Most players associate Baccarat with games of pure chance. This may be why some people really enjoy playing it, especially when they have a chance to enjoy touring a slew of real casinos in Vegas. Yet, other players don’t like this game because they can’t influence its gameplay using the player’s decisions. And if you think so too, you probably don’t know all the Baccarat versions.
Think of the old James Bond movies before Casino Royale of 2008, and the global poker boom. Mr. Bond was a skillful Baccarat player, and according to Ian Fleming, this was exactly the game he played with the vicious Chiffre. But if you look closely at the process of playing in the Bond films, they’re pretty different from what we’ve usually come to expect from Baccarat. Magnificent ladies decide to draw their cards, and then announce them in a lovely accent. So many players at the table. They raise the stakes. Bond is the dealer. What’s happening? Well, they’re simply playing a different kind of Baccarat! So, have a look at our guide below, where you can learn about all the different versions of this game.
This version of the Baccarat game is the most widespread in online casinos, whether with or without a live dealer. In this game, there are only two players — the “Player” (Punto) and the “Banker” (Banco). In other variations, including real-life casinos, up to 7 players are allowed to play by a single table. More often than not, you’ll get a Punto Banco variation under the majority of the casino games, which is simply called Baccarat.
This game is usually played with 6 or 8 decks. The Player and the Banker are dealt two cards each, and then the points are being calculated. Each face card or 10 is worth zero, the ace is worth one point, and other cards worth their face value. All the numbers are added, and if the points are greater than 9, the left number is dropped out. The hand which is closer to 9, wins the game. The third card is being drawn depending on the set of rules. For example, the Player draws when the points are 0-5 and stands if the points are 6-7.
The Banker, in turn, draws or stands, depending on what points the Player has got after the draw of the third card. Generally, on 7 points the Banker always stands, on Player’s 6-7 and on Banker’s 6, the Banker draws. With the Banker’s 5 and Player’s 4-7, the Banker draws, on 4 against Player’s 2-7 draws, and on 3 points, the Banker draws with the Player’s 0 through 9, except 8. These rules might seem difficult to memorize, but the dealer does his job anyway. Online, it’s even easier because everything happens automatically; plus, you don’t have to wait for the other players.
If the Player wins, and that was your bet, you get even money with a house edge of either 1.24% or zero – it depends on the particular casino setting the rules. If the Banker wins, and you bet on him, you get even money, minus the house edge. The amount of the house does differ, however, depending on the host casino; it might be as low as 1.06%, or as high as 5%! The Tie payout is bigger here – 8 to 1, and there’s also a significantly higher commission of 14.36%. So, the decision of whether or not to draw a third card is determined strictly by the rules; thus making this particular kind, of Baccarat a game of chance. With Baccarat Punto Banco, you can just relax and enjoy chasing your luck!
When you’re the one and only player against the dealer in the traditional Punto Banco Baccarat, this game is sometimes called mini-Baccarat. When you find such table IRL or online, you certainly want to go for lower house edges. That’s why you need to read the rules. So, the games where the Tie payout is 9 to 1 are more beneficial; because the commission for the win is 4.85% against 14.36%, in those games where the Tie pays out 8 to 1. And of course, if you find a table with a house edge for the Banker’s hand 1.06% against ones where it could be 5%, just go for it!
Inside the overall mini Baccarat, there are also variations such as EZ Baccarat. And, you’ll be glad to hear this: here, the 5% commission on the Banker’s winning hand is eliminated! This fact makes EZ Baccarat the most popular version in the US. Although, the inventor of this variant, Francisco TJ Tejeda, who used to be a live dealer, also came up with a few rules to make EZ more entertaining to play.
With all that said, here are the rules. Everything stays as in the traditional Baccarat, except that you can play along with up to 7 players against the Banker. Every time you bet on Banker and the hand wins, you get even money; except when it’s a three-card, 7-point hand. When this happens, it’s a push. The house edge on the Player bet and the Tie is the same as in traditional Baccarat; while the house edge on the Banker’s hand is not 5% and not zero, but rather 1.02%.
Interestingly enough, this game has got 2 peculiar side bets: Dragon 7, and Panda 8.
Dragon 7 – This is where you bet the Banker is going to have a three-card 7-point bet and is going to win over the Player’s hand. The payout is 40 to 1, with a house edge of 7.61%. So if this really happens, due to the rules, your original bet pushes, and your side bet pays 40 to 1.
Panda 8 – All the same: but on the Player’s total it will be a three-card, 8-point outcome. The payout is 25 to 1, with a house edge of 10.19%.
Super6 or, as some casinos also call it, Punto 2000, is another unconventional variant of Baccarat. Everything stays the same as with the original version, except for one special rule – the Banker wins at 6 points! And if this happens, the payout is only 50% of the bet. Otherwise, the house edge on a Banker bet is 1.46%, which is much lower than the 5% commission that’s being charged in many casinos. When applying these rules, the game pace at the land-based casino increases, and it’s more fun to play since the dealer doesn’t spend additional time calculating the commission. Although, this game is also risky, since, as you might have guessed it, 6 points may be put together out of a greater number of hands. That’s why 6 points happen more often, and the probability of losing money increases, as well.
