Originating in Italy during the 15th century, today, Baccarat may not be as popular as other card games like Poker and Blackjack, but Baccarat tables are becoming increasingly common at major casinos, and it’s proving to be very popular with players around the world.
In general, Baccarat is a rather simple game, but it can take some time to understand and memorise the betting and payout rules.
This post looks at the Punto Banco version of the game – there are others, so ensure you’re familiar with them if you don’t wish to play Punto Banco.
How To Play
The rules of Baccarat are not really that complicated. To begin with, a player is dealt two cards, with the aim being to have the cards get as close to the number ‘9’ as possible.
The objective is to draw a hand (consisting of two cards) and try to get your hand closer to 9 than the banker's hand.
The face cards Jack, Queen, and King count as 0 points in Baccarat. All the Aces have a value of 1. The number cards from 2 to 9 have points equal to their face value (e.g. a 5 will have five points, a 3 will be equal to three points; and if you have both you have a hand totalling 8 points). Among the face cards, only a 10 would have a value of 10.
When the cards have been dealt, you add up the value of your hand. If the total of your hand goes over 10 points, you have to drop the tens value and retain the ones.
For example, if you were dealt a 9 and a 5 that totals 14; you then drop the ten and you're left with 4. Your hand has a value of four.
You may draw one additional card to try increase the value of your hand. For example, if your two cards dealt were a 2 and a 3, your total would be 5, and you would then have the option to draw another card. Pulling a 4 would be the perfect card, and would put you on 9, but if you were to draw, for example, and 8, your total would be stuck at 3, giving the banker more chance to win.
If your hand is higher than the bankers, you win. If not, you lose.
Ways To Bet
Interestingly, most Baccarat tables allow you to back (bet) on your hand… and the banker’s. This is useful when you feel the banker is on a run, and also helps to add transparency to the game, so you can be sure it’s not rigged.
There is also the ability to bet on a tie, which is when the player and the banker have the same number. In gameplay, when this happens, the player’s money is returned, and the hand is over.
Payouts are paid once the hand is over, and are slightly under even money.
If you’ve bet on the ‘tie’ bet, you will be paid out at 9/1.
These payouts might not sound like ground-breaking amounts, but it’s one of the only games where the ‘house edge’ is so small, it’s virtually an even-money shot, that playing long-sessions doesn’t usually result in big losses, like can be found with Roulette and Blackjack.
So… if you want to try out one of the world’s oldest casino games… (while being in with the chance of winning!) …
Click Play Now on the game picture to begin playing right now, and see if lucks on your side!