Baccarat, pronounced Bah-Caw-Rah, is probably one of the easiest and uncomplicated table games there is. The most important thing you need to know is whether you are betting on the Player, on the Bank or on Tie. Betting on Tie is not really recommended because it decreases your winning chances. Baccarat is a game of chance, all you have to decide is which hand you think will win. But anyway, knowing the basic rules will help you understand what is going on on the baccarat table and will make the game more fun to play for you.
It doesn’t matter which seat you take at the baccarat table because unlike in Black Jack you are not playing against other players or against the house. The only thing you are betting against is the cards. So never mind what the other players bet on or how much they bet.
Baccarat is played with eight decks of cards without Jokers. At the beginning of a new game or when the Cut Card in the Shoe is dealt, the dealer will shuffle all decks together and put them back in the shoe, also called ‘The Bank’. Then he will take the very first card out and whatever the value of this card is indicates how many cards will be Burned. If the value of the first card is a four, for instance, the dealer will take the next four cards out of the shoe and discard them in a tray next to it along with the first card. The baccarat game is now ready to play.
At the beginning of the new game the shoe or the bank is given to the player on the right of the dealer. Each player is given the bank in turn and can hold the bank as long as the bank wins. Once the bank looses it moves on to the next player. Before the cards are dealt each baccarat player has to make his bet.
The player with the bank deals two sets of two cards, if of course the game is played by two players. The hand closest to nine wins. If the first two cards dealt count Eight or Nine it is called a ‘Natural’ and wins automatically, unless both hands have the same value then it is of course a Tie. When nobody has a natural additional cards are drawn to determine the baccarat winner. If the hand you bet on wins you get a one to one payoff. You can also bet on a Tie where you get a one to eight payoff but a Tie is very rare, it occurs less than once in ten hands. When there is a Tie and you did not bet on it nobody looses or wins.
Value of the cards in Baccarat:
- Tens, Jacks, Queens and Kings count as 0.
- The Ace counts as One.
- Cards from Two to Nine are at Face Value.
At first the value of the cards might seem a little odd, but it is really simple to understand. In Baccarat you always have to keep in mind that the fist digit in a two-digit number does not count. That is why the Ten, Jack, Queen and the King count 0 and the Ace only one. This is not only the case with single card values but also with the result of two cards combined. So if you draw an eight in baccarat and a three, for instance, the value of both together would be eleven but since the first digit does not count your hand counts only one.