What is Baccarat?
Pronounced as "bah-cah-rah", this is not a very complex game. Like any game, Baccarat does have its quirks, but once you get used to them, this game is quite a lot of fun. The word ‘baccarat’ is used for cards or hands worth zero points. Baccarat is a card game played at casinos in several different versions. The most popular one provided by most casinos is called puntobanco. PuntoBanco is played with four, six or eight decks shuffled together. It can be played with up to twelve or fourteen players, but one player can play alone against the casino.
Why is Baccarat a smart and popular choice?
Just because James Bond played it in one of the movies does not mean that you have dress up in a sophisticated manner or be rich to play this game. This is a game for all players with big or small bankrolls.
This game is best for beginner players as there are no advanced strategies and the house edge is smaller than most other casino games. One of the reasons this game is extremely popular is its uncomplicated nature.
The rules of baccarat are very simple and fixed. The outcome is never affected by other players like in other games such as blackjack. Unlike blackjack, baccarat allows you to bet with the dealer, i.e. the players or the bankers. For educated and serious gamblers, baccarat is a great choice that will help you fulfil the purpose of going to the casino that is to make money.
Main Types of Baccarat Bets:
There are only three main bets to make the player that are as follows: punto which is the player, banker or banco and tie which is a stand-off. The tie is not recommended because of its high casino advantage. In the event of a tie and no one bet on a tie, the hand is considered a ‘push’ and all wagers are returned.
Baccarat Card Values:
It is important to know the card values in baccarat. Cards from two to nine are worth face value. Tens and face cards are worth zero. Aces are worth one point. Also, hand values are a bit different to other card games but not complicated. The score of a hand is the sum of all cards. Any sum that reaches two digits drops the left digit.
For example, a hand consisting of 6 and 7 would be 13, but by dropping the left digit, the hand value is 3. Similarly, a hand consisting of 2 and 4 is 6, and there is no digit to drop so the hand value is 6. In case of hand consisting of 3, 7 and 10, the sum is 20, but it is worth zero points.
The best possible score in baccarat is 9. This is also known as ‘natural’, and it stops all play.
Before the cards are dealt, you can place the bet on either the player, banker or tie. The payoff for player and banker bet is 1 to 1, however, if you win a banker bet the casino keeps a 5% commission from your bet. Because banker bets have a lower casino advantage, the payoff tie is usually 9:1 or 8:1 depending on house rules. This bet has the highest casino advantage of over 14% and thus is not recommended in the long term. If you bet on a player, you receive a house edge of 1.24%, and if you bet on a banker, you get an edge of 1.06%, so betting on the banker is the wisest baccarat play.
What is the objective of this game?
Such card games either make you a lot of money or bankrupt you. Both the dealer and the player are dealt two cards. In some cases, an additional third card is needed to determine the outcome of the game. The hand that is closer to 9 wins. The winnings are then paid on corresponding bets. The purpose of the game is to bet on a winning outcome.
Third card rules:
The third card is dealt according to ‘third card’ rules. These rules are compulsory and therefore automatically applied by the dealers.
Rules for the Player hand:
If a player’s hand has a value from 0 to 5, he must draw the third card. If the player’s hand has a value of 6 or 7, he must stand. If the player’s hand has a value of 8 or 9, both hands stand, and this is called ‘natural'.
After the player's hand receives a third card, the banker’s hand receives a third card according to the following rules.
Rules for the banker hand:
If the banker’s hand has a value from 0 to 2, he must draw a third card. If the banker’s hand has a value from 3 to 6, he draws a third card or stands depending on the player’s third card value. If the banker has a hand value of 7, he stands without drawing a card, and if he has a hand value of 8 or 9, that’s known as a ‘natural’ and both hands stand.
Rules of conduct in a casino:
Since the dealer is not allowed to take money directly from the player’s hands, you should ask the dealer for change by buying the chips with the cash you have placed on the layout.
Do not look at the player cards if you are the bettor with the largest wager on them, until both the player and banker cards have been dealt with. If you hold the banker’s card, do not peak at your cards till he dealer has turned the player hand face up.
The casino usually provides score sheets and pencils so that baccarat players can easily keep track of their results. There are no strenuous strategies involved, no deciding whether to hit, raise or stand. It is perfect for people who are graduating from slots and want a better chance at winning and making money.