Baccarat ranks among the games that find their home in almost every casino, be it interactive or land-based. This is only natural as the rules of the game are extremely easy to comprehend, which makes baccarat suitable for all types of players, no matter whether they are experienced or they are total rookies. In addition to this, a lot of casino fans prefer to revel in baccarat as it has a relatively lower house edge when compared to the other casino offerings.
The game was first played in Italy in the middle ages and its name means “zero”, which is the worst possible hand where the value of the tens and the face cards is zero. Gradually, the game started to gain ground and thus, several variations emerged. As it turns out, some of them were not enthralling enough to maintain gamblers’ attention. Still, variations such as Punto Banco, Mini Baccarat, European Baccarat, Baccarat Banque, and Chemin de Fer have managed to live up to the expectations of gamblers as they are played even today. That is why we will try to shed some more light on baccarat and some of its most popular variations that are available out there.
Basic Baccarat Rules
In fact, there are several misconceptions that are associated with the game which have made many players reluctant to wallow in baccarat. In the past, many people thought that the game is more suitable for well-to-do players, due to the fact that on casino floors, there were special areas which were meant namely for baccarat tables. Some casino lovers also refrained from playing the game as they thought its rules are too sophisticated or because the minimum bet is too high.
In fact, it is just the other way around as in practice, anyone can play baccarat due to the fact that players are not required to make some hard decisions, to memorize the possible moves, or to remember some sophisticated rules they need to comply with.
Baccarat’s objective is really straightforward as players just need to get as close to nine as possible. But what is even better about the game is that the total of your cards cannot exceed this value which therefore means that you cannot break. As long as the total of your hand is higher than 9, you just need to drop the first digit and thus, its total will be determined by the remaining number. This sets baccarat apart from blackjack, where you “bust” when you go over 21. Thus, for example, if you are dealt a 5 and an 8, this makes a total of 13, which in other words means that your score will be 3.
In most cases, eight standard decks are used for the game of baccarat. One of the most important things you should bear in mind is that it does not matter how many players will join the table as two hands will invariably be dealt. The game starts when the hands are dealt. Still, it is important to note that in most of the casinos, two cards are dealt per hand, whereas in others, a third card may also be drawn. That is the reason why you should acquaint yourself with the rules of the specific baccarat game prior to joining the table.
It is also worth noting that gamblers are required to pay a commission that stands at 5% or less when they have placed a winning bet on the Bank. Another thing that is also worth mentioning is that as long as the value of the cards the player and the banker are dealt is equal, this means that the outcome of the game is a tie.
Avid casino fans should bear in mind that they are required to hit when the total of the hand they were dealt is 5 or less. As long as the total of your hand goes over 5, this means that you should stand.
Gambling aficionados who have placed a winning bet on the player or on the bank will enjoy 1:1 payout. Things will change when you stake on a tie as in most cases, such bets pay out 8 to 1, whereas in others, the payoff for such bets is 9 to 1.
Baccarat Card Values
One of the preconditions of playing baccarat is to find out how cards are valued. Still, there is nothing sophisticated about this, which is why you should not fret about it. All cards count with their face value, with the only exceptions being the 10, the Jack, the Queen, and the King as their value is zero. In baccarat, the value of the ace is 1. The rest of the cards from the deck which includes the 2-9 have a value, which corresponds to their actual value, meaning that the 2s will be counted as 2, the 3s will be counted as 3, and so on and so forth. It is also important to note that in baccarat, the suit of the cards is not important.
As it was already stated, once all bets are placed, the value of each of the two hands is estimated and it depends on the rightmost digit from the sum of the player’s and the banker’s hands. The hand which has a higher total is the winning one.
For beginners, we should clarify that house edge is a term that is used in order to describe the advantage the house has over you while you are playing a specific casino game, which in our case is baccarat. As we have already mentioned, many gambling aficionados tend to choose the game due to the fact that its house advantage is quite smaller in comparison with the advantage the house has in some of the other casino games. An important detail we discussed above is that while playing baccarat, casino fans are allowed to decide on one out of the three possible bets they can place.
