The word Baccarat is thought to be derived from the Italian Baccara meaning zero which could relate to the zero value of tens and court cards in the game. Who knows?
The game is also known as Punto Banco which clearly relates to the two main bets which are Player (Punto) and Banker (Banco).
It is a fast moving game and has a reputation for being for high rollers only. You will often see that Baccarat tables in a Casino are separate from the main body of the Casino to add to this image. It is of course true that in a number of Casinos the minimum bet size on a Baccarat table will discourage the average punter but with the advent of on line Casinos all that is out of the window and anyone can play.
The conventional table for Casino based Baccarat is large and accommodates 14 players at a time. It is also usual to have three croupiers at the table. On Line tables are much smaller and the deal and payouts are automatic making it into an even faster game.
It is played with multiple decks of cards with 52 cards per deck (ie: no jokers)
Despite being shrouded in an air of mystique the game has got to be one of the simplest from the point of view of the gambler. It is about as complicated as betting on Black or Red at a roulette table and how often do you get the chance to bet on the bank winning?
Each Casino has its own graphics and methods of placing bets so we recommend that you read the instructions for the particular casino in which you wish to play. The basic principles however remain the same. Most Casinos have a “Free Play” option that will enable you to practise placing bets.
Only two hands are dealt; one to the player and one to the dealer and the idea is to guess who will win. A third betting option is available which is the Tie. You are of course placing your bet before any cards are dealt.
To get started, first select the stake that you wish to bet in that particular hand and then place your bet on “PLAYER”, “BANKER” or “TIE”. It really is that simple. It gets a little more complicated in the play of the cards but as that is all done by the Croupier or the online dealer and they follow strict rules you do not have to worry about it.
The winning hand in this game is the one with the most points so we need to understand the value of the cards and the counting method.
Card Values:- All 10s, Jacks, Queens and Kings have a value of zero. An Ace has a value of one and cards 2 through 9 have their face value.
Counting : This is a little unusual. Card values are added conventionally but the total cannot exceed 9. To achieve this, as soon as the total is 10 or more you delete the first digit so for example 13 becomes 3; 10 becomes 0 etc.
So a hand containing a 6 and a 7 counts as 3 ( 6+7=13 and then lose the first digit). A bit crazy maybe but that is how it is done.
The play: Once you have placed your bet the dealer will deal two cards to the player and two cards to himself all Face Up. The play then proceeds according to strict rules. In actual fact you do not need to know these rules in order to play as they are compulsory decisions, but it will help to understand what is going on.
• If either the Player or the Banker has a hand value of 8 or 9 that hand wins and there is no further play. The term for this is a “NATURAL” In the event of a tie any bets on Player or Banker are returned but a bet on Tie will pay out. A hand total of 9 beats a hand total of 8.
• If neither hand has a total of 8 or 9 the player will play first. If his hand total is less than or equal to 5 he will be dealt a third card. If his total is 6 or 7 he will Stand and that is the value that the dealer has to beat. If he is dealt a third card the value of the three cards in the hand are added as explained above and that is the value that the Banker has to beat.
• The Bankers play is a bit more complicated and depends upon whether the player was dealt a third card or not but goes as follows:
o If the Player was not dealt a third card: the Banker stands if his hand total is 6 or 7 or is dealt a third card if his hand total is 5 or less. The hand is totalled up according to the rules and the winning hand is the one with the higher value.
o If the Player was dealt a third card:
– The Banker will be dealt a third card if his hand total is 2 or less.
– If the Bankers hand is value 3 he will be dealt a third card unless the players third card was an eight.
– If the Bankers hand value is 4 he will be dealt a third card unless the Players third card was 0, 1, 8 or 9.
– If the Bankers hand value is 5 he will be dealt a third card only if the players third card was 4, 5, 6 or 7.
– If the Bankers hand value is 6 he will be dealt a third card only if the players third card was a 6 or a 7.
– If the Bankers hand value is 7 he will stand.
I am sure that all sounds very complicated but once you get into playing it will become clearer.
As previously mentioned the only possible bets are on the Player having the higher hand; the Banker having the higher hand or a Tie.
A winning bet on the player will pay out at 1:1
A winning bet on the Banker will pay out at 1:1 BUT a 5% deduction will be made from the payout.
Bets on Player and Banker will be refunded in the event of a tie.
Winning bets on Tie usually pay out at 8:1 or 9:1. Check the table you are playing.
The Best Of Luck