faro (fârˈō) [key] [for Pharaoh, from an old French card design], gambling game played with a pack of 52 cards. First played in France and England, faro was especially popular in U.S. gambling houses in the 19th cent. Players bet against a banker (dealer), who draws two cards–one that wins and another that loses–from the deck (or from a dealing box) to complete a turn. Bets–on which card will win or lose– are placed on each turn.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.