Baccarat lovers should keep in mind that when they place a bet on Player, the house edge will be 1.36%, whereas the advantage the house will enjoy when you place your chips on the area of the betting layout which is marked as Bank is 1.06%. Many avid casino fans consider that wagering on a Tie is one of the worst possible moves you can make while playing baccarat due to the fact that the house edge is increased to the staggering 14.4%. Still, players opt for this specific bet simply because the payoffs they are offered are far more lucrative.
The term odds, on the other hand, is used to show what are your chances to win or to lose while playing baccarat. The odds for the player’s hand to be a winning one are 44.61%, whereas the chances for your hand to be a losing one are 45.85%. When it comes to the banker, the odds for having a winning hand stand at 45.83%. The odds for the outcome of the game to be a tie are 9.54%.
Most Popular Baccarat Variations
Just like most of the other casino games, throughout the years, several baccarat variations were also tailored in an attempt to make the classic casino game more exciting and enthralling. Some of the variants that were designed over the years enjoy such an overwhelming popularity among gamblers who are intrigued by baccarat due to the fact that they feature some additional rules or allow players to place additional bets which make them more captivating and intriguing.
Baccarat Banque lists among some of the most well-liked variations of the classic card game that can be found in a host of casinos. It is one of the oldest baccarat variations and in the past, it was played predominantly in France, which is the reason why many gambling enthusiasts are not familiar with it.
This particular variation is also known as “a deux tableaux” and one of its distinctive traits is that the dealer is determined at the beginning of every round, which sets it apart from Chemin de Fer. Occasionally, a dealer becomes the player who has first joined the game or the player who has made the highest stake.
Unlike some of the other popular baccarat variations, Baccarat Banque is most commonly played with three standard decks. Once all gamblers have placed their stakes, the dealer should reshuffle the cards. After this is done, he/she will start dealing the cards and the most pronounced peculiarity is that the banker deals one card on the right side of the player, one card on the left side of the player, and then one card to the bank. Thus, while playing Baccarat Banque, eventually, there will be three hands, each of which consisting of two cards. Gambling aficionados should make up their mind whether they wish to place their bet on the hand that is positioned in their end of the table, on the hand that is dealt at the other end of the table, or on both of these hands. It is important to note that gamblers cannot wager on the banco hand, due to the fact that this option is only available to the player who is dealing the cards.
Punto Banco also lists among the most favored baccarat variations and it is considered that this is namely the variant that resembles Classic Baccarat the most. Punto Banco is played with six standard decks of 52 cards and the betting options remain the same as gamblers can place their stake on the Banker or on the Player. They should also keep in mind that they are allowed to place their bet on a Tie, which means that they presume that the value of the player’s and the banker’s hands will be equal. Once they make up their mind, the cards are dealt and their value is estimated. Baccarat lovers should bear in mind that after they have placed their bet, they are not allowed to change their decision, which is why they are advised to think their move over.
As we already mentioned, placing your bet on the Bank is the most favorable option you have due to the fact that in such cases, the house enjoys the lowest advantage. Once again we will say that placing your stake on a Tie is unwise as the house advantage is increased tremendously.
Even though Mini Baccarat is played in the same manner as Punto Banco, the variation also enjoys a massive following from baccarat lovers. The reason for this stems from the fact that it is a lower-stakes version of the classic card game, which makes it a great option for gamblers who prefer placing smaller bets and for players who are on a tight budget. Another of the distinctive traits of the game is implied by its name as the table that is used in Mini Baccarat is smaller than the table that is employed in other of its variants. The game is also played at a faster pace, which may appeal to gamblers who have a passion for baccarat as well.
In Mini Baccarat, eight standard decks are used and the betting options players are presented with remain unchanged as once more, they can decide whether to place their bet on the Bank, on the Player, or on a Tie.
