Whether or not you’re a casino game fanatic, it’s unlikely you haven’t heard of baccarat. This popular card game was once an exclusive privilege for the wealthy, but it has since evolved into a popular pastime for many people. Hey, even James Bond is a fan!
You came to the right place if you’ve ever wondered how to play baccarat. It’s an excellent game for beginners and experts alike, exciting yet simple to understand. Our article explores its history, features, and rules.
What Is Baccarat?
Baccarat, or baccara, is a widely known card game played at land-based and online casinos. It’s a slow-paced game of chance. After each round, there are three potential outcomes: player’s win, banker’s win, and tie. Baccarat, along with a few other famous table card games like blackjack, is believed to offer the best odds in casinos.
Punto banco or “North-American baccarat,” chemin de fer, and baccarat banque are among the most popular baccarat game variations.
A Brief History of the Game
The exact origins of baccarat remain unclear, which certainly has no bearing on the game’s current popularity. While some historians believe baccarat originated in nineteenth-century France, other sources indicate it was actually brought to France from Italy at the end of the fifteenth century.
Baccarat was mainly played by French nobles and was known as chemin de fer. However, most of the current baccarat rules were made when the game first appeared in America. Known in South America and the Caribbean under the name of punto banco, the game made its way to the United States, eventually arriving in Las Vegas in the 1950s. Today, it remains one of the most popular games in Sin City.
Baccarat Features and Table Layout
Like with any other game, it’s good to learn the rules first when deciding to play baccarat. Here are some of the main features that make up baccarat, explained:
There are seven to 14 places for players at the table and a dealer’s area. The number of participants varies on the type of baccarat being played. Each player has their own betting space on the table, and they do not receive cards. The dealer is the one who handles all the cards. Regardless of the number of players currently participating, there’s only the player’s and the banker’s hand.
Standing at the center of the table, the dealer has a significant role in the baccarat casino game. The dealer is the one who leads the game by managing all the cards. Once the players have made their bets, the dealer starts the game by dealing two hands of cards from the shoe.
Three Betting Boxes
Each participant’s designated numbers and bet boxes are located on the table. The three boxes represent one of three options: banker, player, or tie.
Depending on the version of baccarat played, the commission box is next to the bank or each player’s betting area. The rules of baccarat allow the dealer to receive a 5% commission on winning wagers on the banker’s hand. They will mark a player’s number if they are supposed to pay that commission.
Baccarat Card Values and Points
The value of a hand in baccarat cannot exceed 9, which is also the greatest possible score in the game. The point system differs from that of most other games. Let’s look at each card’s value and how the points are calculated.
The value of cards numbered two through nine is equal to their face value.
One point is given for the ace.
Tens and Picture Cards
Every 10 and picture card is worth zero points.
When learning baccarat, it’s important to pay attention to how the points are enumerated. The hand’s value is immediately changed to the second digit once the points value adds up to a double-digit. So, once the total of the points reaches 10 or more, just drop the first digit, and you’ll have the hand’s score.
For example, a hand consisting of a seven and a nine adds to 16. Drop the first digit, keep the second one, and it becomes six points. Also, keep in mind that the winning bets are on the hand that is closest or equal to nine.
How Does Baccarat Work?
Baccarat is a game that mainly relies on luck. Players place wagers during a round or coup before the cards are dealt. They have to choose one of these three options, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Player Hand Bet
On this hand, a successful bet pays out at even money, or 1:1. For example, If you bet $20 on the player’s hand and win, your total payout will be $40.
Banker Hand Bet
On the banker’s hand, a winning bet pays even money minus five percent for house commission. Many believe that betting on bankers’ hands is the safest of baccarat odds. Let’s say you place a $20 bet, and this hand wins; a commission of $1 will be given to the house, winning you a total of $39.
A successful tie bet pays out at odds of 8:1. If you place a tie bet, you’re betting that the player and banker’s hands will have the same points. A tie wager has the highest payout and can win you $160 if you bet $20 or $180. This may sound appealing, but be careful since this option also has the worst chance of winning.
If the result is a tie, all bets on the player and banker’s hands will be “pushed,” meaning that neither hand will lose or win.
Natural Win in Baccarat
If the point total for either the player or the banker’s hand is eight or nine after the first two cards are dealt, the game is over, as it’s deemed a natural win. As a result, the placed bets are cashed out.
Baccarat Third Card Rules
There are precise rules of baccarat when drawing the third card. If neither the player’s nor the banker’s hands add up to eight or nine, the dealer draws an extra card for one or both hands. The total score determines whether the third card is drawn for only one hand or both. Let’s have a look at it in more detail.
When Does the Player Draw the Third Card?
The banker’s hand is determined by the hand of the player since the player is required to go first in a baccarat gambling game. Let’s break it down:
- The player’s hand stands if the hand totals eight or nine points – in that case, no extra cards are dealt since it’s a natural win.
- The player’s hand stands if the hand’s total is six or seven.
- If the player’s hand totals from zero to five, an extra card needs to be drawn for the player – except if the banker’s hand totals eight or nine, in which case, it’s a natural win for the banker.
When Does the Banker Draw the Third Card?
If the player doesn’t draw an additional card, the banker should follow the same rules listed for the player. If, however, the player does draw a third card, the more complicated baccarat scoring rules kick in:
- If the player’s hand draws two or three as their additional card – the banker’s hand draws an extra card when its two-card total is from zero to four and stands with a five to seven.
- If the player’s hand draws four or five – the banker’s hand draws an extra card when its score is from zero to five and stands with six or seven.
- If the player’s hand draws six or seven as their additional card – the banker’s hand has to draw with a total of zero to six and stand with a total of seven.
- If the player’s hand draws eight – the banker’s hand must draw an extra card solely with a two-card score from zero to two; otherwise, with a two-card total from three to seven, it will stand.
- If the player’s hand draws nine, 10, face card, or ace – the banker’s hand has to draw when its total score is zero to three but stands if the total is four to seven.
As mentioned, the winning side is defined by the total closest to nine. After all baccarat cards have been dealt, the coup restarts when all bets have been paid out.
Baccarat is an exciting game that anyone can play with pretty simple rules. The gambling world landscape has considerably changed with technological advances. Gambling is no longer limited to real-life casinos, as you can now enjoy a similar experience through your screen. You can learn how to play baccarat in a matter of minutes. Of course, all casino games should be enjoyed in moderation and safely.
What is the goal of baccarat?
The goal of baccarat is to have the hand you’re betting on be the better hand of the two given, whether it’s the player or banker’s hand. When all of the cards’ scores are totaled up, the winning hand is the one with the closest score to nine.
What is the best way to play baccarat?
Some experts say that you should always bet on the banker because it’s the safest strategy. Betting on the player could be a viable alternative, but they advise against betting on ties because they have the worst odds of winning. This is just one of many strategies for playing this game, but an essential thing to remember is to know when to stop.
Is baccarat easy to learn?
Learning how to play baccarat is pretty easy since it’s based on luck, and it doesn’t require any special skills. It’s an excellent game for beginners, offering some of the most favorable odds among casino games. You have to guess which of these three outcomes will happen: banker win, player win, or a tie.