Baccarat is not a complicated card game and there are only 3 possible outcomes – a Tie, Banker or Player. These outcomes do not actually refer to the client (for the “Player”) nor the house or casino (for the “Banker”). These terms are only used to refer to the specific betting options.
The game of baccarat may come in the standard version or in the Live-Dealer version. The latter is the variant of the card game that allows interaction among the players as well as with the person that is responsible in the dealing of the cards.
Game Play and Rules in the Game of Baccarat
Before the game of baccarat begins, the players place their bets on the tie, player hand or banker hand. The bets can no longer be changed and the players cannot make any additional bets once these bets have already been accepted. The hands of the banker and the player are dealt based on the established rules and this will ultimately result with the final hands which may consist of either a pair of cards or 3 cards for each of the players as well as the banker.
Once the bets have been placed by the players, the cards are dealt from the shoe that is holding either 6 card decks or 8 card decks. In brick and mortar casinos, two hands are dealt by the dealer - the “player” and the “banker” – face down. The dealt cards for each of the hands are turned over and these are tallied. The croupier determines the respective values of the cards in order to determine the composite value for each of the hands. The face cards – kings, queens and jacks – and tens have a point value of zero and the other cards have point values corresponding to their respective numeric values. In a game of baccarat, only the last digit in the sum total of the point value of each of the cards that comprise a hand is considered. For instance, if the sum total is equivalent to 17, then the last digit or 7 is considered. Thus, the range of possible outcomes in a game of baccarat is from 0 to nine. Once the croupier completes the determination of the respective values of all the hands, each of these results are called out by the dealer, and at this point, it will be determined whether additional cards have to be drawn from the shoe or not.
There are specific rules that apply for the banker hand and player hand. When it comes to the player hand, when the initial pair of cards dealt has a point total which is equivalent to 6 or higher, then the concerned player does not get an automatic drawing option and must stand with the first 2 cards that have been dealt earlier. On the other hand, if the point total of the pair of cards that have been dealt is equivalent to 5 or lower, then the concerned player is required to draw another card and end up with a composite hand of 3 cards.
On the other hand, there is a separate set of rules that apply for the banker hand. When the initial pair of cards comes up with a point total which is equivalent to 7 or higher, then the banker does not get an automatic drawing option and must settle with the first 2 cards that have been dealt earlier. On the other hand, if the point of total of the pair cards that have been dealt is equivalent to 0 to 2, then the banks is required to draw an additional card for a composite hand consisting of 3 cards. If the banker gets a composite of two cards with a point total equivalent to 3 to 6, then the option to draw would entirely depend on whether the player draws a third card or not as well as the value of the drawn card. Once the respective point totals of the hands are tallied, the hand with the highest point total is declared winner. A tie is automatically declared if there are two hands with the same highest point total.
The bets of the players with losing hands are collected and player or players with the winning hand are paid based on the established house rules on the payouts. In case of a tie, the bets of the player and the banker are returned. The payout for the winning bet is 1:1, and there is a 5 percent commission that is charged on the bets made on the bank hand. Thus, the odds for such bet, when playing online baccarat, are equivalent to 0.95:1. On the other hand, the “tie” bets will have varying odds and these can range from 8:1 to 9:1 and this will be within the discretion of the house or the operator of the online casino where the baccarat game is played.
Baccarat Strategies and Systems
Even while it is considered as a game of chance, a player still has the opportunity to maximize their winning potential while playing a game of baccarat. It is important that you don’t stake your fortunes on any of the so-called baccarat systems or strategies. However, there are certain things that you can do so that you improve your odds of winning. For instance, it is important that you play only with single card decks, if these are available, and place your bets on the hand of the dealer as it is the hand with the lowest house advantage. There are about 8 card decks in a typical game of baccarat. However, it is not uncommon to see in some casinos fewer card decks when playing the card game. The basic rule is to find the casino that offer the least or minimum number of card decks in order to improve your chances of winning a game of baccarat.
How would you handle tie bets? Can a player rely on tie bets to maximize their profit? It is common knowledge that the payouts of this type of bet are much higher when compared to bets on the hand of the player or the banker. Despite this clear advantage, it is not wise to play with this type of bet. While it may appear to be an attractive option, a seasoned baccarat player will avoid them under any circumstances. Tie bet has a house edge that is greater than 5 percent. Thus, players usually end up as losers more often when they stick with tie bets for this is the type of bet that won’t generate any profit in the long run.
The bet on the banker’s hand is usually the better option for a player, and this is the case when you can theoretically be privy of what cards constitute these hands. But in real terms, it is better for a player to consider all options judiciously. As stated earlier, the bet of the banker’s hand has a lower house edge and this means that the house will be in positive territory in the long run. This means that a thinking player will not allow the house to enjoy this opportunity.
On the other hand, it would also be wise to take some calculated risks and adopt a proactive stance in some occasions. This is the reason why there are those who will go for the player’s bet, which normally have a 1.3 percent house edge. This is relatively low and unlike the bet on the banker’s hand, it doesn’t bear any commission. This is the reason why it is also a popular betting option of players. However, if you are more concerned with better odds of winning, then it would be prudent that you play the hand of the banker as well.
Baccarat Game Variations
There are 3 variations of the game of baccarat – Chemin de Fer, Banque and Punto Blanco.
The Chemin de Fer is the variant of the game of baccarat that closely resembles the version of the card game which was first played in France during the 15th century. It is also considered as the most popular variant of the baccarat game in France and other areas in Europe. This baccarat variant is characterized by the designation of a player as the game’s banker and is responsible for the dealing of cards from the shoe that contains the card decks. The player continues to assume the role of a banker until he loses. In the game of Baccarat en Banque, the dealer continues their role until all the cards inside the shoe have been dealt. In both variants of the card game, the players are given more options with regard to the dealing of an additional card after the first 2 cards that have been initially dealt. Nonetheless, common sense and established etiquettes of the game will influence the decision of the player whether they can opt for a third card or not.
The game of Punto Banco is significantly different from the 2 other variants of the game of baccarat. As far as this version of the game is concerned, the players are left with lesser options and it is defined as a game of chance in the strictest sense of the word. There is a predetermined system that defines how the hands will be played. For instance, when the point total for the initial hand of the player ranges from 0 to 5, then they are given the drawing option for a third card. The rules that apply for the banker hand are a bit more complicated.