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Baccarat Game Guide

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The gambling industry plays a huge role in the global economic industry. Not only that, but it is a source of entertainment for many people. There are many games that you can play at both land-based and online casinos, all of which are fun in their unique way. One classic casino game that managed to remain popular over the years is baccarat.

What is Baccarat?

Baccarat is a card game in which the player and the dealer compare their hands to see which one comes out on top. Its gameplay is somewhat similar to blackjack, but of course, baccarat comes with its own set of rules.

The goal of the game is simple – beat the dealer. You do that by having a better card sum than them. The winning odds in these casino games are always on the side of the dealer. However, the house edge is very low here. In most cases, it is just 1%. Statistically looking, baccarat has the lowest edge, meaning that the return to player rate here is the highest. In other words, percentage-wise, this game has the best payouts of all casino games.

Baccarat Variants and History

Before you learn how to play baccarat, you must know all of the details related to the game and its variants. The three main variants of this game are:

  • Punto Banco
  • Baccarat Banque
  • Chemin de Fer

With the rise of online casinos, game providers started creating their own variations of the game. That is why you can come across tons of baccarat titles these days. The main rules remain the same, though.

Interestingly enough, there is no concrete evidence as to when people started playing baccarat. Some claim that the roots of this game date to the 19th century. There is hardly any evidence as to from which country it originates.

Some say that it is France, and some say that it’s Italy. Baccarat became popular in France, though. Baccarat Banque is the earliest form of baccarat known to humanity. These days, statistics say that baccarat is among the most popular games at the gambling centers of the world.

For example, it generates over $1 billion in revenue in Nevada and it is responsible for 88% of the total gambling revenue in Macau.

How to Play Baccarat – General Rules

Now that you are familiar with the basics, it is time to learn how to play baccarat. One of the things that makes this game so popular in both land-based and online casinos is the fact that its gameplay is very simple. Let’s check out the details.

Playing Parties and Main Bets in Baccarat

First things first, there are two playing parties in blackjack – the player and the banker. Banker refers to the dealer of the game. There are three main bet types in baccarat:

  • Player
  • Banker
  • Tie

If you place a “player” bet, that means that you are betting on the player to win the round. In comparison, a “banker” bet means that the dealer will edge the win. A “tie” bet means that both parties will have the same sum of cards.

Speaking of the cards, their sum is the main focus in baccarat. Here’s how the gameplay works. The goal here is to have a sum of cards not greater than 9. The card values of the banker and the player are compared and the one that is closest to 9 wins the game.

Card Values

Of course, each card has its value. That’s what we are going to talk about next in our guide on how to play baccarat.

Let’s start with the Royals. These cards are 10, J, Q and K and they have no value. In other words, they are equal to zero. The Ace is worth 1 point Cards 2-9 have a value that is identical to their number. Jokers have no value.

Here’s how the process of summing the card value goes. Let’s say that you have a 2 and 6. The total of these two cards is 8. If your sum goes over 10, then you don’t lose the round. Instead, your value restarts. For example, if you have a 9 and 6, the total is 15. So, your value is 5. If you have a 9 and 7, the total of these two cards is 16 and hence, your sum is 6.

Betting Rounds

A major part of learning how to play baccarat is knowing how the process of betting goes. Let’s have a look at it as well.

It all starts when players join a baccarat table. You place a bet on a certain outcome. After you place the bet, the dealer will give you your first card. You wager one more time on a certain outcome and then, the dealer receives one card.

As soon as this round finishes, both sides receive one more card and this is when the winner is decided. If needed, a third card is dealt and this is when the cards are summed and the winner is decided. A third card is needed when the sum of cards of the player or banker is lower than 5.

If you have a sum of cards of 6 or 7, you stand and if you have 8 or 9, you have a natural. The dealer’s third card depends on the sum of cards of the dealer:

  • Banker deals a third card if their sum is 0-2
  • If the player’s sum is 8 and the banker’s sum is 8, the banker deals a third card
  • If the sum of the banker is 4 and the player’s third card is 2-7, the banker deals a third card
  • If the sum of the banker is 5 and the player’s third card is 4-7, the banker deals a third card
  • If the sum of the banker is 6 and the player’s third card is 6 or 7, the banker deals a third card
  • If the banker has a 7, they stand

Baccarat Terms to Know

Just like any other casino game, baccarat comes with a few special terms. They are important to know when you’re learning how to play this game. That is why we are more than happy to provide you with some of the must-know words about this variant. Let’s check them out.

