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Trente Et Quarante

21 September 2001

Trente et quarante (meaning thirty and forty) is a card game popular in France but played elsewhere on the European continent. A croupier deals out two rows of cards (red and black or rouge et noir) sequentially. Players may bet on either colour row to win. Cards are counted face value and court cards count 10. When both rows each total greater than 30 the hand is settled. The row closest to 31 of the two wins even money. In the event of a tie at 31, the house pockets half of all players' wagers--the source of the house advantage.

In addition players may wager on "coleur" or "inverse". "Coleur" is a wager that the first card of the winning row will be the same colour as that row. "Inverse" is a wager that the first card of the winning row will not be the same colour as that row.

Finally an insurance wager can be made at 1% of the total wager which cancels the half-loss in the event of a tie at 31.

The house edge in this game is approximately 1% on all wagers giving it one of the lowest house edges of casino games. It does not really matter which bet you make because the house edge is identical on each, though it is a good idea to take insurance if you can as this reduces the house edge slightly.

Card counting can be used but not very effectively. No counting system can overcome the house edge on the rouge et noir bets. They are almost perfectly symmetrical. Symmetry is anathema to a card counter.

Edward Thorp looked at the possibilities of beating the coleur and inverse bets noting via a thought experiment that they could sometimes offer advantageous wagers. However, a detailed computer analysis proved that even with a computer such opportunities were so infrequent that the game could not be beaten as a practical matter.

If you ever come across this game and you are looking for a little value-for-money in your gambling, it is an excellent choice.

John May
John May is one of the most feared gamblers in the world. He has developed "advantage play" techniques for many games that are considered unbeatable.

Books by John May:

> More Books By John May

John May
John May is one of the most feared gamblers in the world. He has developed "advantage play" techniques for many games that are considered unbeatable.

Books by John May:

> More Books By John May