Rules and tips for Playing Baccarat:
The game of Baccarat is often regarded as glamorous as it is frequently played by the rich elite in a fancy roped-off Baccarat pit. However, don't be intimidated because once you know the rules you'll realize that Baccarat is one of the easiest casino games there is. You don't even need to know the rules in order to play as the game is entirely based on chance, but knowing the rules will help you get into the spirit of the game and enjoy your wins more.
'Live' Baccarat is played with eight complete decks of cards. The cards are shuffled by the dealer or "croupier," and then reshuffled and placed in a special box called the "shoe." The game is played by set rules, so no special skill is involved. The player with the "shoe" is considered the banker. He/she may place his/her bet either with the bank or with the players. In live games every player at the table gets a chance to deal the cards, but you don't have to deal, just pass the shoe to the next player. Baccarat is traditionally a high stakes game. At an online casino you'll be able to play at considerably lower limits, so this is an ideal place to start.
A player places a wager on which of two hands (the "Player" or the "Banker") will have a total point closest to 9. Each hand receives at least two cards but no more than three. The first and third cards dealt from the shoe constitute the "Player's" hand and the second and forth cards constitute the "Banker's" hand.
Face cards and tens count as 0; Aces count as 1, and all other cards count as face value. If required, a third card is dealt to each hand according to specific rules (see the table below). To work out the value of each hand, you simply add the cards. If the total is over 10, the first digit is ignored. So a 4 and an 8 would normally equal 12, but because we disregard the first digit, the hand is worth 2 points. Similarly, a 3 and 7 would equal 0, and a 10 and 9 would equal 9. If the point value of the first two cards drawn for either hand is 8 or 9, it is known as a "Natural" and no further cards will be drawn.
The hand with the highest point total closest to nine wins. Winning bets are paid even money (1:1). However, a winning "Banker" bet pays a 5% commission which is withheld from winnings after each such bet. That means if you made a $10 banker bet and won, you would receive $10.00 minus 5% ($0.50), which would actually be $9.50. If both hands result in identical totals, the "Tie" bet wins, paying 8 to 1. Ties, however, occur less than once out of every ten hands. When a "Tie" occurs, all bets on the "Player" and the "Banker" are neither paid nor taken.
The Player Hand
The player hand is played first, according to the following rules:
When the first two cards equal.... ...the player must:
6, 7, 8, or 9 -> Stand
Any other value -> Draw one card
The player hand can never receive more than one additional card. The hand must stand after the third card, regardless of its value at that point.
The Banker Hand
The banker hand is a bit more complicated. How the banker hand gets played is usually determined by what the player hand's third card is. If the player did not draw a third card (i.e. had a 6 or higher), then the banker draws a card only if its first two cards total less than 5. Otherwise, the banker stands.
If the player did draw a third card, then the banker plays as follows:
When the banker's first two cards equal
...the banker draws if the player's third card is:
3 -> 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10
4 -> 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
5 -> 4, 5, 6, 7
6 -> 6, 7
When the banker's first two cards equal... ...the banker will:
2 or less -> Always draw
7, 8, or 9 -> Always stand
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