The game of Baccarat dates back centuries and is considered by many to be a game for high rollers. It has been popularized in films such as “Owning Mahoney” where the true life story of a Canadian banker risks it all and breaks the bank in one of the most epic sessions of Baccarat ever played. Although the game is portrayed as a high stakes game, it can be played from the lowest of stakes offered at both live and online casinos.
A standard game of Baccarat uses eight traditional 52 card decks. The basic goal is very simple and the player has little control of what the outcome will be. In fact, it’s one of the easiest games to play of any casino game there is. The only interaction one has in a game of Baccarat is being able to deal the cards if they so choose.
However, this option of dealing the cards can only be found on Big Table Baccarat games. This is just a fancy way of saying the game is being played for high stakes. The standard game of Baccarat that most will play is called mini Baccarat. There is no difference between the two aside from the stakes being played and the option to deal the cards.
Playing Baccarat Online or Live
Before a hand is dealt, you will have 3 betting options: The Banker, The Player and a tie. You place a bet based on which hand you think will win or a tie. The dealer will deal out two cards for both the banker and the player. For a hand to win, it has to be closest to 9. To reach this outcome, each card is assigned a point value. Aces are worth 1, all face cards 2 through 9 are worth face value and Tens through Kings count as zero.
The total of a hand is determined the right number of the total of the cards dealt out for each hand. If the dealer shows a 9 and a 2 the actual total would be 11. However, to get the real total, you take the right number in 11 and this becomes the total points in which the winner is determined. In this example the right number in 11 is 1, giving the total hand a value of 1.
More cards are dealt to each based a strict set of rules. If any of the two hands has a total of 8 or 9, no more cards are dealt out and all winning bets are paid. If the players hand totals 5 or less, th9is hand receives another card. Based on what the third card of the players hand is will determine what options are available to the banker’s hand.
If the Banker’s hand is 2 or less, a 3rd card is dealt to the banker regardless of what the players 3rd card is.
If the banker’s total is 3, the Bank receives another card unless the Players 3rd card was an 8.
If the Banker’s total is 4, a 3rd card is given unless the Players 3rd card was 0, 1, 8 or 9.
If the total of the Banker’s hand is 5, a 3rd card is given if the Players 3rd card was a 4, 5, 6 or 7.
If the Banker’s total is 6, another card is given if the Players 3rd card is a 6 or 7.
If the Banke’rs total is 7 no more cards are given regardless of what the Players 3rd card was.
After all hands are complete a winner is determined and all bets are paid or taken. Bets on the players hand pay just about even money with a 5% commission going to the house. All Banker bets pay exactly even money with no commission to pay. Any winning bets on a tie are paid 8-1 while player and banker bets are a push.
This may sound a bit confusing and it’s likely that you will not pick this up right away. However, there is really no need to memorize this right away as the dealer will do all the work for you. All you need to do is know how make money at Baccarat.
Why Play Baccarat?
Aside from its simplicity, Baccarat is one of the best games you can play in a casino. This is due to its very attractive odds for the player. A bet on the Player has a 1.36% house edge. The Banker bet yields even better odds at 1.17%. A Tie bet actually isn’t all that attractive since it has a house edge of 14.12%.
Now that we see the odds of all bets placed In Baccarat, we can begin to come up with a strategy to win more money. It’s easy to see which bet is the best to take. If for some reason you have not figured this out, it’s a bet on the Banker. Placing a bet on a Tie should be avoided at all costs. The 8-1 pay out may look sexy, but it’s one the worse bets you can make. It has a 14% house edge, yet only pays out 8-1. For each bet you would place on a tie, you would lose roughly $6 each time in the long run.
Strategies to Utilize
Simply choosing to play Baccarat is a solid strategy. You recognize the favorable odds and this is an important step in becoming a winning gambler. We also know that betting with the Banker is the best bet to take given its low house advantage. We can also more advanced strategies to help us become a bigger winner in Baccarat.
One of the more popular and proven strategies is called progressive betting strategy. The most common is called a 1-3-2-6 betting pattern. Each number represents an amount to bet on each hand. The numbers represent a unit rather than an actual amount. So for example: if you are betting $5 a hand, one unit would be $5, two units would be $10, 3 units would be $15 and 6 units would be $30.
You always start by betting 1 unit and depending on how this hand plays out; will determine how many units to bet next. If you win the first bet, we follow the progression chart and bet 3 units on our second hand. If we win this hand we again follow our chart and bet 2 units on the next hand. If we win this hand, we would bet? You guessed it, 6 units on the following hand. If at any time you lose a hand, start the progression over and begin at 1 unit on the next hand.
This particular casino strategy offers the player large, short term returns. You stand a chance at winning some pretty big money if you hit a hot deck. Use this betting strategy and only place a bet on Bankers hand and you will be playing Baccarat at the most optimal level. Maybe the next time you play Baccarat, you will break the bank!