In its simplest form, the game of Baccarat is played by two betters – a “banker” and a “player” who each receive a hand comprising two cards. The object of the game is to have a pip count, called a “point” of 9 or lower: the higher hand wins. The remaining betters at the baccarat table bet on the hand they think will win and whether the two would tie.
Although a number of variations of Baccarat exist, these basic rules of the game and the order of play are standard.
Baccarat is played on a long, hour-glass-shaped table marked with seven betting positions around each short end. There are indents at the center of each long edge so that two dealers and a caller can stand close to the action.
Each dealer is responsible for managing the chips and bets at his end of the table, while the caller directs the betters to place bets on the banker or player and/or on a tie. In front of the dealers are numbered boxes – one per better – for commission chips. We recommend you to play real money casino games at the best online casinos.
In Baccarat, the cards are dealt by one of the betters, starting at position one on the baccarat table, the shoe passes to each person in turn, and he takes on the role of the banker. This player is responsible for dealing until he loses a hand or no longer wishes to play, and the shoe passes to the next better on the right (clockwise around the table).
Baccarat is an easy game to learn and play; it is a game of pure chance. There is absolutely no skill required from any of the betters. There are only two bets available for the bettor to choose from – the player and the banker – and the odds are almost identical.
Although the game is simple, this is not a game for the faint-hearted. Table minimums tend to start high, and the maximums can reach extravagant levels. Anyone planning to play at a baccarat table should have a reasonable bankroll and needs to be aware of the popular betting strategies that could work for (and again) him.
There are many different variations of Baccarat; some of the more popular are chemin de fer, European Baccarat, baccarat en Banque and mini Baccarat.
Chemin de fer is an early version of the game and is played in France; it takes its name from the French for ‘railway’ and is thought to refer to the show passing like a train from one banker to the next. The major difference between Chemin de fer and Baccarat played today is in the online pokies for real money game; each banker banks the whole game in turn and must pay out all winning bets.
Another variation of Baccarat is mini Baccarat. This game is played in the open casino hall on a table much like that for blackjack; places for seven players are marked with designated areas for betting on the player, the banker, and/or tie.
A casino dealer deals and plays out both hands, and betters simply decide which hand to bet on and how much stake. This is a less intimidating version of Baccarat, and it is ideal for beginners to the game.
Unlike other table games in the casino, there is no opportunity in Baccarat to lower the house edge. The result, on the one hand, has no effect on the one that follows, and you cannot influence the outcome in any way. This game is entirely a game of chance.
Casinos provide score cards that make it possible to keep track of who wins each hand, and this way, betters can see when a game has streaks or if it’s chopping back and forth between the player and the banker. Betters base their betting strategies on these observations, although there is no real way to predict the outcome of any hand in Baccarat.
Odds of Winning
The baccarat odds of winning show that the banker has a slight advantage over the player’s hand, winning 45.8 percent of all hands, while the player wins 44.6 percent.
If the house paid even money on all winning bets, this would give the casino a house edge of 1.4 percent on the player’s hand but a disadvantage of 1.4 percent on the banker’s hand. Although all winning hands are paid at even money, the casino usually charges a 5 percent commission on all winning banker bets to compensate.
The tie bet is paid at odds of 8 to 1, but since the true odds are closer to 19 to 2, the casino gains a 14 percent edge on a tie.