Because of baccarat’s history with the wealthy Europeans, it is perhaps still a bit intimidating to some gamblers. The truth is that the game has become a bit more mainstream since its early days in the US. The days of formal dress are no longer mandatory when it comes to this game and people are being drawn into the game because of the relatively low house edge.
Now that we have online baccarat you can wear whatever you want!
There are now two types of baccarat being played out there (in the US). Baccarat, a bit more formal, and mini baccarat, a bit more relaxed atmosphere. Both games go by the same rules. Below you will find a quick comparison of both.
– Mini baccarat boosts a smaller table with just one dealer
– 7 players max here
– Usually lower betting/limits here
– More relaxed environment. Not as formal.
– One dealer does it all at this table
– 6 decks of cards are used here
– Baccarat has a larger table with three casino employees working it
– 2 dealers and a caller (a dealer who directs)
– 14 players max at this table (1-15 no 13th player here for luck)
– People sometimes dress formal
– Higher betting limits are offered here
– 8 decks of cards are used here
Starting with the cards, each card in the deck has a numerical value. An ace = 1. Cards 2-9 are worth just what they say. 10-king (considered face cards) = zero.
If the total value of the cards in your hand is greater than 10 – you drop the first digit. Meaning, two 7s total 14, so your point value is 4. So, a three-card hand of an 8, 1, and 6 would total 15, this would give you a point value of 5. Got it?
Now, whenever a two-card hand is dealt to you with the total of 8 or 9, it is known as a natural, so neither of these two possibilities get a third card dealt. An 8 is considered le petit natural, and a 9 is considered le grande natural. Obviously, the grande beats the petit.
Alright, after the first two cards are dealt to each hand, very strict rules govern how the cards can be played. You don’t make the decision here. Honestly, to play this game you really don’t need to know the rules – you are making any choices-right? However, like anything else in life, you are better off knowing the rules! This way you know what’s really going on.
First, the dealer checks both hands to find out if there is a winner right away. See, if either player or banker has a natural, the game is over. Also, if both hands total 8 or 9 – the grande wins. Now, if both hands equal the same value – it’s a tie and the game ends in a tie.
Okay, if neither hand is a natural, both hands are played as follows:
– The player hand is always the first to be played, no matter what the the banker’s hand is.
– If the player’s first two cards total 0-5 you draw another card, 6 or 7 you stand, 8 or 9 natural – no cards are drawn.
So, the banker’s hand is always played last, depending on how the player’s hand was played. If the player’s hand did not draw a third card, the banker’s hand always follows like this:
– If the banker’s first two cards total 5 or lower – the banker draws. If the banker’s first two cards total 6 or higher – the banker stands.
Now, when the player’s hand totals 8 or 9 and the player did not draw a third card – the banker does nit draw a card.
So, when the player’s hand does draw third card, the banker’s hand is always played according to the rules below:
When the banker’s first two cards total 2 or lower, the banker draws only when the players third card is: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. No stand here.
When the banker’s first two cards total 3, the banker draws only when the players thirdcard is: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9,10. The banker stands only when the player’s third card is:
When the banker’s first two cards total 4, the banker draws only when the players thirdcard is: 2,3,4,5,6,7. The banker stands only when the player’s third card is: 1,8,9,10.
When the banker’s first two cards total 5, the banker draws only when the players thirdcard is: 4,5,6,7. The banker stands only when the player’s third card is: 1,2,3,8,9,10.
When the banker’s first two cards total 6, the banker draws only when the players thirdcard is: 6 or 7. The banker stands only when the player’s third card is: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10.
When the banker’s first two cards total 7, there is no draw. So, the banker stands when the player’s third card is: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10.
No more than total of 3 cards can be drawn for either hand. So, when both hands have been played out, the hand that is closest to 9 would win. The dealer then pays those who wagered on the hand that won. In the case of a tie, all bets are paid even money. But, a 5% commission taken from winning banker wagers drops the actual payoff here, tie bets usually get paid 8 to 1. This may sound good – but it really is not.
Even though the above text looks like it is too much to read and understand, there really isn’t much to baccarat. It really is an easy game to play. because the rules are so strict and basically the game dictates itself, you really can’t make any mistakes that would give the house a better chance of winning. There is no major strategy here. It is a game of chance.
The most basic thing to do is to stay with banker and player bets – avoiding tie bets is the absolute best you can do.
Of course, there are the electronic boards above the baccarat tables that show the recent winning history, and some players track this and make bets accordingly. You can even implement the Martingale System (a popular baccarat betting system where you double-up after each loss), just remember that this IS a game of chance.