Baccarat Basics

A popular card game, baccarat can trace back its origin to the late 1400s. Found in almost all part of the world, the game is considered game of the rich and high rollers because of its high betting amounts. In the casinos where it is found, the baccarat playing section is usual kept separate and the well dressed in tuxedoes. In spite of its air of exclusivity, the game is actually a simple and interesting one.

The main objective of baccarat is to have a hand value which is as close to 9 as possible; if the player has exactly 9, there can be two possibilities, either a tie or a win. The hand value is determined by adding the values of the cards in the two hands, after which, the obtained sum is divided by 10 and the remainder is taken as the result. Basically, the tens digit is not considered, resulting in only one digit because of which the highest value can only be 9 and the lowest is zero, the worst hand value. Interestingly, the game is named after the worst hand value as baccarat means zero.

In baccarat the number cards i.e. from 2 to 9 are worth their value, cards 10 along with the face cards are all valued at zero and Ace is worth 1. A hand cannot have more than two or three cards. The banker deals out the cards, first only one card is deal to each of the players faced down, including himself, after which the second cards are dealt. If the hand value of any of the players is less than five the player can draw another card, if it is between 6 and 7 then it is advisable to stand and incase any of the players hand value is 8 or 9, no more cards are draw.

When playing baccarat, the players have three betting options “ the banker bet, player bet and the tie bet. In banker bet, the player who deals the cards, win the game and the payouts are 1:1. However, in this bet a 5% house commission is charged. In player bet, the player wins against the dealer. As the name suggests, in tie bets both of them have the same hand value and the payout is 8:1.

Baccarat can be found in several versions. Because of its air of exclusivity, many people prefer playing it simpler version, mini baccarat, where the rules of the game remain mostly same with a few variations.

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