Baccarat pronounced as bak-kuh-rah is a casino card game. The game has three variants and each of them work on a different concept. Like any other card game, this game too has a valuation of hand. In fact, the game derives its name from the worst hand, that is, zero. Moreover, Baccarat means “zero” in French and Italian. These languages have a reference here since the game originated in Italy and later crossed over to France. The significance of the worst hand will come to light once the valuation of hands is understood. It is a game of chance when played under one of the three variants; else it tests the skill of a player also. In this article, we shall discuss the rules, strategies, and the terminology used in this game. In addition, there are some handy tips to play a winning game. Read on to learn more.
Valuation Of Hands
The cards are valued as follows - cards between the numbers 2 and 9 are taken at their value, number 10 and other cards with faces like Jack, Queen, and King are equal to zero. Ace is valued at one point. The score is calculated by adding the value of all the cards in hand. However, the tens digit is dropped from the sum total of the cards. For instance, if you have the cards,7 and 8, then their sum total would be 15, but the rule says that you drop the tens digit. So, the sum total becomes 5. The highest score that can be achieved in this game is 9. This is the first step in understanding the game of Baccarat. Now, let us move to the next step involving different variants.
The game is played in three variations namely, Punto Banco, Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque. We shall discuss all the three in detail with the rules associated with each of them.
- Punto Banco - Under this variant, the casino banks the game. Players bet on a player or a banker, which are the designations for the two hands dealt in each game. The cards are dealt face down and later turned over to calculate the scores. If the first deal scores a 9, either for the player or the banker, then no cards are drawn any further. One who scores the highest, that is, 9, is the winner. However, if the dealt hand does not add up to 9 for either designation, then more cards are drawn and whoever scores highest wins. There are rules that govern the pulling of further cards. The winning bets end up doubling their money since the casino pays 1-1. In fact, some casinos even pay commissions. This game was traditionally played on an oval table, staffed by a croupier. There may be tie bets too, and then a different set of rules is applied to the game. Sometimes, high stakes are involved in this game and then it is played secretly. This game is also played as Mini- Baccarat, which is a smaller version and does not involve high stakes. Here, the minimum and maximum bets are lower.
- Chemin De Fer - It means the way of iron. This name was given since the cards came in a box of iron. Under this variant, six full packs of cards are shuffled together. The players seat themselves around the table and there is a basket in the centre meant for unused cards. There are two terms used in this game, the banker and, the punter. The staffed croupier shuffles the cards and passes them across the table. Each player gets a chance to shuffle the cards. When the round is completed, the croupier shuffles the cards again. The cards are then offered to the person sitting on the croupier’s left for a single shuffle. The cards are then distributed face down. Stakes are placed by the punters, or sometimes, by those who are around.
- Baccarat Banque - This too, is similar to Chemin de Fer, with a little deviation. Three packs of cards are shuffled together. Sometimes, it may be more or less, but mostly three packs of cards are used in this game. The rules of Baccarat are quite complicated and different casinos have their own different set of rules. Initially, it is better to learn the game through observation. Since high stakes are involved. It is advisable to be careful and understand the rules well.
There are several terms used in this game and it is easier to play if you know the terminology well. It will make you more competent and help you understand the rules better. Some of the terms used are given hereunder:
- Banker - Betting on the player or dealer.
- Banko - Used instead of banker, for someone who bets all his money.
- Natural - When the total of the hands in the first deal is 8 or 9, it is declared as Natural.
- Le Grande - The best hand in the game, totaling to 9 in the first deal. Grande means big in French.
- Petite - When the total score is 8, it is termed as petite.
- Tie bet - Process of betting when there is a tie between the player and the dealer.
- Shooter - Slang used for bank.
- Croupier - Casino staff person, appointed for dealing.
- Face cards - Cards that have pictures like Jack, King, or Queen.
- Coupe - A single round of Baccarat.
- Railroad - Chemin de Fer is also known as railroad.
- Shoe - Place from where the cards are dealt.
- Streak - Used to describe the status of a player, during the game. Could be a winning streak or a losing streak.
- Bankroll - Money used for gambling.
- Bonus - Additional bonus given, over and above the commission.
- House advantage - Another term used for Casino Edge.
- Casino Edge - Advantage gained by the casino on any bet in the casino parlor.
- Shills - Women who lure men to the table.
- Palette - Tool used to move the cards on the table.
- Carte - Used to request a card from the dealer.
Online Baccarat Games
Online casinos are a step ahead than the original land parlors. They offer more variations like progressive jackpot bet. Players can win millions in progressive jackpot games. Moreover, there are many online casinos participating, which add to the excitement and thrill of gaming. Though the game is played virtually, on the internet, the money involved in the bets is real. This game is also played online using a mobile phone. Several online casinos offer this facility. This game originated in Italy and later crossed over to France. It was introduced in France during the reign of Charles VIII in the 15th Century. This casino game has passed through a number of places like England, South America, and finally Las Vegas, and has now landed on the World Wide Web.
Handy Tips For Playing Baccarat
||Observe - If you are an inexperienced player, then you must observe the game carefully before you begin placing bets. An eye for detail and a complete understanding of the rules will help a lot. Also, try to learn the strategies from old players. Familiarize yourself with the terminology and the gambling communities. First time players should not risk too much money. Though this game involves high stakes, we suggest you bet a low amount. Experience is the best teacher, so go ahead and observe this casino game before you set your eyes on the table.
||Go With Your Gut Feeling - Since Baccarat is a game of chance, you should follow your gut feeling. Listen to your intuitive self. Though this is not a logical suggestion, but it always worked with several experienced players.
||Bet On The Banker - This is, by far, the safest way of playing since you stand to lose less money in the game. This strategy works with most of the players.
||Progression Betting - This type of betting is very risky since you double the bet after every loss until you win. But the question here is what if you do not win? Well, then you lose all the money and even if you do win, it is your own money.
||Casino Rules - No matter how experienced a player is, it is important to understand the rules of the casino. Different gambling clubs have different rules and you may end up losing a game if you fail to understand the rules clearly. Even the best of strategies do not work if you do not know the rules.
||Keep A Track Of Your Money - Even if you are a risk taker with a daredevil attitude, it is important to keep a check on your stakes. Set a target and leave the table once you have used the entire money. Baccarat casino games can be quite addictive, so refrain from the addiction.
Keep these simple tips in mind, follow instructions, understand the rules, plan your strategies well, and go with your gut feeling to achieve a winning streak.