- 1. The Origin of Baccarat
- 2. How to Play Baccarat
- 3. Baccarat Terminology
- 4. Rules for Online Baccarat
- 5. Baccarat in Popular Culture
Baccarat is a popular casino card game that draws in high rollers from around the world. The two-card game is played with a player and a banker, and a casino dealer is tasked with dealing and managing cards during game play when baccarat is played in a casino setting. The object of baccarat is to obtain a hand that is valued as close to nine as possible. Because of the nature of this objective, baccarat is considered to be purely a game of chance.
There are variations on the traditional style of baccarat. These variations are used to add new dimensions to the game and scale it down to attract more players.
- Punto Banco
The most popular variation, punto banco is a version of baccarat that is played at a large, oval table. Up to eight decks may be used during gameplay, and cards are only dealt out by the dealer in this version.
- Casino Provision
Casino provision is punto banco that is played in separate rooms to offer privacy to high rollers during baccarat games. Minimum bets are set according to the room, and it is not uncommon for a minimum bet to be as high as $500.
- Midi and Mini Punto
Midi and mini punto are scaled-down versions of traditional baccarat that are intended to attract a wider range of players. Minimum bets tend to be lower, and the game is played faster than traditional baccarat.
- Chemin de Fer
This French variation of baccarat is claimed to be the original version. Six decks are shuffled before cards are dealt. Once the dealer deals the cards, each individual player will shuffle his or her own cards as well. A banker is chosen during the game, and the rest of the players are considered to be punters. The banker will then make a bet, and players are then given the option to make a wager. If the wager matches the amount that the banker has bet, no other punters can make a wager. The rest of the game is played in the same way as traditional baccarat. The banker will deal cards in the case of Chemin de Fer.
- EZ Baccarat
A variation of punto banco, EZ baccarat increases payouts to the banker. If the banker wins with a hand valued at seven while holding three cards, bets are not paid out. EZ baccarat also offers players the option to make side bets. Dragon 7 is a bet that the banker will win the game with a three-card hand valued at eight. If a person wins this bet, the win pays out at 40-to-1 odds. Panda 8 is a side bet that the player will win the game with a three-card hand valued at eight. If a person wins this bet, the win pays out at 25-to-1 odds.
- Super 6/Punto 2000
This variation of baccarat pays out winnings for bets placed in favor of the banker without requiring a commission to be given to the house. In traditional baccarat, the house is typically given a five percent commission on payouts. If the banker wins with a hand valued at six, 50 percent of bets are returned to the person who placed the bet. The other half of the bet is lost. The Super 6 name refers to the unique betting rule associated with this variation. Super 6 is generally a baccarat variation that is specifically limited to brick-and-mortar casinos. The lack of online Super 6 baccarat is primarily due to the most complicated advantage for the house and the fact that the house is given a slightly larger commission.
The selection of the banker and the duration of a banker's position depends upon the type of baccarat that is being played. In the case of Chemin de Fer, the banker remains in the position as long as he or she wins. Once the banker loses, the position will be handed to another player. In the case of baccarat banque, a specific number of decks is used. The number of decks can vary between two and four, but it is most common for three to be used. The banker will remain in position until all of the cards in the decks have been played.
The tableau of drawing rules refers to the set rules that apply to a specific game of baccarat. These rules may differ slightly according to the version of baccarat that is being played. If both the player and the banker receive either an eight or a nine during the initial two-card hand, the tableau of drawing rules is not needed. In the case that a hand valued between zero and seven is drawn, these rules are used to determine whether a third card will be dealt.
One of the most unique aspects of baccarat is the fact that face cards are worthless in the game. These cards are given a value of zero. Aces are assigned a value of one, and number cards are counted at face value. Two cards are dealt with each player. The face value of these cards is added, and the total value of the hand is equal to the second digit of the sum. For example, a hand containing an eight and a five would be valued at three.
The object of baccarat is to receive a hand that is valued as close to nine as possible.
Initially, two cards are dealt with both the player and the banker. Based on the value of the player's hand, a third card may be given to the player. Since the banker's hand is always played last, the dealer will determine whether the banker can draw a third card after the player's hand has been valued.
Baccarat is unique in that the game allows players to bet that there will be a tie between the player and the banker in the game. In the case of a tie, the person who placed the bet will win with 8-to-1 odds. Select online and brick-and-mortar casinos offer 9-to-1 odds on tie bets. These odds will be specified at the time that a bet is being placed. Anyone who has bet on either the player or the banker will be given their bet back when a tie occurs.
Baccarat players have the option to bet on the banker, the player or that there will be a tie. Limits are up to the specific online casino. Baccarat is traditionally a game aimed at high rollers, so it is not uncommon to find a game with high limits. The lowest minimum wager may be around $25, but there are online casinos with minimums as low as $5. In rooms intended for high rollers, minimum wagers can be as high as $500 or more. Some online casinos offer paid and non-monetary versions of baccarat to appeal to a wide range of players. The paid versions require players to deposit money and bet as they would in a traditional casino setting. Non-monetary versions offer fake, in-game chips or money that is used to play baccarat only for fun.
