Baccarat is a popular game enjoyed by many casino goers. It has a rich history that dates back to the 15th century, and it’s easy to learn how to play. In this article, we’ll be discussing the rules of baccarat and the different variations you may encounter.
The Basics of Baccarat
The objective of baccarat is to bet on which hand will have the highest value: the player’s or the banker’s. The game is played with a standard deck of 52 cards, with each card assigned a point value. Cards two through nine are worth their face value, while aces are worth one point and tens, jacks, queens, and kings are worth zero points.
The game begins with the player and banker each receiving two cards. If either the player or banker has a hand worth eight or nine points, that hand wins. If neither hand has eight or nine points, the game continues.
The player has the option to take an additional third card after the initial two cards are dealt, based on the following rules:
- If the player’s hand is worth five points or less, they must take a third card.
- If the player’s hand is worth six or seven points, they can choose to take a third card.
- If the player stands, the banker must follow specific rules for their third card.
The banker’s third card depends on the player’s third card and the banker’s hand value. If the banker has a hand worth two points or less, they must take a third card. If the banker has a hand worth three points, they can only take a third card if the player’s third card is not an eight. If the banker’s hand is worth four points, they can only take a third card if the player’s third card is not a zero, one, eight, or nine. If the banker’s hand is worth five points, they can only take a third card if the player’s third card is four, five, six, or seven. If the banker’s hand is worth six points, they can only take a third card if the player’s third card is six or seven.
After all cards have been dealt, the hand with the highest point value wins. If the player wins, the player’s bet is paid out at even odds, while if the banker wins, the banker’s bet is paid out at even odds minus a 5% commission.
Common Variations of Baccarat
There are several variations of baccarat that you may encounter in a casino:
- Mini-Baccarat: This version of the game is played on a smaller table, with lower minimum bets and faster gameplay.
- Chemin De Fer: In this variation, players take turns being the banker, and the banker can lose more than their initial bet.
- Punto Banco: This is the version of baccarat that is most commonly played in the United States.
- Baccarat en Banque: This variation is similar to Chemin De Fer, but there are three possible bankroll options, and the banker can bet on their own hand.
Each variation of baccarat may have slightly different rules and gameplay, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the specifics of the game before you start playing.
With its straightforward rules and exciting gameplay, baccarat has become a mainstay in casinos worldwide. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a newbie, understanding the rules of baccarat is the first step toward enjoying this classic card game.