Gamblers with a lucky streak can often be found playing baccarat. Why? Because this highly addictive casino game is all about chance.
It’s easy to play. In fact, readers will pick up the rules of baccarat and be ready to give it a go by the end of this blog.
From the game’s variations to basic rules and lingo, this beginner’s guide details everything you need to know to get started.
All About the Game
Baccarat (pronounced: baa-kuh-rah) has a highly debated origin story. No one can agree whether it is French or Italian, but the game has been around since the early 19th century, at least.
Since then, it’s popularity has only grown. Baccarat is now one of the most played card games both online and inside casinos.
But it’s important to note there isn’t just one way to play this game. There are multiple variations.
The Different Types of Baccarat
Currently, gamblers and casinos are playing several different versions of baccarat, including:
- Punto Banco
- Baccarat Chemin de Fer
- Baccarat en Banque
- Three Card Baccarat
- Super Pan 9
- Mini Baccarat
Overall, they all play by the same rules, just with slightly different variations. Punto Banco is the most common version played in North America, and it’s the version covered in this beginner’s guide.
The Basics When Playing Baccarat
Both physical and virtual baccarat tables seat 12 to 14 players. However, there is one peculiarity. There is no number 13.
This decision was based purely on superstition, as the number is considered unlucky. Is that silly?
Perhaps. But then again, baccarat is a game based entirely on luck. Each game is played using 6 to 8 standard 52-card decks, which are placed in a shoe.
No, not a literal shoe.
It’s a term for a device commonly used in casinos. It eliminates manual dealing in order to prevent common mistakes and keep the game fair.
Sixteen cards from the end of this shoe, the dealer places a cut-card. It signifies the last hand.
At this table, you will notice unique terminology used while playing the game.
Learning the Lingo
There are several terms that go along with this card game. Players will want to make note of them while playing baccarat, as they are used frequently throughout the course of the game.
- Baccarat isn’t just the name of the game. It’s the losing hand. The sum of this hand totals to zero.
- Banco is the term used for the individual playing the banker.
- Banker (not to be confused with banco) refers to the hand played by the banco.
- Banker’s Bet is any wager made on the banker.
- Coup is a complete round of baccarat.
- Face Cards are just what they sound like: any card that features a face in its design. Specifically, this would be the King, Queen, and Jack.
- La Grande is a hand whose sum equals nine.
- La Petite is a hand whose sum equals eight.
There are other baccarat terms for those who really want to sound like a pro. However, these will get you moving through the game.
How to Play the Baccarat Card Game
Baccarat only has a handful of rules to keep in mind. The main objective is to select the hand with the highest value, which is 9.
Each card has a unique value:
- Cards 2 through 9 are equal to its face value
- Aces are equal to 1
- Kings, Queens, Jacks, and Tens all equal zero
Joker cards are excluded from the deck in baccarat, thus they have no value.
So how does baccarat work?
You can place one of three bets. Either you bet on the Player’s Hand, the Banker’s Hand, or a Tie.
Every game starts with dealing two cards to two different hands: the Player Hand and the Dealer Hand. Whichever player places the highest bet gets to look at the cards before giving them to the dealer to flip over.
Afterward, the banker’s cards are exposed.
From that point, the hand is calculated. If the value exceeds ten, then you simply subtract ten from the total sum in order to expose the hand’s value.
For example, if your cards are 8 and 5, then your total sum would be 13. Subtract 10 from 13, and you reveal your hand’s true value, which is 3.
If any of the hands total between 6 and 9, those players stand and no cards are drawn. If no one stands, third cards are drawn.
If a player has a hand that totals 8 or 9, it becomes a natural win unless the banker has 8 or 9.
If the total between the banker and the player is equal, it becomes a tie.
The objective of this game is simple. Both the players and the banker try to get their hand as close to 9 as possible, and then the winner must guess which hand is closest: the Player Hand or the Banker Hand.
Now It’s Time to Take It to the Bank
Unlike other casino or card games where strategy is a heavy component, you’ll find its a pretty even gamble between the Banker Hand and the Player Hand when participating in baccarat.
The banker is the only one with a slight advantage, as he or she always acts last. However, bets are placed before the cards are even dealt, making this game’s odds pretty close to 50-50.
A clever way to improve your chances of winning is to keep track of the trends regarding wins and losses. Enter the game with conservative bets, then increase them as you get a better idea of which side is winning more: the Player Hand or the Banker Hand.
If a player bids on the hand with the winning trend, the odds that the bid will match the winning hand are more likely.
The best advice in this game is to change your bid only when the winning streak changes. If a bidder dances back and forth between bidding on the Player Hand and the Banker Hand, that player will constantly be chasing a win instead of riding the winning trend.
That’s all of the basic instructions on how baccarat works. Simple, right?
If you’re looking for more tips on playing baccarat or other casino games, browse through additional articles or posts on this site. The more you read, the more you will enhance your knowledge and improve your strategies.