Baccarat is one of the most popular card games in which players collect points by using two or three card combinations. The aim of the game is to beat the dealer by getting as close as possible to 9 points. Players can bet on one of three outcomes – the player’s victory, the dealer’s victory, or a draw. In the first two cases, the chances of winning are 1 to 1, and the casino has a rather low advantage. This game is most in demand in Asia, but is also fairly common in the West.
Even though it is one of the most popular and ancient card games in the world, the origins of baccarat are still unclear. The first mention of this game dates back to the 19th century, so all claims that the game has existed before can be taken as just rumors. Still, the possible scenarios for how the game came into being are fascinating. According to one of them, baccarat could have originated from other games, such as the Chinese Pai Gow, which was played using dice instead of cards. Basically, this connection is made between the name of the game pai gow, which translates as “score nine”, and the fact that 9 in baccarat is the best score. However, this theory cannot be supported by any historical facts.
According to the rules, baccarat involves 1-3 croupiers. The game can be played with up to 14 players, although their number is theoretically unlimited. Eight complete decks are played. In mini-baccarat, which is more common in the West, there is only one croupier involved, and he alone shuffles the cards. There is also a variant of the game in which only one dealer and one player participate. This kind of game is sometimes called punto banco. First, the player makes a bet. The bet limits are defined on the gaming table, and they are usually written on a special sign.
Then the player and the dealer get two cards each. In the special cases described below, either or both of them take a third card. The hands are then compared, and the winner is determined.
The most valuable combination in baccarat, the so-called “natural” combination, is two cards that total nine or eight points. Points for cards from two to nine are counted at their face value, an ace is equal to one point. The remaining cards do not bring points.
If the player has more than nine points, then ten points are subtracted from the total. That is, in this case, busting is excluded, and the hands are always from zero to nine points.
In baccarat, you can make one of three bets:
- punto — a bet on the player’s victory, paid 1 to 1;
- banco — a bet on the victory of a banker, paid 1 to 1, but with a deduction of 5% of the amount in favor of the casino;
- draw — an equal number of points in the hands. It is paid 8 to 1 or 9 to 1, depending on the rules of the casino.
After receiving two cards, the player can take the third card if he has less than six points in his hand. The dealer, on the other hand, takes a card according to a complex system of rules:
- if the dealer has six or more points in his hands, then the dealer does not take a card — in case the player did not take it;
- if the dealer has two or fewer points in his hands, then he takes the third card;
- three points – the dealer takes a card if his opponent did not get an eight;
- four points – the dealer takes a card in case the player does not have a card with the following number of points: zero, one, eight, nine;
- five points — take a card if the opponent does not have a card of four, five, six, or seven points;
- six points — take a card if the player does not have a card of six and seven points;
- seven points — does not get a card.
Therefore, the dealer’s decision depends on the player’s cards. In general, the rules of the game are very simple, and even a beginner can deal with them. To do this, you just need to study everything carefully, and then victory is guaranteed.
Choose a Game
Baccarat is not that hard of a game, so it is suitable for beginners. And yet, to understand the essence and features of baccarat, it is best to start with a demo version that will allow a beginner to feel the atmosphere of the game, as well as explore various options. Also, be sure to read all the rules before you start playing. When you practice on free demo versions in online casinos, you can start playing for real money. Be sure to decide on the bank, since no one guarantees to win in baccarat. It’s better to know in advance how much money you will lose without pain.
Once you’ve figured out how to play, you can choose the type of game you like best. Below, you can get acquainted with some varieties of baccarat.
Bet on Banker or Tie
This game type involves Bet on Banker or Tie. When a bet is placed on winning the pot, if the player wins, the croupier takes all bets on the player and on a draw and pays for bets placed on the pot in a 1:1 ratio. The uniqueness of this bet lies in the fact that, according to the rules of the game, in case of a win, a commission of up to 5% is withheld in favor of the casino.
If the bet is placed on a draw, then there is an equal number of points for the player. If the player wins, the croupier takes all the bets placed on the player and on the pot and pays out to the player those betted on a draw in the ratio of 8:1.
Rebet, Clear Bet, & Double Bet
This type of game uses arithmetic, rather than geometric, to increase the stakes. It is optimal for cautious players and can be used for limit betting. Firstly, you need to decide on the initial, for example, 50 dollars. In case of a loss, add another $50, in case of a successful result, reduce the amount to the initial one. For example, a $50 bet on Punto didn’t work. During the next game, you need to bet already $100, if you lose again – $150. As soon as the bet wins, you need to bet 50 dollars again. You shouldn’t play for a draw.
Betting Options for Online Baccarat
All betting systems can be divided into positive and negative systems of progressions. In the case of the former, you have to raise your bet after winning and lower it after losing, but with the second type of system, the situation is different: you need to raise your bet when you lose and lower it when you win. If you think that these systems are not quite logical, then you are right. There is no proof that these tactics work. Rather, the opposite is true.
Where to Play Baccarat for Free?
Today, players can play their favorite games online. If you want to play Baccarat freely, you can register in any legal online casino and enjoy the gameplay. As a rule, Baccarat is in the live games section.
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In general, in a game like Baccarat, it all comes down to randomness. It is very difficult to predict a win situation. So it is recommended to use proven strategies.