plural faros
: a gambling game in which players bet on cards drawn from a dealing box

Did you know?

This is one of the oldest gambling games played with cards. The name faro probably derives from the picture of a pharaoh on an early set of cards. It was popular in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, and in the US in the 19th century. The game involves betting on the rank, or number, of a card drawn from a dealing box. It is still played in a few casinos.

Examples of faro in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The situation is delicate because one of the robbers (Larry Cedar’s faro dealer Leon) works for Cy and is paid as a spy by Al, while the other (Dean Rader-Duval’s Jimmy Irons) is employed by Al exclusively. Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture, 23 Dec. 2021 Legend has it Wyatt Earp frequented the joint while running faro games a few blocks away. Peter Rowe, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 July 2019 Some said Showers had dealt faro to Henry Clay and Daniel Webster at the Palace of Fortune, better known as the Hall of the Bleeding Heart, back in Washington, D.C. Darryl Levings, kansascity, 26 Jan. 2018 As the plot moves toward an unforgettable hand of faro, the characters, with a little help from magical realism, exemplify the role and impact of chance in our lives. Amy Wang,, 26 Dec. 2017 The police officially gave shops in Chinatown some leeway with lottery games, but this clearly went beyond that exception, with chuck-a-luck, blackjack and faro as well as craps., 23 May 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'faro.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


probably alteration of earlier pharaoh, translation of French pharaon

First Known Use

1731, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of faro was in 1731

Dictionary Entries Near faro

Cite this Entry

“Faro.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

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