 5.26%. Bet on the tie at baccarat and you are up against a house edge of 14.36%, while wager on the pass line at craps and the advantage is a heavily reduced 1.41%.
It goes without saying that a casino would rather you regularly stake on those bets with the largest house edge, as the odds suggest that a session will end in your favour far less frequently.
Therefore, it would be no surprise for a casino hosting a game of Trente et Quarante to give it little in the way of promotion. After all, there are only four bets available to a player and each has a house edge of only 1.1%.
What is Trente et Quarante?
Trente et Quarante is a game of French origin that is largely limited in casinos these days. Any games that can be found will be within European venues, such as those in Monte Carlo or the French Riviera.
Six decks of cards are in play, known as the ‘Sixain’, and the member of staff in charge of these is called the ‘Tailleur’.
The Tailleur’s job is to deal out two rows of cards, with the number of cards dealt in each determined by the running total of their values.
All face cards are valued at 10 points, aces are worth one and all others retain their pip value.
The translation of Trente et Quarante into English is “30 and 40” and it is when the running total of the first row sits between these numbers that the Tailleur begins to deal the second. When the second does the same, all winning bets are paid.
The Four Bets
When the two rows are dealt and both equal totals greater than 30, it is the one closer to 31 that is settled as the winner.
The top row is always labelled as the black row, with the bottom being the red row. This is why another name for Trente et Quarante is Rouge et Noir (Red and Black).
Two of the bets available are Red or Black and you would be betting on which of the two rows will win the hand.
Take the following scenario:
Black – nine of diamonds (9), jack of clubs (10), three of diamonds (3), seven of hearts (7), five of spades (5). This is a total of 34 and the dealer would then deal the red row.
Red – two of hearts (2), ace of hearts (1), six of diamonds (6), ten of diamonds (10), two of clubs (2), four of clubs (4), seven of clubs (7). This is a total of 32.
In this instance, the red row has the lowest total and so all bets on red are winners and bets on black are losers.
The other two bets available here were to wager on colour or inverse. With these bets, it’s irrelevant whether it is red or black that wins. All that matters is whether the first card on the winning row is the same as the row itself.
So, in the hand above, red was the winner and the first card was a red heart. Therefore, all bets on colour are winners. If the first card was the two of clubs, inverse bets would be winners as the red row would have won, with a black first card.
Any winning bet is paid at 1/1.
The Insurance Bet and Ties
The more inquisitive may have already realised that there are situations where the black and red rows both equal the same total.
If the tie occurs on any total between 32 and 40, then the result of the hand is a push and all wagers are returned to those who staked. The difference relates to when the tie occurs on two row totals of 31.
Should this happen, you would lose half of your bet to the casino, which is where the 1% house edge comes from.
With all Trente et Quarante bets, you also have the chance to take out insurance. This provides cover on the 31 tie and cancels the half-loss to the casino.
An insurance wager costs 1% of the total wager and the odds propose that it should always be taken. The Wizard Of Odds calculates that by taking insurance, the advantage is 18.41% in favour of the player.
Trente et Quarante is incredibly simple to play and follow, with a house edge that is among the best available. Should you visit a European casino offering the game, you could do worse than spending some time playing.