Baccarat, also known as Punto Banco, originated in the late 1400’s. It was reputed to be a favourite amongst aristocrats due to being played at high stakes, and often in a separate room away from regular punters. Today, this strategic card game is equally popular amongst high- and regular rollers alike, and thanks to modern technology can be played directly from your PC or mobile device in different types of variations.
Baccarat is played on a table roughly the same size as a craps table.
3 Dealers are required and a playing session can include up to 14 players.
Before play kicks off, players need to decide whether to bet on the banker (banco), the player (punto) or a tie, and then simply watch the action unfold during the actual game.
The objective is to bet for the side that scores the closest to a 9 point total.
Card values in Baccarat are:
Ace = 1
2 to 9 = face value
10, Jack, Queen and King = 0
Two hands are dealt, sometimes by players in turn, sometimes by the dealer only. Depends on the casino.
Players then have to bet which side will win or if there will be a tie.
Players can choose not to deal and pass the deck on, but each player, including the dealer, has to bet.
When the bank wins, the dealership remains with the player, and when the player wins the dealership is passed on.
Each hand is made up of either 2 or 3 cards. 2 cards are placed face down under the dealer-shoe, and 2 are handed face down to the player who wagered the most on a player (punto) win.
The punto player hands the cards back to the dealer after looking at them, and one of the dealers will announce the winner.
The game is structured in such a way that players can never go bust and overreach 9; The ten value of each hand falls away and only the last number is in play. So where a 7 and 9 is dealt together the total becomes 6 instead of 16.
In cases where either the bank or a player is dealt an 8 or 9 face card, the hand becomes “neutral” and no further card is added.
A tie is announced should the value be the same on each end, and when neither party have reached either tie or neutral, a third card needs to be dealt. There are very specific rules attached to third-card deals, and it can only occur when:
A hand is declared neutral.
A players’ hand value is less than or equal to 5.
A player refuses a third card, then the bank’s hand will stand on 6, but will draw a third card on 5 or less.
The bank’s total is 2 or less, irrespective of the player’s third card.
The bank’s total is 3, unless the player’s third card is 8.
The bank’s total is 4, unless the player’s third card is 0, 1, 8 or 9.
The bank’s tot al is 5, and the player’s third card is 4, 5, 6 or 7.
The bank’s total is 6, and the player’s third card is 6 or 7.
The bank stands on a total of 7.
Top 10 tips to win at Baccarat
Don’t ever make the “tie” bet
Baccarat has a very low house edge of 14.4 % on the tie bet, meaning you stand to lose 14.4 coins on every 100 coins wagered.
Always bet the Banker first
This is because the Banker wins just over 50% of the time.
Keep betting with the Banker
If the Banker goes on a winning streak from your first bet, then keep going until it runs out.
Wait one decision after the Banker takes a loss before betting again
Whatever the outcome of that decision is, that is your bet. Bear in mind that if it’s a tie neither the Banker nor the player loses.
Regard tie bets as non-bets
Treat tie bets as if they don’t exist and continue to bet the dominant banker or player win in a sequence.
When Player loses to Banker, bet on Banker
Don’t wait out the next decision, when Banker wins you bet the Banker immediately. When Banker loses again, revert to step 4.
Check the amount of decks in play
Note that the house edge is always directly proportional to the amount of card decks put in the shoe, so technically, the fewer decks there are, the better your odds.
Avoid taking notes
This seems to be a tendency during live dealer games where players write down each and every result. This exercise is pointless, and will only frustrate you more when losing bets.
Be cautious when playing Mini-Baccarat
In the mini version of the game only the dealer deals, making the game much faster and increasing the amount of decision made per hour from roughly 40 to 200!
Manage your Bankroll
Have a budgeted amount you want to play per session, and take decent breaks in-between.