You find this casino classic game irresistible and you have always wanted to learn how to play Baccarat, but never dared to try? Don’t worry. This article offers simple directions to walk you through a game of Baccarat.
How to Play Baccarat
There are some casino games, like slots, that you don’t need any special skills or knowledge to play them. On the other hand, there is a table game that attracts many players but also requires you to learn the different game rules and to devise different strategies to be able to play them. This is none other than everyone’s favorite casino classic — Baccarat.
The Appeal of Baccarat
Baccarat has attracted numerous gamblers because it gave away the vibe of luxury and aristocracy. Although many believe the stereotype that Baccarat tables are reserved for high rollers and casino sharks with unlimited bankrolls, this is simply not true. There are some versions of Baccarat played with lower stakes, making it more affordable to players with average bankrolls.
There are several versions of this game but the most popular one—found in casinos worldwide—is the so-called Punto Banco or the American Baccarat.
What to Do in Punto Banco
The name “Punto Banco” means “Player Banker”, and rightfully so, as it stands for the main actors in this game.
Punto Banco can seat 1 to 14 players at a single table, while the dealer uses cards from six to eight decks distributed from the shoe. If you decide to try this game, bear in mind that you only get to choose the winning option and place your bets.
Here you can either bet on the Player, the Banker, or you can bet that both of them will hold cards of equal value which would be a Tie bet. The option that gets nine or at least a higher total than the opposite option, wins the game.
Once you’ve placed your bets, you only need to sit back, relax, and hope that you get to collect your winnings; the entire course of the game from that moment forth is in the dealer’s hands.
How the Game Revolves
At the beginning of the game, the Croupier deals the cards to both playing options. Since the cards are turned face up, it is easy to add up the value of each hand and see who the winner is.
These are the basic principles of playing Baccarat. However, the confusing part of this game is related to card values and the clear set of rules that the dealer has to stick to in particular situations.
In a game of Baccarat, every card from two to nine carries the same value it shows, while face cards are worth nothing and the Ace is valued as 1.
Also, there’s another rule related specifically to Baccarat. Normally, when someone gets a 5 and a 3 their total is 8, obviously. However, in Baccarat, if the total of cards goes over ten, only the right digit will be taken into consideration. For example, 8 + 7 = 15, yet this hand will count only as 5 in total.
Particular Rules in a Baccarat Game
Since you can’t affect the gameplay in any way in Baccarat, we can say that the outcome solely relies on the luck of the draw, and the set of rules applied in some situations. Although you don’t have to know these rules to the letter, the dealer follows them to determine the winner. Hence, you can learn them to understand the game a bit better.
If either a Banker or a Player gets a total of 8 or 9—called “natural”—the game ends and the winner gets a payout.
If however, the Player holds a total ranging from 0 to 5, the player draws another card from the deck. If the Player’s total is six or seven, the player stands.
In that case, the Banker has to follow the same rule and draw the third card from the deck.
The maximum number of cards both the Player and the Banker can hold is three. The game ends when they reach this point and the dealer compares their hand totals and declares the winner.
Different Examples of Possible Outcomes
Let’s use some examples to see how this works for each betting option.
The Player Wins the Game
If you put your money on this option you would want to see the following situation at the Baccarat table: Player gets 2 and 7, which is a natural 9, while the Banker gets a Q and 7 so he has seven in total. The Player takes the pot.
The Banker Wins the Game
The player has, for example, 10 and 4, this counts as four so the player has to draw another card. Let’s presume he gets a 2, this means he has 6 in total.
Now, the Banker has a Q and a 3, that is a total of 3. The banker draws the third card and gets a 4 which makes for 7 in total. The Banker wins by 1 (7 vs. 6) in this case.
The Tie bet occurs when both participants get the same score. For example, the Player is dealt a 5 and a 2, which is 7 in total, while the banker’s hand consists of a 4 and a 3, which is also seven.
In the end, I have to emphasize that the Banker’s bet is the safest bet in Baccarat because the Banker wins in most cases. On the other hand, I would advise you to stay away from the Tie bet. This betting option may offer the most generous payout of 8:1, but you will rarely see this outcome.
Now that, you have all the important parts of Baccarat figured out, go ahead, take a shot at the Baccarat table and win some money.