Baccarat

Baccarat Game Rules and Tips

Baccarat is a player versus banker game and has sometimes been referred to as Player/Banker. This game has been around for centuries, although the exact history is not very clear. In recent years Baccarat has become highly popular with high rollers. One such man, Phil Ivey, won 10 million in a few short baccarat sessions during a game in the UK. The popularity of baccarat most likely stems from the simplicity of the game. Baccarat also has a small house edge compared to some of the other table games.

The Rules

Baccarat is a card game that is similar to blackjack. Players compete against the dealer, with the objective of gaining the highest score possible. Whoever has the highest score wins. The making of money in the game is slightly more complicated because there are three types of wagers that you can put your money on. You see in baccarat the player or banker winning can actually benefit the player and provide a payout. This differs from blackjack because the player is always betting on themselves to win.

The Wagers

The banker – a player can wager the banker will have the highest score and win.

The player – a player can wager that they will have the highest score and win.

A tie – a tie means the wager prediction was for the player and banker to have the same score.

The Hand Values

All numbered cards will be worth their face value, thus a one is worth one point and a ten is worth ten points.

Face cards are worth zero.

All of the aces will be worth one point.

In baccarat the highest scoring hand is 9 and it is called a natural. Of course, this might seem a little confusing, after all, the ten is its face value too and all players are dealt two cards. It comes down to how the hands are calculated. When calculating the cards, you take the right most digit into account. Let’s look at an example to make this clearer.

If you have two cards and they are both 8s, you would simply take 8+8= 16 and taking only the right number, the hand would be 6. So if you have a double digit score, you simply drop the left digit.

Gameplay

The game will begin when players place their wagers. You can bet on the banker, player or a tie. After all bets are placed, the banker will deal the cards. Each will get two cards. There is a potential for a third card to be drawn.

For a third card to be drawn:

If a natural occurs in either the banker or players hand, no additional cards are drawn.

If the two sides do not have a score of 8 or 9, an additional card will be drawn.

For the player, they can get a third card drawn if the hand is a 6 or 7, but the player must stand if the hand is 0-5.

For the banker, if a player gets a third card, the same rules are followed meaning the dealer does not draw for 0-5, but will get an extra card for 6 or 7.

The rules continue:

If a player got a 2 or 3, the banker will draw on 0-4, but stand on 5 to 7.

If the player’s card was a 4 or 5, then the banker draws on a 0-5, but stands on 6 to 7.

If the player’s third card was a 6 or 7, the bank draws on 0-6, but stands on 7.

If the player drew an Ace, 9, 10, or any face card, the bank can draw on 0-3, but stand on 4 to 7.

The House Edge Factors In

When determining how to wager, which is what determines if you make money when playing baccarat, you need to understand the house edge. A banker bet has a 1.06% house edge. The player bet is 1.24% and a tie bet is 14.36%. The house edge is against the player, but as you can see the house edge for banker or player bets is very low.

Tip

Determine the amount of decks being played at the table. Some casinos increase the deck from one to multiples to keep card counting at bay. You have to know the probability of getting certain cards to determine your strategy in betting for or against the player.