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Baccarat School

How to Play Baccarat

How to Play Baccarat
by Predictem.com Staff

The game of Baccarat is a card game that is usually played in a roped off area of the casino. It is the game of choice in many James Bond books and movies. Generally it is considered a game for high rollers with a minimum wager of $25 and a maximum wager as high as the player would like to bet. As all casino games the edge lies with the house: however, Baccarat has the lowest house advantage as we will see later in this article.

How the game is played – Baccarat is played with 6 or 8 decks of cards in a shoe. Each numbered card is worth its value, i.e. a 2 counts for 2. All face cards and tens equal 0. To start the game each person places a wager on the player, the banker or a tie. After all bets are placed the dealer gives 2 cards to the player and 2 cards to the banker. You add the value of the cards and use the number to the right to determine their score. For example, if you are dealt a 6 and 5, the score is 1. Your score will always be between 0 and 9.

After the score is determined, a 3rd card is dealt if necessary. The rules for drawing are as follows:

- If either the player or the banker’s total are 8 or 9 they both stand. This is called a natural and overrides all other rules.
- If the player’s total are 5 or less they draw a 3rd card.
- The banker’s play will depend on what the player does. If the player did not draw a 3rd card then the banker will take a 3rd card if the total is 5 or less. If the player took a 3rd card then the banker will hit according to this chart:

Banker's Player's Third Card
Score 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
7 S S S S S S S S S S
6 S S S S S S H H S S
5 S S S S H H H H S S
4 S S H H H H H H S S
3 H H H H H H H H S H
2 H H H H H H H H H H
1 H H H H H H H H H H
0 H H H H H H H H H H

- The winner is determined by who has the greater total. Here is an example. The player has an 8 and 9. To determine the value of the hand you add the 2 numbers together (17) and use the number to the right. Therefore, his hand is 7. The dealer has a 8 and a 4 for a score of 2 so they would need to draw a 3rd card. If that card is another 4 then his score is 6 and the player would be the winner.
- If you wager on the player you will be paid off 1 to 1. In other words if you bet $100 you will win $100.
- Wagers on the banker are paid at 95% so a $100 wager would net you a $95 win.
- Wagers on tie pay off at 8 to 1. A wager of $100 would win $800.

Here are the house percentages for the various plays:

6 deck8 Deck
Bet on Player 1.241.24
Bet on Banker 1.061.06
Bet on Tie 14.4414.36

Strategy – Baccarat is a simple game and there really is not much strategy in play as all rules are predetermined as to when to draw and when to stand. Many players will record the previous plays assuming that the game will go in streaks but you must remember that each hand is independent of the previous hand. It is a good game to play because of the low house edge but basically it takes luck to win.

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Baccarat is a game whereby the croupier gathers in money with a flexible sculling oar, then rakes it home. If I could have borrowed his oar I would have stayed. ~ Mark Twain