There are few casino games as old as baccarat, which is believed to have originated in the 15th century. Historically, it was much more popular in Europe than it was in America, but was once introduced to Las Vegas casinos in the 1920s. 1950 its popularity grew in the US Since then it has gone on to become one of the most played games out there.
Baccarat is often considered a high stakes game, as it was traditionally played only by high rollers. However, this is no longer the case and you can play baccarat in casinos around the world and online, for almost any bet you want. We have made a list of the best places to play the game online in this guide, and we have also provided some information on the different baccarat variants and explained the rules of the game.
There are several variants of baccarat, including some relatively new ones that have been developed by online casinos in recent years. Traditionally the three most popular versions of the game are Punto Banco (also known as North American Baccarat), Chemin De Fer, and Bacara Banque. Although the basic principle is basically the same in each of these, there are some differences.
The most notable difference is the fact that in Punto Banco there is a fixed structure for when the cards are dealt to the players and the dealer, while in the other two versions mentioned the players can make their own decisions. This means that there is some element of skill to these, whereas Punto Banco is essentially a game of pure chance.
Punto Banco is the baccarat variant played in most casinos around the world and also online. For this reason, we will focus on this version for the purposes of this guide.
Baccarat Punto Banco Rules
The rules of Punto Banco baccarat are really very simple. Two hands are dealt each round; a banker’s hand and a player’s hand. Only one player hand is dealt regardless of the number of players at the table, unlike many other casino card games, the player’s hand does not actually belong to a player as such. It is just a way to differentiate between the two hands.
At the beginning of each round all participating players must decide whether to bet on the banker’s hand to win, the player’s hand to win, or on a tie. That is the only decision that needs to be made, because all subsequent actions follow a fixed set of rules. At the end of the round, the winning hand is the one that is closest to being worth nine.
In baccarat, all cards are worth their face value, except for tens and face cards. They are worth zero. So a hand consisting of an ace, a three, and a queen would have a value of four (1 + 3 + 0). If the value of a hand is equal to ten or higher, then only the second digit of the value counts. Thus a hand consisting of a six, five, four and would have a value of five. The total value is 15, but 1 is ignored.
Once the players have placed their bets, two cards are dealt each from the banker’s hand and the player’s hand. If the value of the player’s hand is less than six, then a third card is dealt to that hand and if the value is six or above, then no more cards are dealt. The player’s hand is then complete and the game moves to the banker’s hand.
Whether or not a third card is dealt to the banker’s hand depends on a rather complicated set of specified rules. We’ve outlined these rules below for informational purposes, but you don’t really need to learn them in order to play baccarat. The dealer will automatically deal according to the rules and you don’t need to do anything.
- If a third card was not dealt in the player’s hand, then the banker’s hand receives a third card if its value is five or less and does not receive a card if its value is six or more.
- If the player’s hand is dealt a third card, then the banker’s hand receives a third card if any of the following conditions are met:
- The banker’s hand has a value of 2 or less.
- The banker’s hand has a value of 3 and the third card in the player’s hand was not an 8.
- The banker’s hand has a value of 4 and the third card in the player’s hand was 2-7.
- The banker’s hand has a value of 5 and the third card in the player’s hand was 4-7.
- The banker’s hand has a value of 6 and the third card in the player’s hand was 6-7.
- If some of these conditions are not met, then no more cards are dealt.
Once the deal is complete, the hands are compared and the hand that is closest in value to 9 is declared the winner. If you have bet on the winning hand, then you get paid at 1: 1. If you have chosen to bet on the banker’s hand, then the house takes a commission of 5% on your winnings. If the two hands are tied and you have not bet on the tie, your bet is returned. If the two hands are tied and you have bet on the tie, you are paid 8: 1.