Banca Francesa (Portuguese: French Bank) is a casino game from Portugal. It has its origins in American and European Roulette despite it being a dice game. Until recently, it was only played in casinos in Portugal and Macau. In 2007, the game was added to several casinos in Spain, where it is often called Dados portugueses or 'Portuguese Dice.'
Rules of the game
Banca Francesa includes a fiscal (tax man), pagador (payer) and cavalinho (croupier). Unlike most dice games, the players never touch the dice. That responsibility falls to the croupier. The tax man and payer are responsible for collecting and giving out all the betting chips and money.
The game is played around a semi-circular table, where the players can either sit or stand. The layout consists of two concentric circles with a section cut out to accommodate the aces bet.
All three dados (dice) are first shaken in a leather cup and then rolled down a corresponding tube and on to the table. There are three wagers available to players:
- Grande (Big): the sum of all three dice is 14, 15 or 16
- Pequeno (Small): the sum of all three dice is 5, 6 or 7
- Ases (Aces): Three aces
Every other result is null. The croupier will roll the dice until one of these three odds is the outcome. Players are permitted to change their bets in-between the rolls. If the outcome is either big or small, the player who bet on the outcome collects one-to-one. If the outcome is aces, the payout is 61 times the value bet on. All losing wagers are collected by the bank.
Players have a 49.2% chance of winning every time they bet on a big or small outcome but only 1.6% to win on the aces bet.
It is a game that is largely determined by luck, although there are some strategies that players use to raise the possibility of winning. Some players believe the movement and speed of the croupier when handling the dice can increase their chances of success. Other players choose to rely on mathematical calculations and probability in order to win.
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