Insightful Baccarat Guide

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Something You Should Know about Baccarat

When looking for a card game with which to start your gambling experience, there is no better option than baccarat. This casino game, which is sometimes called punto banco, owes its worldwide prominence among novice card gamblers primarily due to its simple gameplay. The most extreme effort you need to apply to baccarat is to place a bet in order to reach the game’s goal: score as close as possible to 9 points with 2 or 3 cards.

As far as experienced baccarat players are concerned, baccarat can be tremendously lucrative. The baccarat house edge of only 1.06% makes the game more advantageous compared to other casino games like slot machines or roulette.

Despite baccarat’s easy-to-play concept and low house edge, you still should know a decent amount of information if you want to succeed in the game – let us be your insightful guide to baccarat. We will disclose all the intricacies of the game, addressing such issues as how to play, cards and their value, betting options, odds and strategies and, of course, how to win!

A Bit About Baccarat

Baccarat is a popular card game that is widely played from pole to pole, and it can be found in almost every online and real-world casino. Unlike blackjack, in baccarat you don’t play against the dealer; instead, you’re up against your own luck. The croupier suggests you make a wager on the field you think will be winning after the cards are dealt. If your placed bet is winning, then you can increase your initial stake up to 9 times!

Game History

It is unknown who invented baccarat. Although many European countries lay claim to its creation, it most likely originated in France or Italy. In Spain (and many other places all over the world), baccarat is known as punto banco (this title is popular in many casinos), and in France, you may hear “chemin de fer” (meaning “chemmy”). In other countries, baccarat is played under the name of macao.

According to the most prevalent origin story, Italy’s Felix Falguiere created baccarat. In the Middle Ages, baccarat was played using a Tarot deck. In 1490, the game migrated to France. The French capital’s elite became rather interested in the new entertainment, and soon this game became their main way to have fun. Only members of the upper class could afford to play baccarat.

The legend says that Falguiere invented baccarat by taking the Etruscan ritual of worshiping the nine gods as its basis. The result of this ritual depended on the roll of a die, which determined the fate of young maidens. The maiden was forbidden to participate in any religious rites and holidays if she tied 7 or 6. If the numbers 8 or 9 came up, she had to become a priestess. But if the young girl had a number less than 6, she was destined to drown in the sea. While baccarat’s rules are practically the same today, the game’s cruel and determinist aspects fell into oblivion.Play Baccarat

Betting & Winnings

There are three types of bets in baccarat, and there is a special pay rate for each of them:

  • Punto (Player): The bet on a player’s win is paid at a 1:1 ratio
  • Banco (Banker): The bet on a banker’s win is paid at the ratio of 19:20 (in other words, 1:1 with the deduction of 5% commission)
  • Tie: The bet on a tie suggests that both the banker and the player have hands composed of the same number of points; this bet is paid at the ratio of 8:1 (sometimes 9:1)

Please note that the 5% commission is only paid provided that you win a Banco bet. If you lose, you owe nothing to the house.

Card Combinations and Their Values

The card combination in baccarat is defined by the value of hands, with the highest totaling 9 points. If a hand consists of cards valued at 8 points, it is also considered to be one of the winning combinations of cards. Both hands whose total is either 8 or 9 are called natural hands.

Just like any other casino card game, each card from a deck has a certain value. Tens, Jacks, Queens and Kings are worth 0, while aces count as 1. Cards from 2 to 9 have the point value of their faces. If you’re dealt cards whose total value exceeds 9 points, then, according to baccarat rules, your hand counts as the second digit of the sum of the received cards. For example, when you’re dealt a 7 and an 8 of any suit – the total value of which is 15 – your hand counts as 5. Another guideline to count the value of a hand that is worth over 9 points is to subtract 10 from the total sum of the cards. Using the already mentioned example, subtracting 10 from 15 gives the same result – 5 points.

Baccarat Gameplay

It is not necessary for you to rack your brains trying to figure out how to play baccarat. Furthermore, you aren’t virtually involved in the game process, either, as the dealer makes all the “moves” and “decisions.” All you have to do is keep in mind that the main objective of the game is to wager on a hand you reckon will have the closest value to nine; or place your bet on a tie, if you think that the hands will have an equal total. However, if you want to reassure yourself that there is no conspiracy against you – either from a land-based gambling establishment or an online casino – then you should become familiar with the following baccarat rules.