Chemin de Fer
Many players think that Chemin de Fer is the precursor of the game of baccarat we all know today. Despite the fact that this particular baccarat variation follows the rules that are used in Classic Baccarat, the most conspicuous difference is that players do not compete against the dealer as instead, they contend against each other. Another major difference is that in Chemin de Fer, the banker sets aside the money he/she wants to wager.
This particular variation of the game is played predominantly in France and its name means “railway”. In most cases, the game is played with six decks and players can take turns to be bankers. Once the banker is chosen, he/she needs to put aside the amount he/she does not mind to risk. After this, each of the players who have joined the table is allowed to announce a “Banco”, which means that they are willing to place a bet that coincides with the amount of the stake the banker has made. Still, it is worth noting that only one player can do so.
The actual play starts onwards as the croupier deals the cards and the gambler who has placed the highest stake is chosen to represent the rest of the players. When cards are dealt, both the dealer and the banker check their cards in order to see if their total is 8 or 9. If the value of their cards is 8 or 9, then, they need to turn their cards.
The key feature that distinguishes European Baccarat from the other variations of the classic card game is that the player can decide whether to draw or to stand when the total of his hand is 5. The banker, on the other hand, is allowed to decide whether to draw or not an additional card.
It is also important to note that the hand of the banker is funded by the casino. Thus, if the banker’s funds stand at $1,000, and if one of the players wagers $700, whereas the other stakes $300, this will mean that the next player is not permitted to place a bet during this round at all.
As long as one of the players who have joined the table is willing to cover the bet of the banker, this will mean that the rest of the players will not have the opportunity to place bets during that particular round.
Very similar to standard Punto Banco, Dragon Tiger is just a simpler version of typical baccarat. Instead of being handed out two cards each, both sides receive only a single card. The game can be found at a number of interactive casinos, giving fans of the game the chance to enjoy a very entertaining experience.
Players bet on whether the Dragon or the Tiger side will have a card with a higher value. Once the dealer hands out each of the sides a single card, it is determined whether the Dragon or the Tiger wins the round. Unlike the option to draw more cards in standard baccarat, there are no additional cards drawn in the game of Dragon Tiger. If both sides are dealt cards with the same value, this results in a tie, with half of the players’ wagers going to the house.
In addition to betting on ‘Dragon’ or ‘Tiger’, players can also place their money on the game resulting in a tie. However, this bet gives the house a significantly higher edge of 32.7%, which is why players are advised to avoid making the ‘Tie’ wager. To give fans of baccarat more betting options, Dragon Tiger also offers side bets like Big and Small. You can place your Big/Small bet on both the Dragon and Tiger sides.
If you bet on Big, the card handed out to the side you have bet on must be over 7. In the meantime, betting on Small means that the card handed out to the side you have bet on must be below 7. Both bets lose if the dealt card is a 7. The Small/Big side bet pays even money and gives the house an edge of 13.98%.
Depending on the Dragon Tiger variation, you can also place other side bets such as Suited Tie, Odd/Even, Red/Black, Suit, and others. Although they can be fun, keep in mind that side bets give the casino a bigger advantage. The lowest house edge is for the standard Dragon/Tiger bet, giving the casino an advantage of 3.73%.
Baccarat Money Management
Despite the fact that money management is often neglected by avid casino fans, it is definitely a major aspect of playing baccarat and casino games as a whole. Most of the gambling enthusiasts tend to forget about the budget they have set initially, or in some cases, they even forget to set such. Players should always know how much exactly they should bet when they win and lose as otherwise, they may easily end up with an exhausted bankroll.
One of the most important things players should learn is how to minimize their losses so that they can manage to reach the point in which a hot streak develops. Namely this is the moment you should strive to make your way to so that you could make the most out of your play.
One of the things you should take into consideration is that while playing baccarat, players are advised to set win goals and loss limits. Once you have reached any of these figures, you should simply end your betting session for the day. Thus, you can make sure that you will not spend money that you actually do not have. This is also where discipline plays a major role as in the first place, you should possess self-control and discipline in order to make sure that you will be able to manage your funds successfully.