Play Baccarat – a Simple, Fun Game, With Good Odds
If you play baccarat you will be participating in a game that is easy to learn, is good fun and has surprisingly good odds.
Here we will look at the rules for playing baccarat and some strategies that will soon have you playing like a pro.
The goal when playing Baccarat is simply to draw a two or three card hand with a value closer to 9 than the banker’s hand.
The Value of the Cards
When you play baccarat the cards have the following values
- Numbered cards have their face value.
- 10, Jack, Queen and King count as 0.
- Ace counts as 1.
- If the value of your cards is more than ten, you subtract 10. So a 8-9 hand totals 7 (after subtracting 10 from 17)
Two hands are dealt one for the Banker and one for the Player. Before the deal, the player wagers on whether the Player’s hand or the Banker’s hand is closest to the total of 9. The player also has the option to wager on a tie i.e. both hands are of the same value.
Baccarat is a card game that is dealt from a shoe that holds 6 or 8 decks. Before the hands are dealt, bets may be placed. Once bets have been placed, the banker hand and the player hand are dealt according to fixed rules, giving final hands of either two or three cards for each.
The value of a hand is determined by adding the values of its cards to get a total. Tens and face cards are counted as zero, while all other cards are counted by the number of “pips” on the card face.
Only the last digit of the total is used, so all baccarat hands have values in the range 0 to 9 inclusive. The hand with the higher value wins; if the hands have the same value, the result is of course a tie.
Sequence of play
When playing baccarat a game is started by dealing two cards for the player hand and two cards for the bank hand. An initial hand with a value of 8 or 9 is called a “natural.”
If either hand is a natural, its holder must expose it and the game is over.
If this does not occur play continues, first with the player hand and then with the banker hand, according to the following rules.
Rules for the player hand: If the player’s first two cards total 6 or more, then the player must stand without drawing a card. If the player’s first two cards total 5 or less, the player must draw one additional card.
Rules for the banker hand: If the banker’s first two cards total 7 or more, then the banker must stand without drawing a card. If the banker’s first two cards total 0, 1, or 2, then the banker must draw one card. If the banker’s first two cards total 3, 4, 5, or 6, then whether the banker draws is determined by the whether the player drew, and if so the value of the player’s draw card, as shown below.
- Banker: 1-1 (5% commission to the house)
- Player: 1-1
- Tie: 8-1
There is only one good bet in baccarat and that’s the banker.
When you play baccarat increase your chances of winning by:
- Number of decks: Choose the game with as few decks as possible.
- Commission: Look for the casino that charge a commission on banker bets lower than 5% if you can find one.
- Bet on the banker. This bet has the lowest house edge and is the one to go for.
- Money management. Work out the plan for the gaming session and follow it, don’t spend more money than you should chasing loses.
- Don’t use baccarat systems. It is futile to base your gaming decisions on results of previous bets. Follow the above guidelines and when you play baccarat you will not only have fun, but also have a strategy that can increase your odds of success.