Before the beginning of each baccarat coup (game round), you should place a bet within the minimum and maximum limits of the given table. Next, the Dealer draws 2 face-up cards – each pair on the Player’s and Banker’s fields – and calls out the value of each hand. If either “Punto” or “Banco” has a hand worth 8 or 9 points (aka natural hands), it wins; otherwise, the Dealer acts according to the following baccarat rules, which are mostly determined by the Player’s cards:

The Player’s Third Card

  • If the Player’s first two cards have a total of 8 or 9 (natural hand), it stands
  • If the Player’s first two cards have a total of 6 or 7, it stands
  • If the Player’s hand has a total of 5 or less, it receives an additional third card

Apart from these rules, there are also occasions when the Dealer can place an additional card on the “Banco” field. The decision as to whether the third card should be given to the Banker depends on the Player’s third card:

The Banker’s Third Card

  • If the Banker’s first two cards have a total of 3 and the Player’s third card is any other than 8, the Banker draws an additional card. Otherwise, it stands
  • If the Banker’s first two cards have a total of 4 and the Player’s third card is from 2 to 7, the Banker draws an additional card. Otherwise, it stands
  • If the Banker’s first two cards have a total of 5 and the Player’s third card is from 4 to 7, the Banker draws an additional card. Otherwise, it stands
  • If the Banker’s first two cards have a total of 6 and the Player’s third card is either 6 or 7, it draws a third card. Otherwise, it stands
  • If the Banker’s hand has a total of 7, it stands
  • If the Banker’s hand is natural (total 8 or 9 points), it stands
  • If the Player doesn’t take a third card (stands on 6 and more points), the Banker has to stand on 6

After the cards have been drawn accordingly, the Banker’s and the Player’s hands are compared. Whichever hand has more points wins the game. If their sums are equal, a tie is declared. Next, the Dealer makes payments, if any, collects the cards and the game restarts.

How Baccarat Players Remember the Rules

There is little doubt that the gameplay of baccarat is simple and straightforward. But when it comes to memorizing all the “decisions” the Dealer makes with a particular combination of cards, it can become quite a struggle. Therefore, in order to prevent you from stuffing your head with such a massive number of baccarat rules, land-based gambling establishments provide you with the instructions on request, and online casinos offer a guide to play baccarat right in the game’s settings. So, baccarat players don’t even have to remember all the ways to play the game – the casinos take care of that.

Game Variations

The rules described above refer to the American version of the game, but there are several other baccarat variations, including baccarat Chemin de fer, European baccarat, Mini baccarat, and Baccarat en Banque. Punto banco itself is played in different variations represented by Midi Punto, Mini Punto, Super6 (aka Punto 2000) and EZ Baccarat.

Nevertheless, the objective of each game variant remains the same: get 9 – or close to 9 – points. The only distinctions you can encounter while playing other versions of baccarat are:

  • The number of decks in a shoe (from 1 to 8)
  • The number of participants
  • Dealing rules (Baccarat en Banque provides three hands: two Players and one Banker);
  • Card drawing rules (the Dealer can draw a third card according to different rules, depending on the type of baccarat – European and Chemin de fer)
  • Payments (the payment rules and amounts may also vary; EZ Baccarat offer 40:1 payment on a special bet)
  • House edge (if a particular version of baccarat has different payment rules, the casino advantage also varies)
  • The role of the Dealer (it can be permanent, as in a casino, or this role can be alternately taken on by all the Players)
  • Bank and bets (the casino sets the bets range, and if the game is played between the participants, the bank is formed using their bets; the winner takes it)
  • Equipment (the gaming table layout depends on the game variation)

There are also other differences, so baccarat players should make themselves well acquainted with the rules of the game variation they play.

Baccarat Odds and Strategy

As we already mentioned, the game of baccarat has several betting options: Player, Banker and Tie. Each bet entails certain advantages for the house, although they are extremely small compared to other casino games, like slots or blackjack.

If you place a wager on the Player field (Punto), the casino has an advantage of only 1.24%, while a wager on the Banker field (Banco) benefits the house as little as 1.06%. The riskiest – and at the same time the most enticing bet – is made on the Tie field, which provides the casino with a house edge of 14.4%. Overall, while playing baccarat either online or in brick-and-mortar gambling establishments, the most favorable bet is the Banker. But the 5% commission does do a little pain in the back.

The question that may plague you, like the ache caused by the 5% commission deducted after a win on the Banker, is “How do I win at baccarat?” Digging deep into the game’s essence, applying our great mathematical skills and analyzing all the ins and outs of baccarat, we can confidently say that there is no particular method that would allow you to beat the game. Baccarat is a casino game entirely based on luck, meaning that you can’t change the outcome of a coup, regardless of your experience or skills.

However, there are baccarat strategies (or, rather, baccarat tips) that may help you manage your bankroll wisely and increase your chances of winning in the long run.

The Martingale Baccarat Strategy

The Martingale betting system is the most famous and simple baccarat strategy. According to the Martingale, the first bet should be made on “Banker.” In case of a loss, the next bet must be doubled, as should the following bets, until the first win. After winning, a player must revert to the initial wager and apply the strategy again.

The example below shows you how to win at baccarat with a $10 bet. In the depicted case, you’ll be $10 in the red.

Insightful Baccarat Guide

There is a chance that the maximum bet limit will be reached before this scheme begins to work; as such, the Martingale is effective when your first bet is fairly moderate. On the other hand, you can try your luck and win a tidy little sum if you use this baccarat casino game strategy placing a decent first bet. It’s also worth mentioning that the Martingale can be applied to any type of bet that has even money odds.

