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How to play Baccarat

Baccarat is the simplest of all casino games to learn. In fact, when you’ve placed your bet, the dealing follows a strict procedure and is played more or less automatically.

But how enjoying is it to play a game where you don’t understand the rules?

Before you start playing, give this article a quick read and you’ll understand why and when you win.

It will most certainly make the game more exiting.

Card and Hand Values in Baccarat

In online baccarat, you receive cards, add them and get a total sum between zero and nine, where nine is best and zero is worst.

Card Values:

  • Ace is counted as 1

  • King, Queen and Jack are counted as 10

  • 10 to 2 are counted as their face value


As you may see, when you add your cards you could actually exceed 10. Say that you have a king and a five for instance, which would make 15.

Any time this happens, ten is subtracted from your total hand value.

A hand with a king and a five, for example, is therefore counted as five.

How a Hand in Baccarat is Played

As we said in the beginning: when a bet is placed the dealer will draw the cards and you have no more decisions to make.

At first, the dealer and the player get two cards each.

If either the banker or the player has 8 or 9, which is called a natural hand, the closest to 9 wins and the hand is over. If both have the same value, tie bets win, but more about that later.

If nobody has a natural, the value of the player’s hand dictates what happens next.

  • If the player has 7 or 6, he stands.

  • If the player has 5 to 0, he’ll get another card added to the total hand value.   


So now we know the value of the player’s hand

Let’s turn to the banker.

This is where it gets a bit complicated. But hang in there, once you’ve started playing it will get clear.  

  • If the dealer has 7 he stands

  • If the dealer has 6 – and the player’s third card was 7-6 – he takes another card

  • If the dealer has 5 – and the player’s third card was 7-4 – he takes another card

  • If the dealer has 4 – and the player’s third card was 7-2 – he takes another card

  • If the dealer has 3 – and the player’s third card was anything but 8 – he takes another card

  • If the dealer has 2-0 he takes another card


Now the hands are over and you can compare who won.

But who actually won? Well, that depends on where you put your money.

Betting Options in Baccarat

In contrast to blackjack and similar games, you don’t play “against” the dealer.

Instead you bet on either the banker or the player to win (or that it will be a tie.)

Betting on Player
: The first type of bet that you can make is to bet that the player will end up with the best hand. This type of bet is sometimes referred to as a “Punto Bet.”

Player bets pay 1:1 on your money, which generates a house advantage of 1.36%

Betting on Bank : As we said, you could also bet on banker, which is the most favorable wager with only a 1.17% house advantage.

Since the bets on bank win more often than bets on player, the house pays 19:20 on your winnings. In other words, they deduct a 5% winning fee.

Betting on Tie: You can also bet on that the player and the bank end up with the same card total.

This will pay 8:1 on your money, which may look tempting. But in fact this is a real sucker bet you should avoid since the house advantage is 14.2%!

Conclusion

Although baccarat is easy to play – when you’ve posted your wager you’re done – it’s good to have an understanding of the rules.

If you do, you can follow what happens and you can make sure that you’re not getting short changed when the dealer takes out the commission from a winning bet on banker.

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