Baccarat is a two card game which involves only two hands, one for the “Punto “and another for the “Banco”. You place a bet on who is going to win, lose or if it is going to be a tie. The player or Punto, is not anyone in particular but just someone other than the banker. Although there are only two hands, the game can be played by up to 12 people. This makes it a very sociable and enjoyable game for a night out. The hand which adds up to closer to 9 is the declared winner and payouts are made to those who bet on that winner.
The rules are not exactly what I would call simple, but the basic way to think about it is that you need to bet on who is going to win, either the banker or the player. If the player wins and your money was on the player, or Punto, then you get 1.36%. If you bet on the banker, you get 1.17% if he wins. If you bet on a tie, you get an 8 to 1 payout, however this is not usually recommended as the chances of the tie is less than one in 10 hands.
The game of Baccarat, whether we are talking about off-line or online Baccarat, has seen a massive rise in popularity since casinos went online in the last decade or so. The game begins with players placing their bets either on the Banco or Punto. Once the bets have been placed the dealer will deal to cards to the Banco and two cards to the punto respectively.
Some casinos, especially online casinos, will allow players to take turns to be the dealer will stop the hand is added up and the one closest to 9 is the winner. Unlike in blackjack, you do not lose when the sum adds up to more than nine as the first digit is dropped. Only the digit on the right is used to determine the winner in Baccarat. For example a hand may have an eight and a four which totals 12 but the count will be 2.
Baccarat uses either a six deck or an eight deck shoe. When the hands are added up, the cards are valued differently from blackjack. The tens and face cards are all counted as zero. All the other cards are counted at face value ace being equal to 1.
If the first two cards add up to 8 or 9, known as a Natural, it is an automatic win unless the other has a Natural then it’s a tie.
Although it is a two card game, in certain situations a third card can and will be drawn. One such scenario when this happens is when the players cards add up to less than or equal to 5.
The casino dealer decides who has the winning hand of each game. They will first relieve the losers of their money before distributing the winners payout. If a player was dealing the cards, he does not have to make the payout as he is playing against the casino.
As with any other casino game, make sure you read the table rules set out by the casino before playing as they may vary from other casinos. Always remember, Baccarat is a game of chance, so whilst it may seem extremely simple to play once you understand the rules, like any other casino game the house will always have an edge over you.