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Baccarat - Information and Tips

Monday, 10 December 2012 12:22

gaming tips baccaratBaccarat History

Baccarat is a card game invented in Italy in 1492. The game was based on an old Etruscan ritual of the nine gods, who prayed to a blond virgin waiting for her to throw a nine-sided die. The result of the die decided her fate. If an eight or a nine was thrown, she would become the priestess. If she threw a six or seven, she would be banned from any further religious activities. If she threw any number less than six, she would walk into the sea. The first name of that game was Baccarat, however after traveling for centuries through countries and continents, it was acquiring different names, rules and variations. Today players can find three popular versions of Baccarat: the French variation is chemin de fer and it became very popular in England, where they changed the rules and name of the game to „European baccarat, punto banco (otherwise called „North American baccarat”) and baccarat banque (or „à deux tableaux”). While punto banco is purely a game of change where no strategy or skill can be used, baccarat chemin de fer and baccarat banque allow players to make choices, which means skill is involved. Although a few rules have been changed in every country, the style has remained the same. It has kept its elegance and is still one of the most attractive games to the high rollers and individuals with high social standings in every society. Nowadays, players can play Baccarat in every casino.

Baccarat Rules

Punto banco

The most popular type of baccarat game. Punto banco is played using a shoe containing shuffled cards from 4, 6 or 8 decks. Two hands of two cards are dealt (player and bank) and the players have to decide which will win in a match-up. The winner is the hand closest to a total of nine.

Cards value

cardsa = 1

card2 through card9 = value equals their number, e.g. 2 is worth 2 points

card10cardjcardqcardk = 0

If the total value of the hand is in double figure ten is removed, e.g. card7 and card9 is treated as 6.

Playing the game

In order to bet players place chips on the designated boxes in front of them - punto, banco or egalité (a tie). After that, the player in the first seat takes the shoe and deals four cards to the dealer who places them as follows: the first card to the player, second to the bank, third to the player and final to the bank. The following rules apply to the hands after that:

Player (punto):

- if the hand is worth 0 to 5, a third card is drawn;

- if the hand is worth 6 or 7, it stands, if 8 or 9 it is 'natural' and no more cards will be dealt to you.

Bank (banco):

- if the hand is worth 3 to 3, regardless of the player's hand the bank draws a third card;

- if the hand is worth 4 and the player's hand is worth from 2 to 7, the bank draws a third card;

- if the hand is worth 5 and the player's hand is 4 to 7, the bank draws a third card;

- if the hand is worth 6 and the player's hand is 6 to 7, the bank draws a third card BUT only if the player's total was made within three cards (if it was bade with only two cards the bank stands);

- if the hand is worth 7 the bank must stand;

- if the hand is worth 8 to 9 both player and bank stand.

At this point you either have a winning hand or a draw. Bets put on punto are paid out 1 to 1, while bets on banco are paid at 1 to 1, but you need to pay a 5% commission back to the casino, which is collected at the end of the whole play (not after the particular hand). Winning egalité (draw) bet is paid 8 to 1.

Punto Banco Strategy

Punto banco is a game of chance and there is hardly any strategy involved. The only way to increase your chances is to bet on banco, as it only has a 1.01% house advantage, in comparison to punto which is 1.29% advantage, or the disadvantageous egalité which has a 15.75% house advantage.



Chemin de Fer Baccarat

It is the French version of Baccarat. In English “Chemin de Fer” means railway or railroad. Similarly to punto banco, the goal is to achieve a hand with the value closest to nine and two hands are dealt (bank and player). Cards values are the same (Aces are worth 1, 2's to 9's their own value, while 10's and face cards are worth 0). Despite the fact that the rules are usually the same, some differences can be distinguished between Chemin de Fer and the American Baccarat. In Chemin de Fer players can stand or draw on the five, while in the American Baccarat they must have five or less in order to receive the third card. This gives players the chance to actually make a choice. Remember that while the first 2 cards are dealt face down, the third card will be dealt face up. Notice that in Chemin de Fer the players are the ones that deal cards. The casino will earn its money from a 5 percent commission from the winning wager. If the player doesn't want the role they can pass it on to another player.

Baccarat Banque

Baccarat banque is popular in France and other European countries. Its rules are unique and at first might seem more complex than other variations. Let's have a look at some of the basic rules to see the difference:

- Baccarat banque is played with 3 decks of cards;

- similarly to Chemin De Fer, the banker role is given to the players, but it does not rotate among them;

- three hands are dealt: two player hands and one banker hand. One player hand is dealt on the left side of the table and one on the other side, the banker hand is dealt in the middle;

- players can bet only on player hands, and the banker only on banker hand. Players have to bet on the hand on their side of the table, if they want to bet on both player hands they have to place their chips in the middle of the table;

- wagers places on player hands can’t exceed the banker's wager, e.g. if the dealer wagers $1000, then 2 players can wager $500;

- players can „go bank”, i.e. challenge the banker to bust him. In order to do that the player's bet must be equal to the banker's bet (player has to either bet full on one hand or bet on two hands). If the player beats the dealer their roles are reversed and he takes the banker's seat. If the player fails to beat the dealer three times in a row he/she can no longer „go bank”;

- the drawing rules are the same as in Chemin De Fer, however baccarat rules tend to differ greatly from casino to casino, so make sure to check them before you start playing.



Baccarat Glossary

Banker Bet - a bet places on the banker hand;

Baccarat en Banque – one of Baccarat's variations;

Bankroll - this is the amount of money the player brings to the table to bet;

Coup – this word means a round in Baccarat;

Croupier – another name for dealer;

Chemin-de-fer - it is a variation of the Baccarat;

Cheval - Depending on the Baccarat game players have a rule that allows them to have two hands. If the player wins both hands then the round goes to them. If only one hand is won this is considered a tie;

High Roller - it is a person that makes very big bets;

Le Grande - it is a hand with a total of 9, called a „natural hand”;

Mini-baccarat - it is a version of Baccarat that can be found in smaller casinos;

Muck - this is the discard pile of all cards, even those hands that have been folded;

Natural – a natural hand is worth 8 or 9 from the two starting cards;

Palette - this is a tool used by the Croupier to move the cards around the table;

Punto Banco - it is another term for Baccarat;

Punto - this is a term used to describe the player;

Petite – it is a hand worth 8 points;

Shooter - this means the bank in Baccarat;

Standoff - this is a tie, meaning the player and dealer have the same total for their hands;

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