  1. 1. Natural – landing a sum of cards of either 8 or 9
  2. 2. Baccarat – the worst hand in baccarat, which equals 0
  3. 3. Burning – discarding the top 3-6 cards after shuffling the deck
  4. 4. Carte – a French term meaning “hit me” or deal another card
  5. 5. Commission – a 5% fee that is charged on winning player or banker bets
  6. 6. Cut – divide the deck into half after it was shuffled and combine the cards again
  7. 7. Down card – a card that is dealt face down
  8. 8. Up card – a card that is dealt face up
  9. 9. La Grande – a natural and the best hand in baccarat which totals 9
  10. 10. La Petite – a natural which totals 8 in baccarat
  11. 11. Monkey – a term used to describe Royal cards and the card 10
  12. 12. Palette – a wooden stick that the dealer uses to move the cards during the game
  13. 13. Standoff – a faceoff between the player and dealer to see which one’s sum is better

A Common Strategy for Baccarat

Even though baccarat relies on a lot of luck, there’s a skill factor included in this game. As a result, you can use certain strategies. You can use them after you learn how to play baccarat and increase your chances of winning.

Keep in mind that the keyword here is “increase.” Baccarat strategy will not guarantee you wins. No casino game can ever do that. There are plenty of baccarat strategies that you can use and below, we explained some of the most commonly used.

Martingale System

The Martingale system is by far the most popular strategy across all casino games. It’s very simple and can produce decent results. With this strategy, you are doubling your bet every time you lose. At some point in the game, your bet will be a winning one and as a result, you will return the amount that you already lost.

Fibonacci System

The Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers in which the next number is the result of adding the previous two. Even though this strategy is mostly used in roulette, it is modified for baccarat. In baccarat, it is based on the banker bet as the banker has higher odds of winning a round. Set a minimum bet and whenever you win, you move up. The Fibonacci sequence is 1-1-2-3-5-8-13-……

Reverse Martingale

Finally, we have the reverse Martingale system. Here, the strategy is the opposite of the Martingale system. Instead of doubling your bet every time you lose, you double your bet when you win. When you lose a round, you decrease the bet amount.

Baccarat Rule Variations

The main rules across baccarat variants are the same. But when it comes to the small details, there are slight changes. After all, there’s no point in creating a certain variant if it does not differ from the rest.

Not only that, but rule variations depend on the casino itself. This mostly concerns bet limits. As for rule variations in the games, let’s start with Mini Baccarat. The number of players that can join a table here is 7, not 8.

Chemin de Fer, for example, is played with 6 card decks, whereas the rest of the baccarat variants use 7 decks. Additionally, in other variants, all players can act as the dealer. In other variants, there’s usually one player that acts as a dealer. In Punto Banco, up to 14 players can join a table and the game can use up to 8 decks.

Baccarat Side Bets

The banker, player and tie are the main bets in a game of baccarat. However, they are not the only options at your disposal. There are a few side bets up for grabs. Their odds are higher and they can provide you with decent wins.

Dragon Bonus

A Dragon Bonus is a side bet which tells that the player will win with a natural (8 or 9), but they will also win by a certain margin. The bigger the margin is, the higher the odds are and hence, the better the payouts are.

Dragon 7

The Dragon 7 comes with a payout of 40:1 and it is a bet in which the banker wins with a three-card hand. The sum of the hand is 7.

Double 8

Double 8 is a rather brave side bet. It means that both the player and the banker will have a La Petite (natural with a sum of cards of 8). Usually, the payout for this game is 15:1.

All Red/Black

Next up, all red or all black is a side bet that says that the player’s hand will only contain black or red cards. An all-red bet usually comes with a 22:1 payout, whereas an all-black bet has a 24:1 payout.

Bellagio Match

A Bellagio Match means that the player or the banker will have a hand which contains three cards of the same number/rank. In most cases, the payout rate for the player is 75:1 and the payout rate for the banker is 68:1.

Royal Match

A Royal Match bet means that the player or the banker will receive a Royal card in their opening hand. If the cards are of the same suit, then the payout rate is 75:1. If they are not, then the payout rate is 30:1.

Tips and Tricks

There are a few tips and tricks that you can utilize while playing baccarat. They can make the gaming experience all the more entertaining. Not only that, but they will ensure that you play responsibly and for fun only. Some of the tips that we can share are the following:

  • Opt-in for banker bets as they have higher odds of winning
  • Limit your time and budget when playing the game
  • Wait for one decision after a banker loss
  • Use bonuses and promotions if you’re playing online
  • Don’t go for all-in bets
  • Learn the strategies before using them

Conclusion

Learning how to play baccarat and getting familiar with its strategies will undoubtedly contribute towards a good gaming experience. The good thing about this game is that it is very simple to learn and has a very low house edge. That is why it is one of the most popular casino games in the world.

FAQs

Even though there are tons of baccarat variations these days, the three most popular ones are Punto Banco, Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque.

Since baccarat requires skills, you can use strategies to win rounds. It is important to know that they do not guarantee you wins, they just increase your chances.

Yes, there are plenty of baccarat games that you can play at online casinos. To enjoy them for real money, you must register an account.

According to statistics, the player’s bet type comes with a 44.6% chance of winning. The banker’s odds are 45.8% and the tie bet has a 9.6% chance.

Even though both games are based on the concept of comparing cards, the main difference is that baccarat’s required sum of cards is 9 and baccarat’s sum is 21. The card values are also different.

No, the main goal in playing baccarat is to bet against the dealer. That is why 2 of the 3 main bets are Player and Banker.

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