Baccarat is a hugely popular card game in the USA and like many traditional casino games, steeped in history, it is perfect for playing online. If you have never got involved with it before then you must give it a go. Just sit back while we explain how to play Baccarat.
In blackjack the object of the game is to try to get a points total as close to 21 as you can. In Baccarat the aim is to make as close as nine as possible.
There are three types of Baccarat. The most widely played of these is called Punto Banco. The other two are called Chemin De Fer and Baccarat Banque. There are minor variations of the rules with the last two named variants. We are going to deal with Punto Banco here to start with, as that is the form most commonly found online.
There needs to be a banker and at least one player. The banker is generally the casino. The banker has a hand (as the house would in blackjack) and so does the player. Each is dealt two cards, hoping the total of those two equal nine (or at worst as close as possible) .
If the player gets nine and the banker gets eight with the first two cards then the player wins and a new round (known as a ‘coup’) begins.
However, depending on circumstance a third card may be dealt.
How the Baccarat betting works: To bet on the game you have three options. You can either bet the player will win, the banker will win or that they draw:
1. If you bet on the player’s hand to win and it does then you are paid out at odds of evens. Example: You bet $10 so you get $20 back including your stake. You have made $10 profit.
2. If you bet on the banker’s hand to win and it does then you are paid out at odds of evens less 5% commission of your winnings. Example: If you wager $10 on the banker’s hand and it wins, you get $19.50 back. You have made $9.50 profit because you have won $10 less 5% commission = $9.50 winnings.
Do not ask about the math, but trust us when we say that the odds are in favour of the banker in Baccarat. Despite the commission taken, mathematically betting with the banker is the better percentage call. If the commission did not exist then all casinos would be made bankrupt by everyone betting on the hand of the banker each coup. The commission gives the house its edge on the banker bet.
3. If you bet on the tie then the USA online casino will pay you out at odds of not less than 8/1, depending on their rules. The true mathematical odds of a drawn coup are 9.5/1. Example: If you wager $10 on the tie and it does happen then you win $80 clear profit if paid out at 8/1. Betting on a tie is not best practice as the house edge is largest in this scenario.
It is apparent that it is a very simple game to learn and bet on. That is probably why it has been so popular for centuries. But there are a couple of other rules you need to be aware of before you learn to play online Baccarat:
The value of the cards in Bacarrat: The rules about the value of each card dictate that the highest possible hand to achieve is nine. If a hand is actually over 9 then the hand value is reduced by ten (-10) to get the hand value. Say 2 x 5 cards are dealt. You might think this gives a hand value of 10. Actually the hand value is zero in this example because 10-10 = 0.
All face cards and 10s are deemed to have a value of zero, while all aces have a value of one. Any other card has a value equal to what it actually is. But remember if the total of a hand exceeds 9 then you need to deduct 10 to get its true value for the game of Baccarat.
When a third card is dealt: There are strict rules that apply as to if a third card is dealt. The banker and player have no choice in this matter. A third card is dealt if certain sets of circumstances dictate it. As a result you can start playing baccarat without learning the nuances of this set of rules. However for information purposes we would add:
Player hand: The player must stick with two cards of he gets 6-9 with those two cards. Getting an 8 or a 9 is called a ‘natural’ and is just baccarat jargon for having a great hand. The player draws a third card if he gets 0-5 with his first two cards.
Banker hand: The rules for a banker drawing a third card are somewhat complex and depend on what the player has drawn. The detail is not required as it follows a set pre-determined chart. No decision can be made to alter it.
So we have told you all you need to learn to play online baccarat. Possibly the next best move is to give it a go for yourself at one of the online casinos accepting USA players we list to the right.