The Basics of Baccarat
From sticky floor California card rooms to the tuxedo-laden casinos of Monaco, baccarat is one of the world’s most popular casino games. It is an elegant game that is simple to learn and exciting to play. The rules are different depending on whether you are playing the Punto Banco or Chemin de Fer version of the game but the basics remain the same.
Baccarat is played with eight or six standard 52-card packs that are shuffled together and then dealt by the croupier (dealer) from a dealing shoe. The cards are dealt two at a time to either the Player hand, Banker hand or a Tie. Occasionally, a third card may be dealt to either hand. The hand closest to nine wins the round.
The card ranking system in baccarat is similar to that of blackjack, but with some exceptions. Tens and picture or face cards are worth zero points, cards numbered from 2 to 9 have their respective values and the Ace is worth one point. A pair of eights makes 15 points in baccarat but only the second digit counts (the first digit is dropped).
During a game, players place their bets on the Player hand, Banker hand or if there will be a tie. After placing their bets, the croupier deals the cards. If the Player hand has a higher value than the Banker hand, all bets on the player are paid out. If the Player hand is equal to the Banker hand, bets on the banker are paid out. If the Player hand totals 9 or higher, no more cards are drawn.
If the Player hand does not make 9, a third card is dealt according to a set of rules. These are known as the drawing rules. In some cases, a fourth card is dealt. The rules for these are slightly different and based on the value of the hand.
After the drawing rules have been followed, the croupier will announce that no more bets are being placed and a second card will be dealt to the Player and Banker hands. The winner is the hand that is closer to 9. If a tie is declared, all bets on the player and banker are paid out.
The simplest way to win at baccarat is to bet on the Banker hand. This bet pays out a much better payout of 9:1 than betting on the Player or Tie. However, this doesn’t mean that the Banker bet is a surefire winner. Players should always use sound stake management and limit their Banker bets to a maximum of 200 units per session with a break in between sessions. This will prevent the player from getting carried away by their winning streaks and risk losing their hard-earned money. This will also allow the player to recover from any losses and get back on track for a more successful future at the casino.