Baccarat or Punto Banco is a relatively unknown card comparison casino game, that is quite similar to BlackJack. It’s a table game where the player is competing with the banker by comparing their hand values. One who has the highest hand value wins, it’s simple as that! Well not quite that simple, but it’s certainly an exciting one.
While there are several Baccarat types, Punto Banco is the one that is offered at almost any Online Casino and certainly at each one listed at this website. It’s believed that Baccarat was firstly introduced in France and played in private clubs as the game features a chance to bet big. However, Baccarat type played back than was different to the one we can see today. Baccarat Chemin De Fer was the game played in France, which is a variation that involves skill. There’s no room for skill to play a part in Punto Banco, as the cards are dealt by dealer and he follows specific dealing rules – the only choice you can make is the amount of money to bet.
Rules and Gameplay
Game of Baccarat starts with a player wagering some money – placing a bet. There are 3 bet types that can be made :
The Player to win.
The Banker to win.
Tie – both sides have equal hand values.
The Player and The Banker wins are paid out at even odds of 1:1, however, The Banker wins are charged with a 5% commission. The real payout odds are thus 0.95 to 1. Wins from ”Tie bets” vary by their payout odds, but usually are 8 to 1.
Once you’ve made a decision regarding the bet type to make, cards are dealt from 6-8 decks of 52 cards. Both, The Banker and The Player receives 2 cards to start with. The cards are valued as follows: 2-9 = their face value, 10-K = 0 points and Aces are worth 1 point. The maximum value of a single Baccarat hand is 9. This is because hand values are calculated a little bit differently than you might think.
Calculation of hands is done in the following way – card1 value + card 2 value = the last digit in the sum. If there’s only one digit that’s the hand value. Let’s check a real example, so you could understand it better :
8+9=17 this translates into Baccarat hand value of 7, as the last digit in 17 is 7.
5+8=13 this translates into Baccarat hand value of 2, as the last digit in 13 is 3
The game doesn’t end with both sides holding 2 cards, though. There is a specific set of rules for drawing to the third card for both The Banker and The Player.
A hand values of 8 or 9 made with only 2 cards are considered as ”natural” Baccarat hands. If neither The Banker or The Player has a natural hand, drawing rules are applied.
Player’s Drawing Rule
If player’s hand value is between 0-5, he draws a third card. If the hand value is between 6-7, player stands.
Banker’s Drawing Rules
If The Player has only two cards, The Banker follows the same rules that are outlined above – draws a third card when his hand value is 0-5 and stands on 6-7.
However, if The Player took the third card, The Banker follows these rules :
If player drew a card of either 2 or 3, Banker stands with 5-7 and draws with 0-4.
If player drew a card of either 4 or 5, Banker stands with 6-7 and draws with 0-5
If player drew a card of either 6 or 7, Banker stands with 7 and draws with 0-6
If player drew an 8, Banker stands with 3-7 and draws with 0-2
If player drew a face card, Ace or 9-10, Banker stands with 4-7 and draws with 0-3
While these rules seem to be relatively complex, you don’t have to worry about them as dealer is the one who knows them. Online Baccarat is coded by software, which automatically deals cards according to these rules. Playing Baccarat Online couldn’t be any easier!
The House Edge
As any other Casino Game, Baccarat is also a game where casino holds an advantage. However, advantage in this game is one of the smallest you’ll find. Well, for the most part anyway. The Banker bet features the lowest house edge and stands at 1.06%, while The Player house edge is 1.45%. Remember that the first one also takes a 5% commission, which is due to The Banker bet holding a larger chance to win over a large amount of rounds. At least people who have done simulations are saying so.
The Tie bet features a large house edge of approximately 14% and thus should be avoided. This depends on the payout odds, as some places offer 9 to 1 payout on Tie wins thus reducing the house edge to 4.5%.
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