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Baccarat

How to Play

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Baccarat is a game that many new players mispronounce. They call it “back-er-rat”. They “t” is silent and it is pronounced “baa-ca-rah”. There is a mystique surrounding the game of Baccarat that makes it intimidating to the average player. Many players don’t even give the game a second look because they think it is highly sophisticated or complicated. The truth is it is about as difficult as picking a coin toss.

Baccarat is one of the best games you can play. The house edge is low offering the player an almost and even game. There are no strategy decisions that will change the house edge. The house edge for a bet on the Banker is 1.06 percent. The house edge on the Player bet is 1.24 percent. The house edge is 14.36 percent if you bet on the tie. In order to make it more even, a 5 percent commission is collect for a winning Banker bet.

Baccarat is played in a pit on a large table that can accommodate 12 –14 players. Each seat is numbered however there is no seat number 13 on the layout. It is also played out on the casino floor on a blackjack sized table and is called Mini-Baccarat. The rules of the game are the same but in the Mini-Baccarat the players do not touch the cards.

The Play
There are only three choices that a player can make in the game of Baccarat. He can bet on the Player, the Banker or a tie. All decisions for drawing cards are set in the rules. The game begins with the player placing a bet in one of the squares on the table for player, banker or tie. Regardless of the number of players there are only two hands dealt. A two card hand is for the Player and the Banker.

The object of the game is to bet on the hand that has a total closest to nine. The value of the cards in Baccarat is the only thing considered; the suit of the card is meaningless. The numbers two through nine are counted at face value. An ace counts as one. Tens, Jacks, Queens and Kings are counted as zero. Ten is subtracted from hands that total more than nine. The easiest way to remember the score is to drop the first digit of the total. A total of 13 becomes 3, sixteen becomes 6 and two face cards which total 20 would become zero.

The Rules
After the Player’s first two cards are turned over the Banker will turn over his cards. The highest possible hand is a nine. A total of 8 or 9 with the first two cards is called a natural. If the player receives a natural it is an automatic winner unless the dealer ties it or has a nine to beat the eight. No more cards are drawn by the player. If neither the player or the banker has a natural then play will continue based on the predefined rules of the game.

The Player Hand
The rules for the Player hand are fairly simple. If a player’s first two cards total 6 or 7 they are required to stand. If the total of the players two cards are zero through 5 then the player must draw a third card.

The Banker Hand
The rules for the Banker hand are a bit more complicated. The Banker stands on totals of 7, 8, or 9. The Banker will always draw if the two cards are zero, 1 or 2.
If the first two Banker cards total 3: The Banker must draw it the player’s third card is zero through 7. The banker will stand if the players third card is 8.
If the first two Banker cards total 4: The Banker must draw it the player’s third card is 2 - 7. The Banker stands if the player’s third card is zero, 1, 8 or 9.
If the Bankers first two cards total 5: The banker must draw it the player’s third card is 4 - 7. The Banker stands if the player’s third card is zero, one, two, three, eight or nine.
If the first two Banker cards total 6: The banker must draw it the player’s third card is 6 or 7. The Banker stands if the player’s third card is anything else.

Strategy
Baccarat is a game of luck. There is nothing a player can do to change the outcome of the game. The Banker hand will win slightly more than the Banker hand and that is the reason for the commission that you must pay when betting on the Banker.

Many players like to track the outcome and look for trends. The casino supplies sheets you can use to do this. Since the Banker hand will win more frequently that the Player hand you might want to bet on the Banker if you are betting a trend. You are not obligated to bet on every hand. You could bet on the Banker hand until it losses then wait until the Player hand loses and start betting the Banker hand again.

Remember that you must settle up and pay your commissions for betting the Banker hand before you leave the table. Make sure you have enough money left to do this. Don’t bet your last chips unless your commission is paid.

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