Baccarat can seem like a complicated, mysterious game to lots of gamblers, which is rather odd, since it has now become a staple at most American casinos, whether online or land-based. It’s a reasonably basic card game – originating from the European game of ‘chemin de fer’ – that is determined by strict rules of play for both the dealer (also called banker) and the player. What makes this game simple is that the players don’t really have to master the rules to be able to play and enjoy baccarat baccarat. In fact, the only decision the player ever has to make is who to bet for and how much.
The game is very dissimilar from Blackjack in that players make decisions on their play even before the cards are dealt. The gambler must choose whether to bet on the banker, on his own hand, or on a tie. After that, they just have to sit back and let the action unfold before their eyes.
Baccarat is played with one objective: for the player to hold 2 or 3 cards which should count to 9 or as close to 9 as possible. If the player is dealt 2 cards and it totals to 9, the hand is called a “natural” and is considered unbeatable, even if the banker gets another 9. The second highest hand in baccarat is a 2-card hand totaling to 8, which is also called a “natural”. Neither the player or banker wins if a tie occurs.
All face cards have a value of zero in baccarat, as well as tens. Aces are valued as 1, and all other cards are worth their face value. If your hand totals a number over 10, the 10 is disregarded. For example, if you have a hand of a 5 and a 9 (totaling 14), the value of your hand will be counted as 4, not 14. So all hands are scored from 0 to 9, without any busts.
Six or eight decks of cards are used in a casino baccarat game. The cards are all shuffled and then placed in a covered box, known as a “shoe”. One of the formalities of baccarat includes giving each of the players a chance to handle the shoe. But don’t worry; if you’re new at the game and unsure what to do exactly, the banker is always there to guide you. A player handling the shoe at that moment is expected to bet with the bank, not against it. If a player wishes to decline handling the shoe, he or she is free to do so, of course.
A game of baccarat begins with 2 cards being dealt to the player, and 2 more cards to the banker. Depending on the initial value of the hand, the player and banker may choose to be dealt one more card to improve the value of their hands. Only one additional card may be dealt, unlike Blackjack which allows the player to hit as many cards as he wants before he wants to stand or busts. The winning hand in baccarat is the one whose count is 9 or as close to 9 as possible.