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Baccarat is played at a table with 12 to 14 players. The table is about the size of a craps table. Each game has three dealers, who are required to handle bets on such large tables. One dealer calls out the results. Most games uses a combined deck with 8 decks of cards in it. Sometimes a 6-deck deck of card is used.
Some casinos allow a player to deal cards, which is considered the traditional way the game is played. Other casinos have a dealer attend to the deal.
Baccarat’s alternate name, “punto banco”, means “player banker”. The name explains how wagering happens in the game. Two hands are laid out on the table, one called the banker hand and one called the player hand. Gamblers can choose to wager on either one of these options. The banker hand has better odds, but you have to pay a 5% commission on wins. The player hand’s odds are not as good.
Score is kept differently in baccarat than most table games. Face cards are worth the numbers on their faces. The ace is worth 1 point. All face cards are worth 0 point. So is the 10-card. The object of the game is to have the highest hand, with 9 as the best hand possible.
The dealer’s cards are considered the banker’s hand, while the other cards are the player’s hand. Every player at the table has the option of dealing, but they have to bank the game (cover all bets). You can choose to pass the deal to the next player. The shoe remains with the banker until they lose, at which point it passes clockwise to the next player.
At the beginning of each round of play, each hand is dealt 2 cards. The hand’s value is determined by adding the two card values together. Only the second number is used, so a 10-card is worth “0”. All face cards are “0”. The count rolls over at 9, meaning a 5 and 6 card equals “1” and not “11”.
The player with the higher hand wins. If a tie happens, bets are returned, except for those who bet on the tie. Most casinos by 1:1 for banker or player hands and 8:1 for ties. Some casinos offer 9:1 for ties. In either case, it’s a bad bet.
The Tie Is a Sucker Bet
Betting on the tie is considered a sucker bet. The tie has a house edge of 14.36%, which is astronomical from a gambler’s perspective. Under no circumstances should you wager on whether a tie will happen.
How Hands Are Dealt
If either the player’s or the dealer’s hand value is 8 or 9, then no more cards are dealt. If the player’s hand is 5 or less, they player hits. If the player hits, then the dealer hits if their hand is a 5 or less.
When the player’s hand is 6 or more, they stand. When it is the dealer’s turn, a complex set of rules determines whether the dealer hits or not.
Banker’s Hit or Stand Rules
- 0-2 – If the banker’s hand is 0, 1, or 2, the bankers always hits, if the player hit.
- 3 – If the banker’s hand is 3, then the banker hits, unless the player’s hand is 8.
- 4 – If the banker’s hand is 4, then the banker hits on a 2 thru 7, but stands on 0, 1, 8, or 9.
- 5 – If the hand is a 5, then the banker hits on a 4 thru 7, but stands on a 0, 1, 2, 3, 8, or 9.
- – If the hand is a 6, then the banker hits only when the player’s hand is a 6 or 7.
This can be confusing to players at first, so instructions are printed for the players’ benefit. A laminated card is given to the banker for keeping track of everyone’s 5% commission, too. At the end of the shoe or when a player leaves, a dealer collects the commissions.
It is determined that the banker hand is likely to win 3 or 4 more hands over the course of the shoe. That is why a 5% commission is required when the banker’s hand wins. This also provides the casino its rake.
Baccarat in Las Vegas
Many gamblers see baccarat as an elite game in the casino. In Las Vegas, classic punto banco is played in the roped-off section of the casino. Players wear coat and tie if they want to gamble at the high-stakes tables. The casinos reserve the game only for high rollers. $25 a hand is considered a low-rollers game. Since the real advantage is in being the banker who covers everyone else’s bets, the game can get expensive.
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Which websites have baccarat to play online?
Online casinos have baccarat online, gamewebsites also. Bingo website have it to play online. Many different bookmakers are now investing in online casino services for such gambling so the chance to do such may be available there.