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About Baccarat

If you know what James Bond prefers to play in the casino, chances are that you already know a bit about the baccarat rules. In the casinos high rollers and rich people are often attracted to the baccarat table because of the atmosphere and exclusiveness surrounding the game.

As in blackjack, the objective of the baccarat game is to draw cards from a deck of cards and get as close as possible to a certain total score. In baccarat the best possible score is 9 - even though the name baccarat is Italian for 'zero' - the worst possible score in baccarat.

In baccarat you can not go 'bust' (get a score that is too high). Aces are always counted as 1, face cards (Jacks, Queens and Kings) all count as 10, and all other cards at their indicated value. Only the last digit will of the card totals count as the total score of the hand. For example, the hand 8 and 3 adds up to 11 - but as only the last digit counts the total score is only 1, a very poor baccarat hand. Another example, with a 10 and a 4 the total score is 4 (14 - 10).

Baccarat is a game between a BANKER and a PLAYER. However in the casino you will see many players around the same baccarat table. This is because the baccarat players take turns acting as the Banker and Player, according to rules that may vary from casino to casino. Even if a player is not currently acting as the banker or player, they are still allowed to make bets on the currently active bank or player hands.

A game of baccarat starts out with the Bank and the Player being dealt two cards each by the casinos dealer, one card at a time. If one or both the hands has a total score of 8 or 9 - called a Natural - the cards are turned and the game is finished. If both hands have 9 or 8, it's a draw. If neither the Bank or the player has a Natural, the dealer will instruct the players on what to do according to certain predetermined rules. Because the rules are fixed and enforced by the dealer, it's possible to play baccarat without even knowing the exact rules of the game.

The player must always stand on 6 and 7 - and must draw another card if he has 1 to 5.

 
Banker Has:
Players 3rd Card Is:
The Banker Must:
0-2
Does Not Matter
Draw a 3rd card
3
1 to 7, 9 or 10
Draw a 3rd card
3
8
Stand
4
2 to 7
Draw a 3rd card
4
1 or 8 to 10
Stand
5
4 to 7
Draw a 3rd card
5
1 to 3 or 8 to 10
Stand
6
6 or 7
Draw a 3rd card
6
1 to 5 or 8 to 10
Stand
7
Does Not Matter
Stand

The Bank has to draw if his total score is from 0 to 5 if the player stands, but must always stand on 6 and 7. If the player has drawn a third card, the rules for the bank are as illustrated in the table above.

As mentioned above these baccarat rules are always the same - and you do not even need to know them as the dealer will instruct you on what to do when you act as the banker and player. Drawing and standing according to the above mentioned rules is also the best possible strategical way to play the hand - so you wouldn't want to play your hand in any other way even if you were allowed to do so.

When you win a bet on either the Player of Banker you will be paid 1-1. The odds is slightly in the favor of the Banker. The Banker will win 45.84% of the games - The Player only 44.61% of the games and the rest of the games - 9.55% - will be a Tie. A few casinos will also offer a bet on a tie - such a bet normally pay 1-8. This is the worst baccarat bet as the casino has a edge of 14% on a tie bet. Some casinos offers odds of 1-9 making tie bets a little bit better - but still not recommended.

An illustration of a baccarat table. You will often find the baccarat table in a separate room or behind curtains to make it more attractive to the high rollers and to give the game a more exclusive atmosphere. This baccarat table has seats for 14 players. The dealer who is in charge of the game is placed beside number 1 - the other two casino dealers handles bets and pay everyone their winnings. Furthermore these two dealers are responsible for keeping track of the casinos 5% commission on winning bets on the Banker. This is done by placing chips on the small numbers 1 to 15 on the table. The 5% commission is first due when a player wants to leave the table - It is done this way because this makes the baccarat game run smother. On a baccarat table there is also a spot for the Bankers hand and a spot for the Players hand.

In the casino, one of the gamblers will act as the Banker and one of the gamblers will act as the Player - while the casinos dealer only hands out the cards and makes sure the rules of baccarat are followed correctly. The casino do not win on the game itself - but they normally take a small commission on a banker bet that wins. Normally the commission is 5%.

Note that the gambler acting as the Banker is not financially responsible for the Bank. He only acts as the Banker - and he is free to place bets on the player if he wishes to do so. All decisions are decided by the baccarat rules so he can not change the odds for the better or worse.

Many baccarat gamblers believe that the bet on the player is the best baccarat bet - because of the 5% commission taken by the casino on winning Banker bets. This is not correct. The best bet at the baccarat table is a bet on the Banker - even though the casino takes a 5% commission on a winning banker bet this is still the best baccarat bet.

 

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