How to Play Baccarat a Simple Guide

Baccarat it is very easy to learn and can be played by anyone making it one of the most player friendly casino games. The variant that is most commonly played in the United States is known North American Baccarat (punto banco). This variant is a game of pure chance, requiring little skill and no real strategy to play the game.

Baccarat is a very simple game allowing the player to bet on either the “player hand” or the “banker hand” to win. There are three possible outcomes: player hand wins, banker hand wins or the player and banker hand “tie”. With a player win outcome the “player hand” has achieved the higher score, you will win if you had placed a bet on the player. With a banker win the “banker hand” has achieved the higher score, you will win if you had placed a bet on the banker. Lastly, if the “player hand” and “banker hand” tie, you will win if you had placed a bet on tie.

To know whether you have won it is important to understand how the cards are scored during game play and some rules involved in the game. Cards are assigned values as follows:

2 – face value (2)
3 – face value (3)
4 – face value (4)
5 – face value (5)
6 – face value (6)
7 – face value (7)
8 – face value (8)
9 – face value (9)
10 – no point value (0)
Jack – no point value (0)
Queen – no point value (0)
King – no point value (0)
A – one point
There are no Jokers used in this game.

Hands are given their value based on their numeric total for those in the ones column and for those that have a number in tenth column the second digit is used.

Two and Three is worth Five points, Six and Seven are worth Three, the best score either hand can achieve is a Nine. The hand consisting of 6 and 7 is only worth 3 points because as the rule states cards are valued according the digit on the right, 13 being the total with digit to the right being 3. Another example of this is 5 and 6 would be worth 1 point as 1 is the rightmost digit in 11. Another way to think of this is to subtract 10 from the total and this will equal the hand score.

The dealer shuffles four, six, or eight decks of cards together and places them into a shoe than the game can begin. Players begin by placing a bet on either the banker or player to win or a tie. Winning bets placed on the banker or player pay even money, while a bet placed on a tie will pay eight to one. You may place and wager within the allowed table specification, such as a minimum bet $50.00 maximum bet $1,000. This means you may place a bet of at least $50.00 but may not place a bet exceeding $1,000 on the hand. The dealer then takes over and game play is conduced according to draw rules, most commonly as follows if neither hand is a natural:

If the first two cards drawn for the player equal five or less, another card is drawn
If the first two cards drawn for the player equal six or seven, no further cards are drawn
If the player did not take a third card the banker assumes the same rules as the player
If the player has taken a third card the bankers rules are as follows:

If the player drew a two or three, the banker will stand with a five to seven and draw with a zero to four
If the player drew a four or five, the banker will stand with a six or seven and draw with a zero to five
If the player drew a six or seven, the banker will stand with a seven and draw with a zero to 6
If the player drew an ace, nine, ten, jack, queen, or king, the banker will stand with a four to seven and draw with a zero to three

There may not be more than three drawn for either hand, after which the total is added and the closest to nine is determined to be the winner. Winnings are paid out according the above mentioned except for the banker bet, which will have a five percent commission taken out of the winnings.

There is also another popular variant of Baccarat called chemmy or Chemin de fer. With this variant the “banker” title is assigned to one player and all the other players “punters”. During game play the banker position is generally rotated in a counter-clockwise fashion. The banker decides how much he wished to wager after which each player decided whether they will match the banker wager. When no player chooses to match the bank wager, they will each place their bets in order.

After all bets are placed game play begins with the dealer dealing four face down cards, two for himself or herself and remaining two held in by the other players. The player and banker than look at the cards they have been dealt and if either the banker or player have been dealt an eight or nine they must announce it immediately.

If neither of the hands equal eight or nine, the player than chooses whether to accept a third card, of they do this will be dealt face up. After the player has chosen the banker will make the same choice, with the dealt card also being placed face up should they choose to accept it. Each hand is than compared by turning the card face up, if the player hand score exceeds that of banker hand score each player will receive bank their initial wager plus a matching amount. If the banker’s hand exceeds that of the players all bets are forfeit, and if it is a tie all bets are kept and be used for the next round in game play.

The banker may withdraw at this point if they wish, the new banker becoming the player that willing to match the current bank bet in play from the previous hand. Should there be no player wishing to do so the new banker becomes the next player in order.


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