Baccarat is an immensely popular and prestigious casino card game played around the world by many different people. As a casino game it is synonymous with excitement and creativity, and the history of the game is just as interesting as the game itself. Baccarat is traced back to Italy in the middle ages, and it was first played by Tarot cards and not the regular playing cards we know of. As the game rose in popularity, it came to the attention of the French Aristocracy during the reign of King Charles VIII, where two separate forms of baccarat emerged; European baccarat and Chemin de Fer. The game then became popular in England and South America, though it wasn’t until the middle of the twentieth century that the game was introduced to casinos in Las Vegas. Since then, the game has risen to global prominence, with Punto Banco being the most popular and common variation of the game.
Many people think that baccarat is the sort of game played by the rich and swanky, but these days people from all walks of life can be found playing the game, and thanks to the games simplicity, and its availability through online gaming, it is easy for anyone to pick up, learn, and master. The odds are pretty good in baccarat, and the edge that the house has over players is lower than many other casino games – the odds are similar to red or black on roulette (which is one of the best odds you get at a casino)
Baccarat is common in the world of online casino gaming. It is a classic game, and so the online rules for baccarat are pretty much the same as in the casino. However, a number of casino software developers have developed their own unique variations which are also proving to be very popular. Microgaming is one of the most popular providers of online Baccarat, who provide Mini (excellent odds) and High Limit Baccarat. Other providers like Playtech give excellent (9-1) odds on a tie, and others like RealTime Gaming and Net Entertainment provide their own game variants.
The rules of baccarat are simple. You are the player, and both you and the dealer are dealt two cards. Before these cards are dealt, the player makes a bet on which deal will be the winning deal, so the player can either bet that the dealer’s hand will win, or the player hand will win. The winning hand is the hand which is closest to 9, and in baccarat an Ace is 1, the numerical cards up to 9 are worth their face value, and 10 and above are 0.
If you bet on the hand which ends up being closest to 9, then you win even money (1-1 odds), if you bet on the losing hand then the bank wins. You can also bet on a draw, which pays 8-1 odds. It is important to bear in mind that the dealer can actually be any of the players, but in the common ‘Punto Banco’ style the house always deals.
If the hand has a two digit total, then the first card is dropped. For example, is a player is dealt a 6 and a 7, then the hand is not 13 but 3. There are two situations in baccarat – a natural hand and a normal hand. A natural hand is a total of 8 or 9, and a normal hand is anything else. When there are no naturals involved, If the player has 5 or less then they take another card, whereas if they have a 6 or 7 they must stand, no matter how many cards they have. If the player stands with 2 cards, then the banker follows the same rules (draws on 5 or below, sticks on 6 and 7) but if the player draws a third card then a tableau of rules is used to decide what the banker does next. Please refer to the Baccarat rules page for these rules.
Sensible baccarat players generally stick to a number of rules, such as not making tie bets. Tie bets are rare and give the house an advantage of 14%. While it is more advantageous to bet on the banker, winnings from the banker’s hand come with commission charges.