How to Play Baccarat

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Baccarat is an interesting and popular card game that is probably one of the few you will find in a casino that allows you to bet against yourself to win. The aim of the players when they play Baccarat is to form a hand whose point value is nearer to 9 than the hand of the banker. 

In physical casinos, Baccarat is traditionally played in a luxurious Baccarat pit, a sealed-off area protected by security guards, on a specially designed table. 

Baccarat has the reputation of being the most exclusive casino game and of attracting a lot of high rollers, including James Bond himself.

When it comes to online gambling, Baccarat is a card game that has become more and more popular over the last few years. In London Betting Shop we offer a safe, secure, and friendly place to play.

Today, for real money gambling online, Baccarat is one of the most popular casino games in the world. 

A Little History

The origin of Baccarat is still unknown, as France and Italy dispute its invention. The most accepted version is that the game originated in Italy and later it developed in France. Its invention is attributed to an Italian card player named Felix Falguirein, around 1480. The game quickly spread throughout the kingdoms of Florence, Genoa, and Naples. After the invasion of the French King Charles VIII of the kingdom of Naples in 1494,  soldiers brought the game to France.

Baccarat was originally played by dealing the cards individually to each player. They had to add up or get as close as possible to 9 points and those who went over this score lost their bet.

The word Baccarrá, the Italian name by which the game was initially known, is the name that receives the worst of the possible plays, that is to say, the zero points.

The earliest version of the game is what we call Baccarat à Deux Tableaux or Baccarat Banque, to distinguish it from later variants. The game evolved in France in the 15th and 16th centuries establishing their own rules resulting in the versions known as Baccarat Chemin de Fer (railway Baccarat), later just known as Chemin de Fer or in America as Chemmy or Shimmy. Its name may refer to the way the dealing shoe travels around the table like a train.

The most widely played version of Baccarat nowadays is the further simplified game Punto Banco. Originated at the Capri Casino in Havana, Cuba in the 1950s nowadays is the best-known form of the game. 

Baccarat has been popular among the French nobility since the 19th century. During the Napoleonic era and before the legalization of casino gambling in 1907, people in France commonly played Baccarat in private gaming rooms. 

The Rules of Baccarat

The goal of Baccarat is to bet successfully if the next round will be won by yourself, the bank, or a draw.

You win a round if the value of the player’s or the banker’s opening hand is worth eight or nine. This refers to the natural value of the card, with nine beating eight. You also win with a draw if both get a hand with the same value.

If no player achieves this, whoever has the hand with the highest value up to nine wins the round,  after receiving a third card, if they are allowed to receive one. If both hands are of the same value after this stage, the round is considered drawn.

In most casinos, a successful player bet has a payout of 2:1. A successful tie bet has a payout of 8:1. Generally, if a round finishes in a tie, any bet on the player and the banker carries over to the next round.

Baccarat often uses eight decks and can have from one player to fourteen (not including the banker).

Baccarat Card Values

Court cards (Kings, Queens, and Jacks) and 10 are worth 0. Aces are worth 1, and cards two through nine are worth their pip value (the value indicated on the card).

The maximum value a hand can have in Baccarat is nine. This means that cards with a value of up to nine counts as such. For cards with a value of 10 or more, only the last digit of their value is used. For example, a hand consisting of a six and a seven would not be worth 13, but 3.

How to play Baccarat

You must place the bet of your choice in Baccarat on the banker’s hand, the player’s hand, or on the tie. The game begins when you place the bet. The dealer deals with the player and the banker two cards. These are added together to give the total points.

Bear in mind that in some places you could also bet on whether the cards that will come out will be even; this adds an extra layer of possibilities for the players.

  • Depending on this total, the baccarat dealer will deal a third card to the player, the banker, or both. The total points of each hand are then re-calculated.
  • The hand closest to 9 is the winning baccarat hand.
  • If you have bet on the player and his hand is the winner, you win your bet once according to the Baccarat rules. If you have bet on the dealer and your hand is the winner, you win once.
  • When betting on the tie, you get 8 times your baccarat bet.

Do you understand why so many players like so much this game? Here luck matters less, and what is more important is the strategy you use to predict the cards that are dealt in each round.

The Baccarat rules vary from version to version.

Before going to bet in online casinos, it is not only important to know the Baccarat rules, but also to know which version of the game you will be participating in. The most popular ones are the following:

  • Punto Banco: The most popular in online casinos and the most simplified version of Baccarat. The main feature is that the casino will always act as the banker. 
  • Super Pan 9: It is played with a deck of only 36 cards; only AS, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, J, Q and K are present. Three cards are dealt.
  • Chemin De Fer: Here the players deal the cards, the banker rotates around the table and, if someone scores 5 points, he can decide whether to stand or to call.
  • Banque Baccarat: Here the most important feature is that the player who prefers to play with greater risk will be the banker.
  • Three-card baccarat: The player and the banker receive three cards, with the hand with three sides having the most value.

In general, the basic Baccarat rules apply to all modes. However, these small variations make the depth of the game even greater. 

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Gambling can be addictive. Please know your limits and gamble responsibly