With a house edge of just over one percent for bets, baccarat offers gamblers more of an even break. Although the game is quite simple, only a small number of players flock to the tables at land based casinos. This could be because the game was meant mostly for the amusement of the elite for many years.
Some casinos still cater mostly for the high rollers – called whales – in cordoned off areas or private rooms. Here, the full scale version of the game is played with 14 players and 2-3 dealers, who manage the chips instead of dealing the cards.
As mini-baccarat came on the scene in the 1980s, the average customer could now join in the fun and see what baccarat was all about. This version featured 7 players on a smaller table and a dealer who deals all the cards. The biggest difference was that the minimum bet went down to $5-$10, and it was now more customary for the average players to play alongside the whales.
Rules of Baccarat
The baccarat rules are so simple that you can learn them and begin playing in very little time. There are three possible outcomes in the game: player, banker, and tie. Since skill is not an issue, any first time player can join a game with seasoned baccarat players and win.
The Baccarat Table
A classic baccarat table can accommodate up to 14 players. Every player’s position is identified by a number on the table. At each player’s position, there are several boxes for placing bets. Players must understand where to place bets on the table. The player’s bet is closest to the player and the dealer bets are further away. There is a box for tie bet, but since the casino advantage is usually high for these types of bets this box is usually avoided.
With the wide acceptance of mini-baccarat, you’ll see that mini baccarat tables have replaced classic tables. The table is about the size of a blackjack table and accommodates fewer players- usually seven. There are some minor differences in the game but the rules remain the same.
Playing the Game
The objective of the game is to get close to a nine with the 2-3 cards dealt. Usually only two cards are dealt to the players, but a third card is dealt based on the third card rules. When the third card is dealt the dealer will give instructions to the players, so it’s not necessary to learn the third card rules.
Players must learn the values of the cards for baccarat. They are:
K, Q, J, 10 = 0 points
Aces = 1
All other cards = face value
The dealer counts all the cards for every player, but it’s important for you to know the values. If your two cards total more than 10, you’ll have to subtract that amount from the value to determine where you place. For instance, if you have a 9 and 7 for a total of 16 your value will be 6 after you subtract 10.
To start the game, player and the banker are dealt two cards each. In land based casinos, players can deal cards from the shoe, which is passed in a counter-clockwise direction. Once the cards are dealt, the player who made the biggest bet can turn over the players’ cards. The dealer announces the card totals. The banker reveals the cards placed under the shoe and the dealer again announces the total. Players can be on the outcome, if player wins, if banker wins or if it’s a tie.
Sometimes a third card is drawn, and the winner – the person who has the hand that is closest to 9- is announced.
Remove all the not so complicated figures, and you’ll see that baccarat really is just a simple game of chance. There’s nothing that you can do the decrease the house advantage – other than stay away from the tie bet. Apart from that, you must manage your bankroll and know when to walk away from the game. Learn the rules and stay ahead of the casino because in the long run, the casino always wins.