The Matching Card Game Monte Bank

Cards are definitely one of the most influential inventions on the field of gambling and casino gaming, with many a classic game oriented with the industry featuring playing cards as a fundamental factor. This includes big names like Poker, Blackjack and Baccarat but also some of the slightly smaller card games like Monte Bank.

Also known as Spanish or Mexican Monte this card game originated from Spain and holds a similarity to both Baccarat and more appropriately Basset, another card game thought to originate from Italy. The game definitely holds some history with it, especially as it crossed from Spain into Mexico and the American Southwest. Currently this card game hosts several variations across various titles and is regarded as the national card game of Mexico.

Brief History of Monte Bank Card Game

Whilst it is always going to be hard to trace back a card game that is over 300 years old to any direct roots, the game of Monte Bank is almost assuredly from Spain originally. They then made a transition to Mexico and later still into the United States. At first the game was played with a Spanish deck of cards but over the years has adapted to accept other variations like specifically modified decks and other forms of standard decks. The game spread across to the United States during the war with Mexico in the mid 1800s and has persisted in the Southwest of the country since, with even the Native Americans adopting the game to a degree.

How to Play Monte Bank Cards

This game of cards is played with a deck of 40 cards. This is done to a regular 52 card deck by removing the cards 8 through 10, a total of 12 cards. This is the standard setup for the game of Monte Bank, with different variations changing a few of the gameplay aspects. All versions are played against a dealer or banker and is essentially a matching suit card game of chance from here. In the most popular version of the game, Mexican Monte, the dealer starts the game by drawing a card from the top and bottom of the deck and placing them face up between the dealer and the players. These make up the top and bottom layouts respectively.

Now the remaining cards, called the Monte, are placed face down alongside these two face up cards. Players then place bets on either of the two layouts or even both. Next the dealer turns over the top card of the Monte, dubbed the gate card, and pays out layouts with a matching suit. Winners are paid out one for one, so the odds aren’t particularly flattering. Afterwards the cards involved are discarded and a new set of layouts are drawn and subsequently a new gate card. In the other popular variation of Monte Bank, namely Spanish Monte, the number of top and bottom layouts is simply doubled, so there are four cards to match and therefore a bit better odds.