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Baccarat

Baccarat has become a popular card game in many casinos. It is played using 5 to 8 decks of cards that are dealt from a shoe. There are two hands that are dealt by the dealer, the banker hand and the player hand. Prior to the cards being dealt, players must place their bets on either of these hands or a tie. All winning bets placed on a banker or dealer hand are paid 1:1. However, players should know that there will be a 5% commission that is charged on bank bets that make net odds. There are some casinos that will charge a lower commission rate, so this is something to look at before sitting at the table.baccarat

The payouts for a tie bet will also vary per casino. Some will pay 8:1 and others will pay 9:1. In the case of a tie, the bets that were placed on the banker and player hands will be returned to the player. When a bet has been placed, no further decisions are required. The banker and player hands are dealt in accordance with table rules. The result is a final hand consisting of two or three cards each.

The value of the hands in the game is determined by adding the value of the cards together. All tens and face cards have a value of zero and all other cards retain their face value. When the cards are totalled, only the last digit of the total number will be used. This means that all hands in Baccarat will have a value ranging from 0 to 9. The hand that has the highest value will win and hands with the same value will result in a tie.

The rules for the banker and player hands are different. For the banker hand, the banker must stand if the total of the first two cards is 7 or higher. If the total is 0, 1 or 2, the banker will be required to draw a card. If the total of the first cards equal between 3 and 6, the banker draw will depend on whether the player drew a card and what the value of that card was.

For the player hand, if the first two cards total more than 6, the player has to stand and cannot draw an additional card. If the total of the cards is 5 or lower, one additional card must be drawn.

These rules can be confusing for beginner players, but after playing a few hands, the game is fairly easy to understand. The betting system is also rather simple and the payouts are consistent. There are very few decisions to be made while playing the game. The rules are casino rules and will always remain the same. The player simply has to decide which of the three betting options they wish to wager on and the game will begin thereafter. Once the cards are dealt, players cannot alter their bets or the amount they have wagered on the outcome of the game.

Baccarat - some terms explained

Baccarat

Not only the name of the game, but also the worst possible hand. Any hand that has a value of zero (for example, a king and a jack) is known as 'baccarat'.

Banco

The banker, or the banker's hand

Big and small

A side bet on the number of cards that will be dealt. The 'big' side bet pays out if a total of five or six cards are dealt, and the 'small' side bets wins if only four cards are dealt.

Dragon bonus

Another side bet that is popular in Asian casinos that have baccarat. If you bet on the 'Dragon Bonus', you are betting on winning hand winning by at least four points. The bigger the win, the more the side bet pays up to a maximum of 30-1 for a win by a nine point margin.

Dragon seven

A side bet that pays 40-1 should a dealer have a three card hand worth seven, and the dealer's hand beats the player's hand.

Either pair

Another side bet that pays 5-1 should the player or the banker be dealt a pair.

La grande

One of the names for the best hand in baccarat, which is any hand with a value of nine, such as a nine and a queen. 'La Grande' is French for 'the big one'.

La petite

A name for the second best hand in baccarat, which is any hand with a value of eight, such as two fours. 'La Petite' is French for 'the little one'.

Lucky bonus

A side bet that pays 18-1 if the dealer has a hand worth six and still beats the player's hand.

Natural

Any hand that totals eight or nine. In punto banco or baccarat the player does not receive a third card if they are dealt a natural.

Panda eight

Another side bet. This one pays 25-1 if the player achieves a three card winning hand that totals eight.

Perfect pair

A side bet that pays 25-1 if either the player or the banker is dealt a hand containing two identical cards in both suit and denomination.

Punto

The player, or the player's hand.

Punto banco

Simply another name for baccarat.

Royal match

A rare side bet that pays 75-1 if the player or banker is dealt a king and a queen of the same suit, or 30-1 if either of them are dealt a king and a queen of different suits.

Them's the facts, now hit the tables

There's something of an air of mystery surrounding baccarat, as it's a game that isn't always readily available to 'normal' punters at real world casinos. Why there is this mystery is a wonder as, basically, baccarat or punco banco is a very simple game once you become accustomed to the 'third card' rules. Why not head to a baccarat table now and brush up your punto banco skills? Pick right, and you can be enjoying a nicely swollen 'banco' pretty swiftly!

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