The Fibonacci Baccarat Strategy

The Fibonacci strategy is less severe than the Martingale and enables you to more cautiously manage your bankroll. It’s based on the Fibonacci Sequence – a sequence of numbers, each of which is the sum of the previous two. It may sound a bit confusing, so we have provided a couple of examples to illustrate the strategy.Insightful Baccarat Guide

As you see, the Fibonacci Sequence starts with number 1. When applying this strategy to the baccarat casino game, you should divide your bankroll into many units and place the first money bet equal to one unit. Provided that you lose the first wager, you should follow the sequence and once again place a bet that amounts to one unit. If you catch a losing streak, then your subsequent bets will be 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 and so on.

Insightful Baccarat Guide

When you win a bet, the Fibonacci strategy suggests that you take two steps back in the sequence and place a corresponding bet of monetary units. For example, let’s say you’ve failed to win until the sixth number (8) in the Fibonacci Sequence. In this case, after reaching the 8 unit win, your next bet should be comprised of 3 units (3 – 5 – 8). The strategy is considered to be implemented when you return to a 1 unit bet.

Now, let’s get down to the most interesting part of the Fibonacci Baccarat strategy, which will help you understand how it works in practice. Let’s imagine that one unit bet is worth $20.

Insightful Baccarat Guide

So, let’s assume that you allegedly lost your first six bets ($400 in total) and won the seventh ($260), resulting in having $140 in the red. Then, in accordance with the Fibonacci baccarat strategy, you wager $100 (two units backward in the sequence) and let it be a winning bet, as well. So, thus far, you have lost $40 in total ($140 – $100). Afterward, if you win the $40 bet, the strategy has already paid off, and it isn’t even yet complete. Reaching the first unit would bring you a $20 profit. That’s an illustrative example of the viability of the Fibonacci baccarat strategy.

The d’Alembert Baccarat Strategy

The d’Alembert baccarat strategy is the safest betting system in terms of maintaining control over your budget. It suggests you choose a betting unit that should be increased by one after every loss or decreased by the same number of a unit when a win occurs. Let’s consider the following example, in which we selected $4 as a betting unit:

Insightful Baccarat Guide

The d’Alembert is an excellent strategy to win at baccarat casino games provided that you manage to revert to your initial bet after a losing streak. In the preceding example, you’ll gain a $20 profit if the eighth and ninth bets are winning. Moreover, if the very first of several bets are successful, your income will be way more than $20.

Winning Streaks

Some gamblers adhere to a theory that keeping track of the outcome of each coup is a great way to win at baccarat in the long run. They believe that wins on either the punto or banco field come in streaks, and therefore they track the results of each hand. Numerous land-based casinos even provide such players with scorecards, and online gamblers can use a simple sheet of paper. However, this “strategy” is no more than a mere lucky happenstance, and the players who believe in it appear to be significantly superstitious.

The baccarat strategies described above do not guarantee a 100% win. The game is entirely based on luck, meaning there are no particular methods to beat the game (unlike poker tricks, which are significantly useful when playing poker). However, these schemes can assist you in keeping control over your budget and increase your chances of winning in baccarat.

Famous Baccarat Players

Legendary successful baccarat players have attracted a large following of fans due to their outstanding achievements in this exciting game.

  1. Akio Kashiwagi is a Japanese businessman from Tokyo who made his fortune by playing baccarat. He ran up a winning streak, and his bets were sometimes as much as $200,000. However, after several months, fortune failed him. He lost $10 million, for which he forfeited his life.
  2. The Greek Syndicate consisted of a Greek, a Frenchman and an Armenian. Nicholas Zografos was central to their company. Nicholas had great mathematical abilities and could calculate what the next card in the deck would be. Thanks to his talent, the Greek Syndicate members constantly won at Baccarat in numerous casinos, while Zografos, apparently, was the best baccarat player in the world.
  3. The legendary James Bond, Agent 007, was instrumental in baccarat gaining popularity. Since 1965, Ian Fleming’s books and movie character has always played baccarat, most notably in Dr. No, Casino Royale, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and For Your Eyes Only.

FAQ

How do I play baccarat?

Baccarat is a simple game with fairly simple rules. You can either just sit at the table and allow the croupier to do all the work or you can follow the list of the rules.

How do I win at baccarat?

In order to win at baccarat, you should bet on the hand that will total 9 (or as close to 9) points. Another winning option is to wager on a Tie if you think that the value of the cards will be equal.

How many decks of cards does the baccarat shoe have?

A shoe usually contains 8 decks of cards. In other variations of the game, there may be from 1 to 8 decks.

What is the baccarat house edge?

The baccarat house edge is a theoretical percentage of the wagers the house (casino) wins over a certain period of time. The baccarat house edge is 1.06% for the Banker, 1.24% for the Player and 14.4% for the Tie.

What is a coup?

A baccarat coup is a game round.

Can I win using baccarat strategies?

Baccarat strategies were developed to help you manage your money efficiently, and thus increase your chances of winning. However, keep in mind that the strategies do not guarantee you a 100% win.

How many cards can be dealt out in baccarat?

In baccarat you receive only 2 or 3 cards. The decision on whether a third card should be dealt depends primarily on the Player’s hand.

What is Punto Banco?

Punto banco is the most popular variant of baccarat.

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