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What is Baccarat?

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk:pexels

Baccarat is a card game played with 2 or 3 cards, often seen in Bond movies giving the game a touch of elegance. In the game of baccarat, the hand with the highest score is the winner, it’s a game of chance where a strategy is not necessary. Traditionally It was known as a high-stakes game although with the advent of online gaming it’s now available to gamblers who want to play with lower stakes.

Playing Baccarat

Baccarat is played with an 8-card deck or live baccarat is played in online casinos, the cards are given points values and the game starts with two cards dealt to the bank and the player. The objective is to predict which of those players will get the closest to 9, this is calculated as follows:

  • all tens and face cards have a value of zero
  • aces have a value of one
  • each of the other cards scores at its face value.

If the score of the player’s hand exceeds 9 then the score is adjusted and 10 is subtracted from the total, depending on the house rules where you are playing, either the player or the bank can receive a maximum of an additional third card. It’s important to understand the drawing of the third card, if a player’s hand scores between 0 to 5 or are equal to 10 then a third card is dealt, however, if the total is 6 0r 7 this is known as a “stand”, meaning that no third card is dealt. If the hand scores 8 or 9 this is described as “naturals” and in this case, no third card would be dealt.

The rules for the banker are a little more complicated, in summary, the banker can sometimes draw on 3, 4, 5 or 6 depending upon the player’s third card the full rules can be read on Wikipedia.

Finally, when there is a draw there is no loser, if the two cards total 8 or 9 the hand is deemed a “natural” which is an automatic win unless both bank and player produce a “natural” of the same value and in this case, it would be a draw. Should the banker and the player not produce a natural then further cards are dealt to decide the winner.

Photo by Anna Shvets: pexels

Betting on Baccarat

Typically, correctly betting on a winning hand will receive a 1 to-1 payout and those that correctly predict a winning bank hand will also benefit from a 1 to1 payout, the rules dictate that the winning bet must also pay a 5% commission reducing the odds of a winning hand to 19 to 20 and a draw pays out 8 to 1. To put that in a real playing context if you were to wager on the player coming nearest to 9 then you would win twice the wager. Whereas if you wager on the banker having the winning hand the payout would be 95% of the stake.

Six Baccarat tips

  1. Don’t bet on a draw, the house advantage for a draw is around 14.4% which makes this a poor choice to bet on.
  2. The banker should be your default bet winning just over 50% of games
  3. Statistically speaking the bank will get the most winning streaks, when you see this streak bet on the bank.
  4. When the bank loses after a winning streak always wait by skipping a bet, then continue betting following the play of the game.
  5. Don’t include drawn bets in your strategy, it’s simply a drawn game.
  6. Follow good bet management, it’s a game of chance where the bank has the edge, follow the bank’s winning streaks and watch your outlay, it’s always wise to take a break to evaluate your game.

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