Baccarat is one of the oldest casino games and it’s often romanticised as the preferred choice of a certain Mr Bond. It is more leisurely paced than say…blackjack or roulette and gives the house edge some of the lowest odds in the casino world. The Baccarat pits in casinos have been known to request that players are ‘suited and booted’ ‘a la James Bond’ and as a result a lot of players who don’t feel comfortable in this environment tend to shy away from his game. However online casinos have made Baccarat more popular. The main object of the game is for the player to get as close to nine as possible unlike blackjack where it is 21. Also unlike blackjack, a player does not have the choice of whether they stand or hit. Instead the dealer has to follow rules which determine when the player get hit with more cards.
How to play
The strategy of the game is quite simple and it all boils down to pure guesswork. You can be playing Baccarat without actually handling any cards. There are only ever two hands dealt at a Baccarat table and the other participants (of which there can be up to fifteen) simply bet on three possible outcomes (A) whether the player will win, (B) whether the banker will win, or (C) if it’s a tie.
So how does it work?
In order to obtain a value with a points tally of nine or nearest to it, the playing cards (usually two) are scored in a certain way.
- Aces are 1
- 2-9 are scored as face value
- Face cards and 10 are scored as zero
If the total value of the hand is over 10 then you would subtract that tend to give you your Baccarat score. So if you have been dealt a seven and a six, then this would equal thirteen. However your Baccarat score would be three (13-10 = 3). The cards are dealt from a card shoe that holds six packs of cards. This makes it harder for players to tally up cards in their heads. One thing to remember is that there are certain cases when a player and the banker will be dealt a third card. And this is deemed by the player’s points tally. Scores of zero through to 5 generally draw a third card.
So what about the odds?
If you bet on the player and that player wins, then you get paid back at odds of 2:1. If you bet on the Banker and they win, you will also get paid 2:1 however this is usually minus a 5% commission which is the casino fee. If you place a bet on a tie (ie both the hands of the banker and the player finishing with equal points) then you get back a hefty 8:1. However one thing to remember on tied bets is that the house edge on these is around 9.5%.