Ultimate Guide To Online Baccarat - Everything You Need To Know About Casino Baccarat

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Casino Baccarat Is The favorite Of High Rollers - Find Out Why In This Detailed Casino Baccarat Guide

casino dealer shoe baccarat guideBaccarat is a game offering one of the lowest house edges in the casino, typically around 1.06%, giving you a realistic chance of experiencing winning sessions. Made famous by James Bond and private high stakes rooms, this game can be somewhat of a mystery to many despite being spread in casinos all over the world. If you are unfamiliar with the game of baccarat this guide provides you with everything you need to know to step into the games.

To start with some of the game’s history is explained, showing you how it has evolved into the popular Mini Baccarat common in both live casinos and online. You are then taken through a basic hand of baccarat to demonstrate how the game is played before the rules on drawing a third card is covered.  As there are many different versions of the game available I have finished off by covering two common variations you may find – Chemin De Fleur and Baccarat Banque.

The History Of Baccarat

Baccarat is one of the oldest card games spread in the casino. While baccarats true origins may be lost in time, it is believed the game first originated In Italy in the 1400s. Soon after it was introduced to France in the 1490s by returning solders and gained favour amongst the French nobility. The first definite recorded reference to baccarat was not until 1847 when Charles Van-Tenac wrote a 13 page mathematical study of ‘baccara’.

While there were stories of baccarat games being played in the US during the late 19th and early 20th century, no variants were mentioned on Nevada’s 1931 casino gambling legislation. It was not until 1958 that a baccarat version ‘Chemin de Fer’ was seen in Las Vegas casinos. The Cuban variant Punto Banco followed the next year. This game became the recognisable modern version of baccarat although it could easily all been very different as in November 1959 the Sands lost $250,000 when they launched the first table.

Punto Banco or Mini Baccarat is a typically a smaller game, both in terms of number of players and stakes, than the traditional ‘big table game’. There is only one dealer who controls the action and deals, where the larger game sees the players take it in turn to deal and you can find three casino employees handling bets and pay-outs. As a result mini baccarat is generally a quicker and more accessible game which you will find available in many online and live casinos.

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How To Play Baccarat

Despite the mystic surrounding baccarat among those unfamiliar with the game, it is actually very straight-forward to play. The game is typically dealt using 8 full decks of cards. Before the deal participants take it in turns to bet on one of two hands – the banker or the player. There is a third option of betting on a tie, although this typically pays out at 8/1 when the true odds are close to 11/1, making this is a bet to avoid. The aim is to choose which hand you think will get closest to the highest score of 9.

Once two cards for each hand are dealt onto the table, the value of the cards are added up. Face cards and 10s count as nothing and aces count as 1. If the total of the two cards exceeds 9 then 10 is deducted from the score, meaning a sum of 10 would be zero, 11 would be 1 and so on.

Should either hand total 8 or 9, then this is declared a ‘natural’, ending the action and giving the highest score the win. Should the totals on both hands be lower than 8 then the action follows set rules based on the player’s hand.

Those who bet on the winning hand receive even money pay-outs, matching their original bets, although those with winning banker bets will have 5% commission deducted to the house.

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Drawing The Third Card

If the player totals 6 or 7 then no further cards are drawn for the player and the banker’s hand must stand on a 6 or 7 or draw on lower.

When the player’s hand totals 5 or less a third card must be drawn. If this happens the banker has to stand on a 7 or is dealt a 3rd card based on the player’s third card as follows:

  • If the banker hand equals 0 -2, a third card is drawn no matter what the player receives.
  • If the banker hand equals 3, a card is drawn unless the player receives an 8.
  • If the banker hand equals 4, a card is drawn unless the player receives a 0,1, 8 or 9.
  • If the banker hand equals 5, a card is drawn if the player receives a 4, 5, 6, 7.
  • If the banker hand equals 6, a card is drawn if the player receives a 6 or 7.

While it is useful to remember these it really only serves to spot mistakes as these actions should all be automatic for the dealer.

Once a third card has been drawn (or not) then no further cards are needed to make up the hand and the winning hand is declared.

Baccarat Variations

As noted earlier, despite being the most common form of baccarat found in casinos and online, Punto Banco or Mini Baccarat is a relatively new variant of the game. The typical big table game runs in a similar manner with betting against the house, although there are a total of 24 Baccarat variants approved by the Nevada Control Board as of 2008 which have significant differences. The two most common variations are covered here Chemin De Fer and Baccarat Banque.

Chemin De Fer – This French variant of the game is played like a big table game of baccarat, with players taking it in turn to deal. The main difference is in Chemin De Fer whichever player is dealing the cards becomes the banker and actively bets against the other players at the table. Here the player-banker has to bet on the banker hand and the other players have to bet on the player hand.

Before the deal commences the banker places his bet on the table. Depending on the casino rules this may be how much he is willing to risk in total or how high he is willing to go to match individual player bets. Starting with the player on the bankers left, each one then takes it in turn to place their bets, the highest bettor becoming the player’s representative.

Cards are then dealt like most other baccarat games, with two cards for each of the players and bankers hands. As with other forms of baccarat if a natural 8 or 9 is dealt, the winner is declared. If not then the player and banker both have the choice whether or not to draw a thirds card. While there are no set drawing rules in Chemin De Fer, they will remain similar to a standard baccarat game as these have the highest mathematical expectation. The winner is then declared and bets are paid out, minus the 5% commission for winning banker bets. The banker remains the same until that player loses when the option to become the banker is offered to the player on his left.

Baccarat Banque – This game typically played with a three deck shoe which stays with one player deemed to be the banker. Unlike a lot of other baccarat games the dealer does not rotate, instead it is decided on at the start of the game by an auction or given to the first player on the game’s list. In some casinos the banker may be funded by the house. The banker-player is positioned in the middle of the table.

Once the cards are sufficiently shuffled and cut by the casino dealer and players, the banker deals out three hands – a player hand to his right and left and one for the bank. The banker can only bet on the Banker hand and the players must bet on the Player hand on their side of the table. Should they wish, the players can bet on the other Player hand in addition, by placing a bet in the middle of the table.

The banker places the wager they wish to make to cover action from all the players. A single players bet may not exceed this nor may the total of all players bets. A player may solo challenge the dealer by declaring their intention to “go bank” and match the bankers wager on his side, or both Player hands. If the player wins the bet he becomes the banker although he fails to win on three consecutive tries he is unable to “go bank” again.

When all betting is finished the three hands follow the standard baccarat scoring and the winners are awarded their pay-out. The 5% commission is still paid on all banker bets.

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