Baccarat is one of the most played casino card games, especially in French casinos. Veteran casino players often consider it the most glamorous casino game of all time. It is a game of pure luck that requires no skill — only a touch of fortune, but people play it for incredibly high stakes. The no-skill, high-stake nature makes it a tremendously prestigious contest among high-roller players and VIPs.
Once an exclusive game for nobles, baccarat has evolved as a go-to card game in every casino from Las Vegas to Macau. Even Ian Fleming’s famous character, James Bond, makes it his personal favorite. Among other casino games, baccarat is quite possibly one of the simplest ones. A player only needs to place the bet, and the “banker” will do the rest. For a comprehensive guide to playing baccarat with in-depth tips and tricks, you might want to read this: https://smartcasinoguide.com/how-to-play-baccarat-system-rules-and-tips/.
If you would like to learn more about this beautiful game, we curate some trivia and essential information about baccarat for you. Here is a list of things you should know when playing baccarat.
Basics of Baccarat
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While the gameplay of baccarat can be simple, you might want to know first the basics of baccarat. Here are some things to know about it.
In baccarat, cards have a point value. Each of the cards holds a numerical value from 2 to 9 according to its face value. Kings, queens, jacks, and 10s have a value of 0. Meanwhile, aces have a value of 1, and jokers are not playable.
In bigger casinos, baccarat tables can accommodate up to 14 players. Some smaller casinos might also offer mini-baccarat seating up to 8 players with lower limits. While players may keep their cards in the original baccarat, players in mini-baccarat cannot touch the cards, which are facing up.
Player & Banker
There will be a hand dealt for the player labeled as ‘player.’ There will also be a hand dealt with the house referred to as ‘banker.’
There is a betting option regarded as a tie. It occurs when the player and the banker’s hands are of the same value.
Gameplay of Baccarat
A game of baccarat involves a player and a banker. However, the game often begins with people seated at the baccarat table betting for the player, the banker, or a tie. Upon settling up the bets, a dealer will then deal a hand for the player and the banker, respectively.
The goal is to get as close as possible to 9. The value of a hand depends on the sum of its constituent cards. Any two cards summed up to a 9 makes a “natural.” It is worth noting that 10s have a value of 0 in baccarat. Therefore, a hand consisting of 10 and 9 still belongs to the “natural.”
A hand cannot go over 9. Any hand that exceeds it will get an automatic reduction by 10. For instance, a player can get two 8s, which would make a total of 16. However, the value of such a hand will automatically become 6.
A hand whose value is nine or closest to it will be the winner of that baccarat coup (round). If both hands are the same with a value of 9, the coup ends in a tie. If the value of the hands is less than 9, the dealer will draw a third card for the player or the banker. This rule, however, is subject to the house rules.
History of Baccarat
While it might not boost your chance of winning, knowing the history of baccarat and how it comes to its modern popularity might be fascinating trivia.
Some sources claim that baccarat dates back to the 15th century in the aftermath of the Franco-Italian War. Some other references argue that it originates in France around the 19th century. Nevertheless, it has become a popular card game among the French nobility since the 19th century. People used to play baccarat in private gaming rooms, which inspire the modern baccarat alcove — a special chamber separated from other casino actions.
The earliest known form of baccarat is Banque Baccarat, a three-person version of it. In the later development, Chemin de Fer emerged as an offspring of the early baccarat. It is a two-person, zero-sum game that continues its reputation as one of the most played baccarat iterations nowadays. The most modern version of it, Punto Banco, emerged in Havana in the 1940s.
Versions of Baccarat
The game has grown from time to time, resulting in slightly different iterations as time goes by. Some people still play the original baccarat. Yet, some others have begun to favor more modern versions. Here are some of the most well-known versions of baccarat that you need to know.
In this early version of baccarat, one of the players will play the role of the “banker” for most of the game. The banker will remain until all the cards have been dealt. Banque baccarat only uses three inter-shuffled decks. The banker can retire on their own will or by a reason of financial exhaustion.
Chemin de Fer
Unlike banque baccarat, all players get to be the banker in turns in Chemin de Fer. Therefore, the game involves active participation from all players. The croupier only shuffles the cards from all six decks used for the game. The banker will distribute and place the shuffled cards facing down. The decision to draw the third card is up to the player. A player who places the biggest bet will get the first chance to play, while the others play subsequently.
Nowadays, most casinos have labeled Punto Banco as the original baccarat. In this version, the casino plays both hands according to fixed drawing rules called tableau. The game uses six to eight decks, with the dealer and the croupier doing all the shuffling and distribution. The players do not get to decide on the third card as the dealer deals with it. The dealer or the croupier will then announce the winner.
In a more modest casino, mini-baccarat becomes the version of baccarat to play. There is only one croupier for mini-baccarat who will deal with the cards and act as a banker. This version attracts more small-time punters for its relatively low bets.