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Also known as Punto Blanco, Baccarat is one of the oldest card games in the world. Find out what it's all about.
Baccarat is a widely known casino card game that has a multinational origin. Supposedly, it was in Italy that it was invented during the Middle Ages and was later on developed in France on the 1400s. The format of the game that we know now is from the version brought by English colonists to the United States.
Baccarat got its name from the old Italian word for “zero”. It originally pointed out to the fact that jacks, queens, kings, and tens have zero value. Nowadays, any hand which has a total value of 10 has value equal to that of the baccarat. This is one of the old rules that has remained up to this day from the time the game was invented in Italy.
Baccarat which is similar to Chemin de Fer is a game the French royalty enjoyed until the French revolution came and ended their rule but it is the English version called Punto Buco which has crossed the Atlantic and made its way to the New World.
Punto Buco was very much widely known in Nevada and other gambling areas of the US but it has remained a game reserved for the big spenders and the high rollers of the American society just like it’s other version Chemin de Fer was a game popular to the French Nobles. Baccarat owes the fact that it stood the test of time because of its popularity in the US during the 20th century.
With the help the internet, Baccarat is now available for everyone’s enjoyment and not anymore just for the select few who happens to have a lot of money. Today, the mini baccarat, which is the most basic version of it is being offered in online casinos. It follows the same rules which is a standard in Atlantic City and Las Vegas casinos.
Game Terms in Baccarat
A lot of the terminologies used in the game of Baccarat is from old Italian and French due to its origins although other words also reflect the American influence in the history of the game’s development.
Baccarat means that the value of the player’s hand is zero and this is not a good thing.
Banker is one of the three possible moves in a standard game of Baccarat. It is also known as banco. In here, the payout odds minus the commission of the banker is 1:1.
Coup is a single round of a game of baccarat and is composed of a player’s hand plus a banker’s hand.
Dealer or also croupier is the person who draws out the cards.
Mini Baccarat is another type of baccarat in which all cards are drawn by the dealer. This version is the most popular form of the game largely because it has lower limits.
Natural is when the two initial cards of the player totals either eight or nine.
Player also goes by the term punto. It refers to the bet placed on the player’s hand. The payout odds are 1:1 just like in banker’s hand and has a House advantage of just slightly over 1%.
Run is a side bet that one can make on successive winning hands which can be any of the following: tie hand, banker’s hand, or player’s hand.
Standoff refers to the scenario wherein both of the dealer’s cards and the player’s cards have the same value.
Tie is a bet placed on a tie or a standoff between banker and player. Even if it offers payout odds of 8:1, it is seldom utilized because it has a 15% House Advantage.
Rules of the Game
Baccarat can be played with as many as eight decks at a time and with as many as 14 players at a table. The ten, jack, queen, and king cards are all assigned a value of zero. Cards numbered 2-9 are taken at face value and an ace is assigned a value of one.
A round or a “coup” starts with the players betting on who they think will get the highest hand. They can choose between the banker, the player, or a tie in placing a bet. The player and the banker then is dealt two cards each. If a player’s card value is an eight or a nine, then no more card is dealt to him. Any of the hands can only have a maximum value of nine. For cards totaling more than 10, only the second digit shall be counted. The actual value of the cards then will never be more than nine.
Just like in Craps and Poker, the dealer “shoe” rotates around the table in a clockwise manner although a banker is present. Unlike other games, in baccarat, the deal shoe will not move if the banker wins a hand.
The rules and odds of regular Baccarat also applies to Mini Baccarat. The game is just a bit quicker with slight changes in the odds because of the different way of dealing cards. The dealer usually deals from a six-deck shoe in Mini Baccarat. Also, all the cards are turned over by the dealer.
Ways to Win
In terms of strategy, there is not much to remember. Baccarat only offers two realistic options to players. Players can either bet on the player’s hand or the banker’s hand. It is good to note though that even if both the player’s and banker hand have a payout of 1:1, a banker’s hand deducts a commission of 5%.
To do great on Baccarat, You should set a maximum bankroll for yourself and ensure that you don’t go over it. Being in control of how much you are spending is as important in knowing what you are doing. Baccarat does give players a good chance of winning and a notably larger probability of losing because of the House Advantage. At the end of the day, control of the game all boils down if you know exactly how much you can spend.
For the player who wants more challenge in terms of mathematical probabilities and advanced strategies, then it be worthy of their time to check out the older European versions of Baccarat (Baccarat Banque and Chermin de Fer). These games are usually found at the brick-and-mortar casinos of Europe but they are also available at certain online casinos.
- Keeping track of your spending limit and sticking to it is one of the best ways to ensure your success in playing Baccarat.
- The best way to practice on your skills is play the free-play versions of the game hosted by online casinos
- Betting on a tie offers very little chance of winning. However, if you are someone who enjoys taking risks and have a lot of money to spend, then you might be fine to do so since this bet does pays out much higher odds compared to the banker or player hands at a ratio of 8:1
- Baccarat gained popularity for being simple so for those who may want to play other games like poker or blackjack which offers more advanced strategy. For those that really enjoyed the most common form of baccarat available online (Mini Baccarat) then perhaps Chemin de Fer which is from France might be enjoyable too.
- The House advantage remains the same no matter who is operating the game. If you find an online casino with certain promotions about baccarat then that would enable you to maximize your deposits since better deals are being offered online by some casinos for baccarat players who knows how to look for it.
- As long as the player knows that there are only two realistic options in the game, then they might win a lot of cash while also enjoying the game.