This version becomes more interesting because here you can finally apply your skills and intuition. However, we highly recommend you don’t use all your skills if some of them include card-counting or edge-sorting; because those are against the law, and you don’t want to end up in court for doing such things like, Phil Ivey recently did.
Either the person who brings the highest stake or the first one to sit at the table is chosen as a Banker and stays in this role until either the shoe ends, or else he/she decides to leave. It’s also important to mention that only the banker is able to bet on the Banker’s hand, while all the other ones make stakes for the Player’s hand. The game is usually played with three decks. The player-Banker and the croupier sit in the middle, while the other players sit on the sides.
Then, everyone makes their stakes. The Banker goes first – his stake should be the highest, or else equal to the total of the overall wagers made by the punters. The Player may decide to “go bank,” which means making the stake equal to the Banker’s. If both Players on the left and right sides go bank, they then split this amount in two. If the total of the punters’ wagers is less than the Banker’s, other people standing around the table and watching the game may also make stakes to match the bankroll. And if the total of the punters’ stakes gets higher than the Banker’s wager, the latter might decide to either add to the value of the bankroll, to give up, or to stand at his value – then all the excess wagers will be given back to the punters who first made them.
After the cards are shuffled and cut, the Banker deals 1 card to the player on his right: one for the player on his left; and after that, one card for himself. Then he deals again until all the three get their two-card hands. Other players who sit by the table, as well as bystanders, make their stakes on the Player’s hand on either the left or the right side.
The next step of the game is to decide who wants to draw another card to help get closer to 9, and who wishes to stand. Of course, this happens if neither the Players nor the Banker has a natural win – that’s 9 points.
So, the player who sits to the right of the banker goes first, then goes the one to the left, and finally the banker himself. There are no rules of the draw here, unlike Punto Banco. Even so, you’re more likely going to want to stand at any hand of 6 and higher and draw when it’s 4 or lower. With 5 points it’s risky but possible to win, so go for it if you feel lucky! In this game, it’s even tougher for the Banker because he/she has to beat two Players’ hands.
Chemin de Fer means the railroad in French. At the time when this variation of Baccarat was the most popular game across all of France, the railroad was the fastest and the fanciest means of transport. So this type of Baccarat was called this way because of the fast pace of the game.
In this variant, the house uses 6 decks of cards. One player is chosen to be the Banker. The stakes are being made just like in the Baccarat Banque. The dealer gives two cards to one Player and the Banker (four cards in total). If neither of them gets 8 or 9, they decide whether they want to draw a third card. At first, the Player’s hand gets completed. This means that, in most casinos, the Player can draw more than one card to get a number closer to 9. Then, the Banker can draw, or stand – if he likes. After that, both show their cards, and the dealer decides who wins.
Should the Player win, all the punters get an even-money payout. Then, the role of the banker passes to the next player by the table. If it’s a tie, all wagers are staying the same and the game repeats. But if the Banker wishes to retire, the role of the Banker passes to another player, in order. If the latter refuses to match the current bank (there is usually a minimum stake for this one), then all the stakes are being reset due to the new bank amount.
Historians suggest that this version is like an early kind of Baccarat game that came to Europe with sailors from Asia, who had been playing it since the 17th century.
So in this version, the cards are being dealt to all players by the table and to the player to whom was assigned the Banker’s role. The winner is the one who’s got the biggest value, or else a natural 9. If it’s a tie, then the one who’s got equal value with fewer cards wins; while if both the number and the values are equal, then the Banker wins. Yet, in some casinos, the tie will mean a push as usual. The winner, who’s got 9, receives the payout of 3 to 1, winning with 8 brings 2 to 1, and winning with 7 or less brings even-money payout.
The third card, as well as other additional cards, are dealt face up. If the Player gets a 10 or a face card, they can then dismiss it and ask for another one. In earlier versions, the left digit when you go over 9 points, wasn’t dropped; and players could get busted, like in Blackjack.
Overall, some versions seem to appear more difficult than you thought they would; but in the end, more challenging rules make the game so much more exciting! Plus, as the bankroll grows higher and higher, as in more complicated Baccarat versions, you are getting more and more chances to take home an enormous wodge of money!
In a land-based casino, you can ask for a special booklet where all the rules are stated in short. Otherwise, there is always a croupier by each table, so if you don’t know what you should do now, they will always be there for you to consult, and they will help you with anything related to the game. Meanwhile, in an online casino, you don’t have to worry because all the difficult operations are going to be performed either by a live dealer or the computer software!
The most difficult are the ones where you have to make decisions about your stakes. If you’re the role of a Player and there are more punters who stake on your hand, then it turns out that you are responsible for their wagers. In this case, it is suggested to abide by the common rules of drawing at 0-5 and standing at 6 and higher.
The biggest Baccarat wins come where there are high-rollers in play. You need a banker who can suggest quite a significant bank amount for the game. And in simpler Baccarat versions you need to stake more if you want to win more; because they’re offering you even-money payouts.
All Baccarat strategies generally boil down to whether or not should you draw more cards. This way, you can either come closer to a win, or else be pushed back to the lowest number. You can research and study strategies for Baccarat, as there are quite a lot of them out there. And when you have more information about the possible steps you can take, you feel more confident once you actually start playing. Also, the danger of becoming a victim of emotional betting significantly decreases whenever you apply rational thinking.
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