How to Play Baccarat

Remember the original Casino Royale, where James Bond makes winning bets on the baccarat table? Don’t worry; you don’t have to be rich and sophisticated like James Bond to play this game. The beauty of this game is that anyone can play it –all players with big or small bankrolls. It is the simplest game you can find in a casino. The only thing difficult about this game is how to pronounce its name. Yes, that’s right. If you don’t want to be banished from the Baccarat tables forever, you should know that it is pronounced as ‘baa-car-rah,’ with a silent ‘t.’

So how do we play Baccarat?
Baccarat which is also known as Punto Banco –meaning player-banker –is a game of prediction. In this game, the players bet on which of two hands –players or the bankers –will be closest in value to 9 or if the hand will be tied which is known as the gala take.

The term player or the banker does not refer to you or the casino instead; think of yourself as an observer betting on an outcome. The goal is to get as close to 9 as possible. The winnings are then paid on corresponding bets. The purpose of the game is to bet on a winning outcome.

Baccarat tables have different minimum bet amounts minimum, and maximum bets are clearly marked on each table so look for an empty seat at the table where the minimum bet is on you’re comfortable with. Before you play, you need to place your money on the table within clear view of the dealer and ask for chips.

The game starts when you place your chips in the relevant box and bet on one or more winning options that include the player, banker or tie. The dealer will deal both the player and the banker two cards each. A maximum of three cards will be dealt on either side. In some cases, an additional third card is needed to determine the outcome of the game. The dealer will take care of the drawing rules for you. In time, you’ll be able to tell if a third card for the banker will be played.

If you choose to bet on the player and this hand wins, you’ll be paid even money. If you choose to bet on the banker and it wins, you’ll be paid 19 to 20.

Here are a few examples so that you can understand baccarat better:
You place a bet of $10 on the player cards. The cards are dealt, and banker receives a 7 and an Ace for a hand value of 8.

The player receives an 8 and a King, for a hand value of 9. The hand value of the player is higher than the banker, and so you win and get paid one to one for your bet.

Let’s give you another example. You place a $10 bet on a tie. The cards are dealt, and the banker receives a 10 and an 8 for a hand value of 8.

The player receives a 3 and a 5 for a hand value of 8. Both hand values are equal, the tie bet wins and get paid 9 to 1 which equals $90 plus the original amount which is returned.

Know the value of the cards:
Before you start playing, you should know what value each card holds and how the points are tallied. All cards numbered one through nine are counted at face value. Tens and face cards are worth zero and aces count as one.
If the cards total a two-digit number, only the last digit counts. For example, a hand consisting of 5 and eight would be 13, but by dropping the left digit, the hand value is 3. Similarly, a hand consisting of 3 and 4 is 7, and there is no digit to drop so the hand value is 7. In case of hand consisting of 3, 7 and 10, the sum is 20, but it is actually. The best possible score in baccarat is 9 which makes you a lot of money.

Baccarat strategies:
Baccarat is one of the best games for beginner players as there is no strategy needed. In this game all you need to worry about is placing a bet; the dealer will take care of the rest.

Never bet on a tie:
In this game, you bet on whether the player or the banker’s hand will win or if they’ll tie. This brings us to a very important rule you should know about. Never bet on a tie. One of the reasons you shouldn’t do this is that the house edge is very small compared to other casino games.

The casino has a 1.06% advantage on the bets made on the banker’s hand and a 1.24% advantage on the bets made on the player’s hand. But when you bet on both hands tying the house edge goes up to over 14%. As long as you bet on the player or the banker hand to win, you’re flipping a coin against the casino.

Follow the shoe:
Most of the baccarat strategies have more to do with a gut feeling than solid math. Players usually try to feel out how the decks are shuffled.

The casino supplies players with a scorecard to keep track or their results. Many players like to ‘follow the shoe’ meaning they will bet on the banker’s hand till it loses and then switches.

Play the chop:
Other players like to ‘play the chop’ which means always betting against the last result.

Betting the trend:
Another common approach is ‘betting the trend’ up until a point. So for example, you may bet on the banker and win three times in a row, but switch to a player bet on the fourth hand. If you want to rely solely on the math, you should just bet on the banker or every single hand since the house edge is slightly less.

Like any casino game, this is a game of luck and money management for the bettor. An important characteristic of surviving in a casino is knowing when to leave the table and then leaving it while you still have a part of your bankroll intact. Though this game may seem confusing at first, this article should have you placing bets in no time.