FARO, OR PHARAOH.
Although both Basset and Faro were forbidden in France, on severe
penalties, yet these games still continued in great vogue in
England during the 18th century, especially Faro; for the alleged
reasons that it was easy to learn, that it appeared to be very
fair, and, lastly, that it was a very quiet game. It was,
however, the most dangerous game for the destruction of families
ever invented. The Faro bankers seem to have employed some
'gentlemen' to give a very favourable report of the game to the
town, and so every one took it upon trust without further
inquiry. Faro was the daughter of Basset--both alike notorious
frauds, there being no one, except professed gamblers, who could
be said to understand the secrets of these games.
Faro was played with an entire pack of cards, and admitted of an
indeterminate number of players, termed 'punters,' and a
'banker.' Each player laid his stake on one of the 52 cards.
The banker held a similar pack, from which he drew cards, one for
himself, placed on the right, and the other, called the carte
anglaise, or English card, for the players, placed on the left.
The banker won all the money staked on the card on the right, and
had to pay double the sums staked on those on the left. Certain
advantages were reserved to the banker:--if he drew a doublet,
that is, two equal cards, he won half of the stakes upon the card
which equalled the doublet; if he drew for the players the last
card of the pack, he was exempt from doubling the stakes
deposited on that card.