Baccarat is also known as Punto Banco. Both terms can be used interchangeably, but there are few rule variations ergo few versions of baccarat. Experienced players can spot the similarities between baccarat, blackjack and craps. First and foremost, this is a card game of chance. Punto is the player, Banco is the Banker therefore Punto Banco. Punto Banco is also the term for North American Baccarat. It can be a rather rewarding game if you have Lady Luck smiling at you, otherwise it may not be as lucrative as you’ve hoped. The bottom line is it is an entertaining game that’s persisted throughout the years. Today you can find baccarat tables at the majority of online casinos. This is the game that James Bond loves to play. It’s an elegant game to say the least. Elite players are the majority of the players that can be spotted at a Baccarat tables, regardless of the version at hand.
This card game can be played with 4, 6 or 8 decks. Usually online casinos offer 8 deck baccarat tables. Due to the high number of decks involved card counting is not a reliable option. It’s possible, but not worthwhile. If you do attempt to count the cards you’ll end up being frustrated and the fun factor will be gone.
We mentioned earlier how baccarat is a mix of craps and blackjack. Let’s start with the craps part.
Baccarat is played on a large table with a maximum of 12 or 14 players. One player plays versus the bank or the house. The remaining players can bet on the player, Punto bet, they can bet on the bank, Banco or place a bet that there will be a tie. If a player place a bet on the player and the player does win, the player receives his bet and an additional amount equal to the bet that was placed. In simple words, this kind of bet pays 1 to 1. The same principle applies if the player places a bet on the banker. Some casinos will charge a 5% commission on banker bets. We advise you to carefully go through the game rules to see if there’s a commission.
As you can see the bet rules are rather similar to what we can see in a craps game.
Now let’s take a look at what baccarat has similar with blackjack.
First of all, this is a card game, secondly, the cards have the same values as they do in blackjack with the exception of the Ace. In baccarat the Ace has a value of 1 only. That’s pretty much it. The most confusing part is how the outcome is determined. People who are not familiar with the game find this rather odd.
All cards from 2 to 9 have a face value. Cards like 10, the Jack, the Queen and the King are called baccarat cards. All of them have a value of 10. Both the player and the banker receive two cards. All cards are then revealed. Let’s say the player received a 6 and 7 and the banker has a 4 and 6. In baccarat the player’s hand has a value of 3 and the banker has a 0. After we add up the values of the cards we remove the left digit, resulting in values of 3 and a 0. In this case the player is the winner and all other players who have placed a bet on the player to win will profit. This is a basic example and a situation that’s most likely to happen. In the event of a tie, all bets are pushed in other words returned to the players who placed them. Players who’ve placed a tie bet are paid out 9 to 1 or 8 to 1, depending on the house rules.
However, things get complicated due to certain special rules. It’s pretty much the same as in blackjack when the dealer must hit on a hand of 16. This time around the rules are trickier, but fairly easy to understand once you realize what’s actually going on. Note, you don’t have to learn these rules by heart as the dealer will instruct you if necessary.
There are few special occasions that narrow down the available courses of action. For instance, both the player and the banker will stand if they have a hand total value of 8 or 9. The rule is simple and applies to all versions of baccarat.
Furthermore, if the player’s total is 5 or less he/she must hit. In all other cases the player will stand.
Lastly, if the player stands, the banker will hit on 5 or less. The banker will hit on 6 and 7 if the player hits.
The game we described above is the Big Table Baccarat. However, not all baccarat games you’ll come across will be of this kind. Other types of baccarat allow for a much faster gameplay, making the whole experience more exciting. For instance, mini baccarat allows the dealer to reveal all cards immediately. The player can then decide if there’s going to be another card dealt or not. This type of baccarat is usually played with 6 decks.
The lower number of decks in play the easier it is to predict the outcome and place the appropriate bet.
There’s also a version called Midi Baccarat. In essence, it’s a mix of a Big Table Baccarat and Mini Baccarat. The odds to win are exactly the same in all types of baccarat assuming the game is played with the same number of decks.
EZ Baccarat is a unique type of baccarat where players have the opportunity to place two additional side bets. One of them is called the Dragon7 and the other is named Panda8.
Panda7 bet wins when other bets are pushed, that is when the bank hand is pushed. This bet pays staggering 40 to 1. However, it occurs only twice per shoe on average.
Panda8 bet wins when the player wins with 3 cards with a total hand value of 7. This bet also pays considerably more than other bets of 25 to 1. You can expect to win with this bet 3 times on average per one shoe. The rest of the rules are the same and there isn’t a 5% commission when the bank wins.
In Punto2000 the same rules apply as they do to the Classic Baccarat, but with a minor considerable deviation. There’s no 5% commission, but when the banker wins with regardless of the number of cards the player loses half of the bet, meaning only 50% is returned. This variation of baccarat is known as Baccarat Super6.
Chemin De Fer in French means railway or iron road. Don’t get confused by the odd name. It’s named this way due to the fact that the cards used to be kept in iron boxes. It originated in France and it still sees some play in its country of origin.
This type of Baccarat is played on an oval table with 6 decks. One of the players has the role of the banker and the dealer, whereas the rest are called punters. The player who has placed the highest bet decides the punters’ course of action. The dealer then deals 4 cards, two for the banker and two for the players.
The rest of the rules are pretty much the same. Once the rounds is over the next player clockwise is the banker. If the players win the banker’s wager is split amongst the punters. If the banker wins, he collects the punters’ wagers.
Even if you still can’t comprehend the game rules, but you want to give it a try, you can’t make any detrimental mistakes. Baccarat comprises elements of craps, blackjack and roulette. It is a game of chance which makes it one of the most thrilling casino games you can play today. If you want to try some of the side bets you can find EZ Baccarat. Unfortunately, online casinos mostly offer mini baccarat and classic baccarat.
Going for the Tie bet may seem lucrative, but we don’t recommend it. At first it’s recommended to place bets only until you get the hang of it.
Baccarat is the game of the elite. It’s an elegant game devised to meet the needs of high rollers. In land based casinos it’s rather common to see a player losing or winning tens of thousands of dollars. Tired of roulette wheels and card counting in blackjack? Hit the baccarat table and explore new horizons!