Baccarat

Baccarat is a card game that comes in several variants – Punto Banco, Baccarat Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque. Punto Banco is the American version and is the most common. In this card game, it is important to get as close to the number nine as possible to win.

The history of baccarat

The story behind Baccarat is somewhat unclear. The word Baccarat means zero in Italian and has most likely come up due to the fact that some of the cards give zero points (dressed cards and 10s) during the game. Despite this name, it is not certain whether the game originated in Italy or not. During the latter half of the 15th century, Baccarat was frequently played in France. There it was considered a game that was glamorous and that only the upper class could afford to play. Even today, you can see that it is one of the more exclusive casino games. In large casinos around the world, the Baccarat tables are usually placed a little secluded and isolated. This gives the big players a feeling they are important and well taken care of – the whole baccarat experience comes with a feeling of luxury. James Bond is also a character who has helped make Baccarat famous. In most James Bond movies, you can see him sitting in a casino and playing Baccarat, including in the movies Thunderball, Dr No and in Golden Eye.

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How to play Baccarat

The most common form of Baccarat is, as we mentioned above, Punto Banco. Each round, two hands are dealt. These are called Punto and Banco. They represent the player and the bank, but it is not like in Blackjack that one hand is yours and the other belongs to the dealer. Here you can choose which hand you want to bet on. Even before the cards are dealt, you must choose which hand you want to play on, Punto or Banco. Both hands are dealt two cards each. Cards 2–9 give the denomination on the card, the face-up cards give 0 points and Aces give 1 point. In some cases, 0 points also apply to Aces depending on the casino’s rules.

Your goal is to end up with 9 points or as close to it as possible. If you get two cards that are over 10, for example 9 + 3 = 12, 10 is deducted and you end up with 2 points. If you land on 6 points or below, the hand is dealt another card. But if you have 7 or higher, there are only two cards per hand. Sometimes even the bank is forced to draw a third card. Here is an example:

• If Punto receives a card worth 2 or 3, the bank must take an extra card if the value of the hand is between 0 and 4. If, on the other hand, the value is between 5 and 7, the bank must not take an extra card.
• If Punto receives a card worth 4 or 5, the bank must take an extra card if the value of the hand is between 0 and 5. If, on the other hand, the value is between 6 and 7, the bank must not take an extra card.
• If Punto receives a card worth 6 or 7, the bank must take an extra card if the value of the hand is between 0 and 6. If, on the other hand, the value is 7, the bank must not take an extra card.
• If Punto receives a card worth 8, the bank must take an extra card if the value of the hand is between 0 and 2. If, on the other hand, the value is between 3 and 7, the bank must not take an extra card.
• If Punto receives an Ace, 9, 10 or a face-up card, the bank must take an extra card if the value of the hand is between 0 and 3. If, on the other hand, the value is between 4 and 7, the bank must not take an extra card.

How to win at Baccarat

If you have bet on Punto and Banco’s hand is lower, you win the hand, but if Banco’s hand is higher, you lose your bet. If there is a tie between Punto and Banco’s hands, you only win if you have bet on a draw. If you have bet on a draw, you have a chance to win 8 times your bet, however, the casino takes a share of about 14%.

Baccarat variants

There are, as we mentioned above, different variants of Baccarat. These are Punto Banco, Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque. Chemin de Fer is not as common as the other two in the world of online casinos. In Baccarat Banque you play against the bank and have a dealer who handles everything regarding the cards. Punto Banco has already been explained above.

Summary

Baccarat is one of the most popular games in the casino industry. It can be found both at land-based casinos and at online casinos. It’s relatively easy to learn, so if you’re a beginner you’ll pretty quickly get into the game and its rules. Baccarat is a pure game of chance so anyone has a chance to win. Good luck!