Baccarat is a card game that is one of the most popular games a casino can offer. It is also mentioned as James Bond’s favorite game in Ian Fleming’s novels.
The rules of the game are simple, which is one of the main reasons why people are drawn to this game. You won’t have to create complicated tactics. All you have to do is place your bets and enjoy the game.
Before the cards are dealt, each of the players will have to place their bets. As with most casinos, the betting range can vary. You will have three options when it comes to placing bets. You can bet on the player, on the dealer, or on a tie. Even if you are playing alone against the dealer, you can still bet on them before the cards are dealt.
Baccarat is basically a game of chance and betting on either the player or the banker will make no difference. The person who is closer to nine will win the game. One of the interesting things about baccarat is that the player won’t have to do anything after placing a bet. Unlike blackjack, you won’t have a choice of whether you’d like another card or not. Depending on your two-card combination, you will either receive another card, or you won’t.
Dealing Cards in the First Round
After bets are placed, and you bet on the banker, the player, or tie, the game will start. It is worth mentioning that you can bet on two or even all three options and place different sums (or equal) on any of these three places, but it would be pointless.
The dealer or croupier will proceed to card dealing. Usually, a baccarat table will have separate boxes for the dealer and the player. The dealer will place the first card in the player’s box, and the second card on the dealer’s box. After that, the player will get the second card, and finally, the second card for the dealer will be placed on the table. Unlike blackjack, all four cards will be turned face-up.
If the player’s hand has a sum of eight or nine, the hand is called “natural,” and the player will win. Of course, if the banker’s hand is the same, the result will be tied, and if someone placed their bet on a tie, they would be the winner.
Now, we won’t talk about techniques for counting cards here, but rather about the value of each card in baccarat. Firstly, all cards from two to nine count as their face value. Aces will count as one only, and all face cards and tens count as zero (or they don’t count at all). The system for determining which hand is better is simple. Since the highest result of baccarat is nine, every two cards with the sum over ten will count by the second digit only.
For example, if the player gets two cards that are three and five, the hand will count as eight. However, if the cards are nine and six, the total sum is fifteen, and in baccarat, it will count as five. Furthermore, getting a ten and jack will count as zero, and getting ten and three will count as three.
As you can see, when the sum goes over nine, the counting starts from the beginning.
The Second Round
As we have mentioned already, if you have a two-card combination that is eight or nine, you will either win or tie with the dealer. Naturally, if the dealer or the banker has eight or nine, they will win.
However, in most cases, neither the banker nor the player will get a natural, and they will have to proceed to the second round. If it comes to the second round, they will have to follow the rules for the banker and the player.
The Player’s Rules
The rules for the players are rather simple. If the player has a total sum that is between zero and five, they will receive the third card. If the sum of their two cards is six or seven, they will stand. If the sum is eight or nine, it is natural.
We’ve already mentioned that the player wouldn’t have any impact or any choice when it comes to getting additional cards, and as you can see here, it all depends on the sum of the two cards they received at the beginning of the game.
The Banker’s Rules
Now, the rules for the banker are a bit more complex since they depend on the dealer’s two cards as well as the cards that the player received.
The first rule is the only one that is unimpacted by the player’s combination, and it says that if the dealer has a sum of two or less, they will draw an additional card regardless of the player’s two cards.
If the two-card total is three, the banker will draw another card unless the player’s third card was eight. If the total of the banker’s card is four, they will draw a third card if the player’s third card was anything between two and seven. Similarly, if the baker’s score is five, they will draw a card, but only if the player’s third one was four, five, six, or seven.
Naturally, if the dealer has six, they will draw the card if the player received six or seven, and finally, if the dealer or banker has seven, they will stand and won’t receive an additional card.
These rules apply only if the player draws the third cart, but if the player stands on six or seven, the banker will have to draw on five or less. Furthermore, the banker will also stand on six or seven and automatically win on eight or nine. So if the player stands on six or seven, the dealer will also have to stand on six or seven.
Odds and Payouts
Game of baccarat is known to have one of the lowest house edges, and if you bet on the player, the house edge is only 1.24%. Furthermore, if you bet on the banker, the edge is even lower, and it stands at 1.06%. However, bets on the banker won’t pay one on one, and the casino will take a five percent commission on all bets on the banker that result in a win. Finally, if you bet on a tie, the house edge is 14.4%. However, winning a tie bet will get you eight to one payout, and in most casinos in the United Kingdom, might grant you even nine to one payout.
It is worth mentioning that there are three main versions of baccarat that are available. The first one is punto banco or, more popularly, the North American baccarat, chemmy is the second, or baccarat chemin de fer, and the last version is baccarat banque. The rules we explained are specifically for punto banco, where the course of the game is determined by the cards the player received. However, in the other two versions, both the player and the banker will have a choice of whether they would like to receive an additional card or not (similar to blackjack).
Baccarat Strategy and Tactics
While tactics like card counting can give you a slight edge, it is not something that’s really significant. However, if you combine this tactic with something like edge-sorting, it can give you quite an edge compared to playing without tactics.
The edge-sorting technique is not something that you can always pull off, and the idea behind it is to recognize patterns on the cards that are facing down. One of the cases that mention edge-sorting and baccarat describe the player managing to convince the dealer to rotate certain cards for 180 degrees. After that, he required that the dealer use only the machine shuffler, and he recognized the pattern on the back of the cards for high-value cards (or the ones that were rotated).
While the story and the entire case is interesting, there is almost zero chance that you’ll be able to convince the dealer to do something like this for you. Furthermore, if you play the game at an online casino, all the results will be determined by RNG, and you will have zero impact on the next card that might show up.
While baccarat remains one of the most exciting and popular casino games, it is still a game of chance where you will have almost no influence or impact on the outcome of the game.