Baccarat is a table card game that is based on an Italian game known as baccara. The word baccara means zero and all picture cards and tens in baccarat are valued zero. Started in the 1400s, baccarat was an exciting game popular among French royals in both France and Italy. However, it gained popularity among the common and elite folks who played it in their homes after the 1837 public gambling ban in France. Through this, the game thrived, and was later introduced in casinos during the 19th century when it became a premier casino game in Europe.
Different versions of the game have emerged over the years. They include; American baccarat or punto banco, baccarat banque and chemmy/chemin de fer. All baccarat versions are governed by similar rules and only differ in how the cards are dealt. The American baccarat debuted in 1959. Its main variation was that players bet among themselves as opposed to against the casino. However, it was quickly replaced by the original baccarat game and rules. It has maintained its popularity though most people believe that it is a game for high profile individuals in formal suits and set within the high-limit pit.
Despite the number of players involved, baccarat deals two hands; the player hand and the bank hand. You should place a wager with chips on the hand you think will be close to a 9 total before cards are dealt. You can wager on the player hand, the bank hand, both hands to signify a tie or any combination you deem effective. A player hand winning bet is paid on a 1 to 1 ratio, a bank hand win is paid on 1 to 1 ratio less a 5% commission while a tie is paid on 8 to 1 ratio.
The player’s hand: the player’s hand is acted on first. The cards are turned over and the dealer calls out the totals. The banker’s cards are then revealed. A sum of 6 to 9 means that the player wins and no cards are drawn, while sums of 8 to 9 are referred to as neutral and are definite winners against all banker hands excluding 8 or 9. Similar totals result to a tie. But, the player wins when their hand has 9 and the banker’s 8, and the banker wins when the player’s hand is 8 and the banker’s 9.
The banker’s hand: the banker must stand on a 2-card total of 7, 8, or 9. The banker hits on a total of 0, 1, 2, or 3 except when the banker hits a total of 3 against a player’s hand total of 8. Additionally, a banker can hit totals of 4, 5 or 6 based on a player’s totals. For instance, 4 works against a player’s total of 2 to 7, 6 against a total of 6 to 7 and 5 against a total of 4 to 7. Note that, players are not required to memorise baccarat rules.
Top 3 Baccarat Strategies
Baccarat is best played and won when using a strategy. Though there are numerous baccarat strategies, it is advisable to work with strategies that are; easy to comprehend, logical and offer a strong likelihood of winning. Since baccarat is played in a logical rule-based way, you must use methods that take advantage of different aspects of shoe outcomes; for example, recording a win when there are opposite streak outcomes. Though some players do not believe in utilising a set of rules, most live and online baccarat players rely on strategies. The top 3 best strategies for playing and winning baccarat include;
The one-sided strategy: both player and banker sides gain some advantage during a shoe which occurs in 8 out of 10 shoes. Therefore, each side stands a chance of being ahead by one or more units. So, start betting at the beginning of the game and stand your ground even when outcomes do not favour you. However, be careful not to lose more than 3 double down units or flat betting units in a row; stop betting after three fails. Also, never fight against a tide when you do not have to. If things get rough, claim your profits and join another table.
The trend switch strategy: this entails switching between the zigzag zone trend and the streaky bankers and players trends. Start by flat betting and adhere to the rules of the two trends. When you lose twice on one trend, switch to the other instead of waiting for an ideal trigger. Set a wide overall stop loss of around 12- and target for around 8+ wins. This way, you maintain control and profit maximally from the two trends. When using these two trends, you stand an 85% chance of making profits twice after every 3 shoes.
Breaking the doubles strategy: approximately 90% of baccarat outcomes are formed of banker and player and a zigzag combination or the zigzag streaks; meaning that shoes are dominated by double outcomes and zigzag pattern. Player and banker streaks occur in clusters. With this strategy, you place opposite bets but when a zigzag pattern dominates, you should flow with it. Set your target and repeat this trend until you achieve your target. Set your stop loss at 9- per shoe. If you run into bankers and players streaks you have two choices if you have not attained your target or stop loss.
How to Play Baccarat
Baccarat is played at a big table of between 12 to 14 players with the exception of mini-baccarat that accommodates 7 players. Players should place their bets on areas marked 1 to 15 where 13 is skipped due to superstitious reasons. In front of each player’s number are three marked boxes where players place their bets; one box for player hand bets, another for banker hand bets and the third for tie bets. Players place their bets in one or two boxes when working with combinations. The cards are dealt on large banker and player boxes at the table’s centre.
Depending on casino rules, baccarat is played with 6, 8 or 9 card decks that are shuffled per new hand. The aim of the game is to get as close to 9 points as possible. Since the rules of how to play baccarat are set, players have little to no decisions to make. You are required to choose where to bet; on the player, the banker or a tie. The banker does not have to be the house, it is one of the two parties that players should bet on as per the rules. The dealers draws cards after all bets are made.
Different Baccarat Tables
There are 3 baccarat table sizes; midi-baccarat, mini-baccarat and full-size baccarat. The rules remain constant but the number of players, as well as minimum and maximum bet amounts change. The full size Punto Banco baccarat table accommodates 14 players, attracts the highest betting limits and is located in the high-limit pit. Players handle the cards with the biggest bettor on the player hand turning the player’s cards and the same applies to the banker hand; the biggest bettor turns the cards. Full-size baccarat is ideal for high-profile players who are willing to spend thousands of dollars per hand.
Mini-baccarat is a smaller version of full-size baccarat that is located in the main casino area and next to blackjack tables. It accommodates 6 or 7 players and it features low minimum and maximum bet limits. The minimum bet limit ranges from €5 to €15 while the maximum stands at €5,000. Midi-baccarat accommodates a maximum of 9 players staffed by a single dealer. It allows players to handle cards and is not as fast as mini-baccarat and full-size baccarat. However, the betting limits stand at €25 for minimum bets and €10,000 for maximum bets.
Baccarat Card Values
In most cases, baccarat is played with 6 or 8 card decks that are dealt from one dealing shoe. Each card has a unique numerical value; jack, king and queen (picture cards and tens) have a value of 0, aces have a value of 1 while the value of 2 to 9 is equal to their face value. The highest total a hand can have at a time is 9. If the total numerical value of cards in a banker or player hand are more than 9. You either drop the first digit or subtract 10 from the value.
Start Playing Online Baccarat
Learning and understanding baccarat is easy since it is played by placing wagers. However, it is advisable to know the basic winning strategies, terms, and rules. You must also understand the three betting options, the winning strategies to apply on each and their payouts. By so doing, you follow how the game unfolds and ensure that you do not get short changed when banker winning bet commissions are taken out. Playing baccarat online eliminates numerous barriers since you enjoy lower minimum bets and you are not required to purchase outfits in order to fit in.