Baccarat is a popular casino game in which two hands are dealt. The first is known as the Banker’s or “Banco” hand, the other being the Player’s or “Punto” hand.
Prior to each deal being made, the player must bet on which hand he or she thinks will come the closest to nine. The player also has the option to bet on a tie. The players are also permitted to bet on all 3 or any combination of the 3 outcomes. Baccarat is played with 8 decks of 52 cards and is played from an eight-deck shoe.
Object of the game
The object of the game is to bet on the hand that you think will have the highest total value.
At the beginning of a hand, players have around 15 seconds in which to place their bets. As soon as the time is up the players are no longer permitted to change the bets they have placed on the hand/s.
Players will only be permitted to place bets within the table’s limits, and you will find these minimum/maximum levels presented clearly on the table in most casinos.
Face card and 10′s have no value. Cards with a value less than 10 are counted at face value, Aces are valued at 1. Suits don’t matter. Only single digit values are valid. Any hand which reaches double digits loses the left digit. 14 is counted as 4 and 23 is counted as 3. An example of a hand is:
Player receives cards: king, 4, and 8 = 0+4+8 = 11 = 1
To begin, the players bet on either on the Banker or the Player or, alternatively a tie between the Bankers and the Players hands. The dealer then deals two cards each; first to the player and then the banker.
A third card may be then be dealt to either or both the player and the bank depending a number of rules. Please keep in mind that it is not necessary to learn these rules to play, they are enforced decisions and consequently are automatic:
- A third card is not drawn if either the player or the bank has a total of 8 or 9 on the first two cards. The resultant hand is called a natural and the hand is over.
- If the player’s sum is lower than or equal to 5 the player’s hand draws a third card.
- If the player is not dealt a third card, the bank’s hand stands on 6 or more and is dealt a third card with a total of 5 or less.
- If the player is dealt a third card then the Bank’s third-card-rule then determines whether or not the bank takes a third card.
- If the bank’s total is 2 or less then bank draws a card, regardless of what the player’s third card is.
- If the bank’s total is 3, the bank draws a third card except in the case where player’s third card was an 8.
- If the bank’s total is 4, the bank draws a third card except when the player’s third card was a 0, 1, 8, or 9.
- If the bank’s total is 5, the bank draws a third card if the player’s third card was 4, 5, 6, or 7.
- If the banks’ total is 6, the bank draws a third card if the player’s third card was a 6 or 7.
- If the bank’s total is 7, the bank will stand.
|Winning Bet||House Advantage||Payout|
|Dealer||1.17%||1:1 (the dealer takes a 5% tax)|
A win on the dealer costs players a 5% tax which is levied by the casino; this is the in-built advantage.
The reason for taxing a win on the dealer is because it has been recognised that over an 8-deck cards play, on average the dealer will win three to four hands more than the Punto.