Possibly the greatest aspect to the popular card game of Baccarat is the overwhelming simplicity of the format it relies on. Betting is a simple process and the game can be enjoyed by even the most novice of card players.
The most popular format of the game is Mini Baccarat and it is likely that this is the only format most players will ever see. Players do not handle the cards while playing this version of Baccarat although the European version does allow them to be touched.
When betting, a player can choose to back his own hand, the hand of the dealer or a tie.
When betting on his own hand, a player faces a house edge of 1.24%. Back the dealer and that edge diminishes to just 0.6%. Ties give the house an advantage of almost 5% and are best avoided. One of the reasons Baccarat remains so popular is because it gives players a good chance of beating the casino because of the small edges on offer.
The object of the game is to compile a two or three card hand that totals closer to nine points than the hand of the banker. Aces counts as one, tens and picture cards count as zero while all other cards count as their own value.
If a player totals more than ten points, ten points are dropped from the total to give a final Baccarat score. Therefore, if a player draws a 9 and 7, he scores 16 then drops ten points for being over the ten point limit. This gives a final Baccarat score of 6.
The rules of the game are also simple to follow:
• The banker and the player receive two cards each.
• If either the player or the banker hits 8 or 9, both players must automatically stand without exception.
• If the player totals 6 or 7, the player must stand without exception.
• When the player stands, the banker must hit on totals of 5 or less.
• If the players hand totals 5 or less, the banker automatically hits the player with a third card.
If the player receives a third card, the banker also receives a third card based on the following:
• In case the bankers hand totals 0, 1 or 2, the banker always hits a third card.
• In case the bankers hand totals 3, the banker always hits a third card as long as the players third card is 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9 or 0 but not 8.
• In case the bankers hand totals 4, the bankers always hits a third card if the player hits a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 on his third card.
• In case the bankers hand totals 5, the bankers always hits a third card if the player hits a 4, 5, 6 or 7 on his third card.
• In case the bankers hand totals 6, the bankers always hits a third card if the player hits a 6 or 7 on his third card.
• In case the bankers hand totals 7, the bankers must stand.
Once all the final cards are dealt, the winner is the player scoring closest to nine points.