BACCARAT – Playing Guide and Rules to Playing Baccarat
Baccarat is a card game that seems to have first appeared in American casinos in the late 1950’s in Las Vegas but has been around for centuries and originated in Italy. It has become so popular that you can find it in almost every online casino today with it being most popular at Bovada Casino. It may be steeped in mystery and intrigue from seeing James Bond play the game, but it is really quite simple and holds one of the lowest house edges in the online casino for the player.
To play, a wager goes down first. You will bet on Player, Banker, or Tie. Two hands of two cards each are dealt. If you bet on Player and win you will receive even money, on the Dealer the same minus up to a 5% commission, or on the Tie – 9:1 or 8:1 depending on House Rules. The best odds are on Banker with 1.06% House Edge, Player with 1.24% then Tie with over 14%.
Regardless of whether you have bet on “Player” or “Banker” you will want the two-card count to comes as close to 9 as possible without going over. Face cards count as ten. Aces as 1. A 9 will win or tie the game. If the count of the two cards is over 9, say a King and a Six this will be 16 and the first digit is disregarded leaving you with a hand of 6. Were the other hand a 7, 8, or 9 that hand would win.
There is however the possibility of a third card in case your first two do not add up well. If the sum total of the first two cards dealt is 5 or less, you may draw a third card, 6 or 7 and you will stand. An 8 or 9 in two cards is considered a “Natural” and you will of course stand on a winning hand. In fact regardless of who, banker or player receives a Natural no further cards are drawn. If there is a tie on 8 or 9 it is a stand off and bets stay on the table for the next hand.
If the Player has taken a 3rd card, House Rules determine the next move by Bank. If the Banker has a total of 2 or less they must draw. If Bankers total is 3 they must draw unless Player has 8. If Banker has 4 they draw if Player’s 3rd card is 2-7. If 5 then 4-7. If the Banker total is 6 then they draw if Player’s third card is 6 or 7. If the Banker has 7 they must always stand.
This may seem complicated but the onus is on the Bank and all the player must do is be aware of the rules. Unless you are in a live dealer game it is all automatic anyway, and other players would certainly be on top of a deviance in a live casino even if you were still a novice to the game. There are also Hit/Stand charts readily available to make it easier to know what is happening next.
The game is usually dealt from a six or eight deck shoe and shuffled at random so there is no advantage in trying to count cards in Baccarat. The odds stated here are for an 8 deck shoe. In the casinos you will see people with tablets keeping track of the hands already dealt to predict the next hand. This is an exercise in futility but can be entertaining.
No successful strategy can really be suggested for Baccarat except to point out the House Edges again. The Tie bet puts you at over 14% disadvantage and though it may be a temptation to place it, the 8:1 or 9:1 return offered does not outweigh the built in losses you will suffer over time.
If you must go against logic to keep things interesting betting on Player is not a terrible proposition at 1.24%. But the steady edge is to bet on Banker where the House only holds a 1.06% edge.
As a game of chance there is no system to give you an advantage over the House. The rules are set in stone and the House Advantage along with them. But what you can do is take your chances and hope lady luck is on your side for the ride.