Baccarat | A guide to the popular casino card game
Baccarat consists of simple rules but high stakes. Casinos usually feature the game of Baccarat in separate rooms away from the normal casino floor. Despite the simplistic rules and minimal options for playing, Baccarat has relatively low winning odds.
Baccarat allows the player to bet on the hand in three different ways, options called 'player', 'banker' and 'tie'. Two cards are dealt out to each the player and banker. The word ‘Player’ does not refer to the actual player winning, but the ‘player hand’. Banker does not refer to the house but the ‘banker hand’. A tie bet is when you believe the player and banker hands will tie. Anyone can play the banker hand, however there is a small tax from the casino if you choose this hand. Whichever hand you bet on, if it wins you will win.
The objective in Baccarat is similar to blackjack, the goal is to reach as close to nine as possible. The values of the cards are as follows: picture cards or tens give a score of zero, ace card gives a score of 1, card between two and nine keep their face value.
If the hand that has been bet on reaches a total of 8 or 9 then the hand wins. This total is called a ‘natural’, and will win as long as there is no tie between two hands that are both ‘natural’. In the case that no hand receives a natural, all of the hands receive an extra card to determine the winner.
In Baccarat a 'busting hand' can occur, this adds a little bit of spice to the game. If the hand equates to 10 or more, then the number is manipulated, meaning that if you receive, for example a 7 and a 5 and your hand reaches the total of 12, the 1 will be dropped, resulting in your hand being worth 2. This occurs for any double digit number, the first digit is always removed and your hand becomes the total of the second digit.
When the hand you bet on wins, even money is paid out to the winner. The best odds are given to a tie hand, and if you bet that, you will receive a payout on the odds 8:1, giving you a significant profit. As mentioned earlier, the stakes are often higher in Baccarat, and often result in rather large payouts. Baccarat is an interesting game that, despite the simple rules, is down to luck and chance and takes no real skill at all. It is complex in some areas but takes hardly any time to learn and enjoy.
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