A two-card hand is dealt to the player and the banker. Depending on the value of this hand, the game may be over without a third card being dealt to either party. If either the player or the banker receives a hand valued at eight or nine, the game is over. The hands will be compared, and winnings are paid out based on these results. If the player receives a hand valued between zero and five, the player will draw another card. If the total equals six or seven, the player must stand. In the case that the player must stand, a banker will draw only if his or her hand is valued between zero and five. If a player receives a third card, the banker may or may not receive a third card as well. The determination is made based on the following criteria: - If the banker's hand is worth either zero, one or two, the banker will draw a third card. - If the banker's hand is worth three, the banker will draw a third card if the player's hand is worth between zero and nine. However, a third card will not be drawn by the banker if the player's hand is worth eight. - If the banker's hand is worth four, the banker will draw a third card if the player's hand is worth between two and seven. - If the banker's hand is worth five, the banker will draw a third card if the player's hand is worth between four and seven. - If the banker's hand is worth six, the banker will draw a third card if the player's hand is worth either six or seven. - If the banker's hand is worth seven, the banker will not draw a third card.
Succeeding in the game of baccarat starts with a thorough understanding of game terminology.
Baccarat The worst hand that a player can get in the game of baccarat; the valuation of this hand is zero.
Banco Another word used to refer to the banker in the game.
Banker/Player Bet A bet in favor of either the dealer or the player during a hand of baccarat. It is important to note that such a bet does not take ties into consideration.
Bankroll The total amount of money a player has to bet on the game.
Burning Discarding between three and six of the top cards in a deck after shuffling and before dealing a hand.
Caller The dealer during a baccarat game. The caller is responsible for dealing cards and determining the value of hands.
Carte A French word used by players when they would like to request that the dealer gives them a card.
Commission A percentage of the winning bank bets that the house takes as a fee. The commission is commonly set at five percent.
Coup A French word referring to a round of baccarat.
Croupier Another word for dealers, employees at a casino who are responsible for dealing out cards and managing bets.
Fading Placing a bet.
House Edge The advantage that a casino has over players during any game.
La Grande A term meaning "the big one" in French and referring to a hand worth nine. La Grande is the best hand possible in baccarat.
La Petite A term meaning "the little one" in French and referring to a hand worth eight.
Loss Bet A bet placed against the bank.
Mini Baccarat A scaled-down version of baccarat that has been utilized to make the game more popular and to encourage the general public in a casino setting to play baccarat.
Monkey Refers to both face cards and 10s.
Muck A collection of eight full decks of 52 cards that is used when the shuffling process begins.
Natural A two-card hand that is valued at eight or nine.
Palette A long, flat, paddle-like wooden stick that is used to move cards on the baccarat table.
Pass A winning hand.
Push A bet made during one round that is not associated with a winning or losing a hand. The push bet is therefore held to the next round.
Shoe A machine that automates the dealing process in order to prevent mistakes made on the part of the dealer.
Shooter A term used to refer to the bank.
Shuffle Up Refers to the shuffling that a dealer does early on in the game.
Standoff A situation in which the player and the bank are tied.
Upcard The card that is facing up.
The object of online baccarat is simple. As with the traditional version of the game, players want to achieve a hand that is valued at a total of nine. Hands with a total value that is close to nine are also coveted by players.
Baccarat can be a bit tricky to understand due to the unique valuing of cards. Poker and blackjack typically put a high value on 10s and face cards, but these cards are worth nothing in baccarat. Aces are worth one point while cards between two and nine are worth their face value. However, both cards in a hand are added up to determine the total value of the hand. If the total is 10 or over, the value is the second digit of the total. For example, a hand containing a nine and a five would be worth four.
The player and the banker in a baccarat game are initially dealt two cards. When either party receives a two-card hand totaling eight or nine, the individual will not be dealt a third card. Players must stand if they have a hand valued at six or seven. Players with hands worth five or less are automatically given a third card. The person with the hand that is valued closest to nine wins.
Once a game that was associated with popular culture icons like James Bond, baccarat has lost some of its cultural appeal in the United States. The game is deep-rooted in Asian culture, and many players today hail from Asian countries including China.
Las Vegas has seen a drop in the number of high rollers who frequent the baccarat tables in its casinos. The lower number of high-stakes players at baccarat tables in Vegas actually drives roller-coaster-like game results in the short term. The house still has a natural advantage over the long term, but players who are willing to sidle up to a high-stakes game can be sure that their experience will be anything but boring.
Baccarat may be an exciting experience for those who head over to the tables, but the overall baccarat revenue in Las Vegas is down. Casino experts feel that this decline in revenue can be sourced to three problems.
1. Asian whales who accounted for much of the revenue are deterred by China's weak economy.
Casino whales are high rollers who account for much of the revenue that casinos bring in each year. In Vegas, whales are often Asian players who come to the city to make high bets. The weak economy in mainland China is likely to be one source of the decrease in Vegas baccarat revenue.
2. The baccarat boom is likely to be drawing to a close.
Baccarat gained much popularity over the past decade, but it seems that the game is now seeing steady declines in the number of players who frequent the tables each day.
3. More players are migrating to skill-based casino games.
The house always has an advantage, and this advantage is difficult for players to manage when it comes to games of chance. As a result, more casino visitors are migrating to games in which they can use skill and knowledge to gain an advantage. The strategic nature of three-card poker, Texas hold'em and blackjack make these card games more of a draw for those who are looking to hone their skills and earn more.