Baccarat is the most popular casino game among high rollers and whales. Baccarat is usually played in a separate roped off area in the casino. While it is portrayed as a game for the wealthy and well to do, the basics of the game aren’t too difficult to learn.

The basics of Baccarat

Baccarat or Punto Banco is a card game of chance. The standard playing table in the game is about the same size as a craps table. In the game, there are only two principal wagers to make. The bet will be on either the player (punto) or the bank (banco).

The value of hands in baccarat are unique but simple. In the game, cards 2-9 are worth face value. Tens, jacks, queens and kings all have a value of zero. The ace cards have a value of one. When hands are calculated, the tens digit is not included. So, the scores in baccarat range from a low of zero to a high of nine. Ironically, the baccarat name is derived from the worst hand (zero) in the game.

In North American baccarat, the casino banks the game. At the beginning of the game, two cards are dealt face down in alternate fashion. The initial card is dealt to the player. Then, the results of the two cards for the player and banker are revealed. Depending on the hands of each participant, the player and banker can either stand pat or draw another card. The highest hand will win the game.

A structured game

The game has some set procedures on when the player and bank must stand or draw. If either participant has a value of 8 or 9 from their first two cards, they must stand pat. For other initial outcomes, there are rules in place on whether a participant must stand or draw.  Here is a breakdown of what is required from the player and banker based on certain outcomes from their initial two cards:

  • If the player has a total of 0-5, he will draw one card. If he has a total of 6 or 7, he will stand.

In turn, the bankers play will be determined by the players hand. This will be based on whether the player drew a card, and on what card the player drew.

  • If the player did not draw, the banker will draw if he has 0-5, and stands at 6-7.
  • If the player draws a 2 or 3, the banker will draw if he has 0-4, and stands at 5-7.
  • If the player draws a 4 or 5, the banker draws if he has 0-5, and stands at 6-7.
  • If the player draws a 6 or 7, the banker draws if he has 0-6, and stands at 7.
  • If the player draws an 8, the banker draws if he has 0-2, and stands at 3-7.
  • If the player draws an ace, 9, 10, jack, queen or king, the banker draws if he has 0-3, stands at 4-7.

Finally, bettors are required to pay a 5% commission for winning wagers on the banker because it has been determined that over 8-decks of play, the banker will usually win three of four more hands than the player.

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