Baccarat is a card game where two hands are compared to one another. It has enjoyed a resurgence in casinos both offline and online. There are three different versions of the game, and its origins are heavily debated.
The value of cards in baccarat is very straightforward. Cards 2-thru-9 are given their face value, while the 10 card and all face cards are given a value of zero. Aces are worth one point.
Where things get confusing is that the value of a hand is determined by the sum of the two cards and is based on the rightmost digit. If you have a 3 and a 5, then your hand value is 8. But if you have a 5 and an 8, then your value is actually 3 because it is the rightmost digit of 13. For this reason the highest value a player can hold is a 9.
The most common version of Baccarat is known as punto banco, which translates to “player” and “banker”. This version of the game is also know colloquially as tableau because it uses a drawing table to determine what the player must do based on the original two cards they are dealt.
If a player is dealt an 8 or 9, then they usually stand as it is not possible to improve your standing. Players with a total of 0-5 will have to draw a third card and then accept whatever their new value is. If a player is dealt a 6 or 7, then they must stay.
The rules for the Banker vary greatly depending on the casino’s rules. Generally speaking, the banker must draw a third card if the value of their initial pair is lower than or equal to the player’s hand. If a player has an 8, the only way a banker can win is by having a 9.
The advantage to Baccarat, despite its initially confusing rules, is that the house sedge is fairly limited. Ties with Natural 8 can pay 8/1, while a Natural 9 tie pays 9/1. Some provisions are applied by casinos so it’s best to double check the specific rules of the table.
In broad terms, baccarat has three outcomes. Either the player wins, the dealer wins or there is a tie. The dealer is often also known as “the banker”. The house edge is usually one percent or more depending on the variation.
- Tableau or Punto Banco
- Chemin De Fer
- EZ Baccarat
- Punto 2000 or Super 6