Baccarat – Basics And Beyond

In a earlier article, I wrote that ALL you need to do while playing Baccarat is to decide whether to bet “Banker” or “Player”. I advised against betting on a tie, so that left ONLY that one decision to make.

Either place your bet in the area marked “Banker”, and if the bank wins, so do you.

Or, place your bet in the area marked “Player”, and if the player wins, you do also. Note: the ONLY difference in pay-out is that the Casino takes a 5% commission on all winning “Banker” bets, and none on winning “Player” bets.

My winning strategies will be exposed in an upcoming article, but before we can get to that, we must look at the game a little bit closer.

Both the Banker and the Player are dealt two cards. This is literal in the Pits, and only figurative at the mini-baccarat tables. That is to say, that in the pits, the shoe (holding eight decks) is passed around the table and everyone therefore in-turn becomes “the Banker”.

The “Player” is determined by the size of the “Player” bets. The person wagering the highest “Player” bet for the hand is therefore representing “The Player”.

On the mini-Baccarat tables, the dealer handles all cards. None are passed, and no one represents either the bank or the player.

The object of the game is to get closer to a hand total of Nine than your opponent.

Each card represents its own value:
Ace = 1
Face Cards and 10s = 0 (zero)
and all other cards represent their own face value.

First, add the value of your two cards:
Suits do not count
Jack + Six = 6
Three + Four = 7
Queen + Queen = 0
King + Ace = 1

Only single digit values are valid. So, if you get a total of 16 (Eight + Eight), you drop the left digit, and your total is therefore “Six”

A “Natural” is any first two cards totaling Eight or Nine.

Four examples:
Five + Four = 9
Ten + Eight = 8
Ace + Eight = 9
Nine + Nine = 8

So far, that’s fairly simple, and it will become very easy within a few hands of Baccarat.

Here’s where it gets confusing. Read on to learn (and perhaps memorize) the rules…. OR stop reading here, and ignore the following rules. You don’t need to know them – because the Dealers will tell you what to do, and on the mini tables, the Dealer does it for you.

Third Card Rules:

First, if the “Banker” OR the “Player” has a “Natural”, the winner is thereby determined, and play on that hand is finished.

Otherwise, the play continues with the Player having to move first:

Player Third Card Rule:

If the Player has a total of Five or less, a third card would be drawn for the player.

If the Player does NOT take a third card, the Banker would stand on its total of Six or higher, but take a third card on Five or less.

If the Player DOES take a third card, the Banker’s Third Card Rule kicks in:

Banker Third Card Rule:

If the Banker’s total is Two or less, a third card is drawn REGARDLESS of the Player’s third card.

If the Banker’s total is Three, the Banker draws a third card UNLESS the Player’s third card is an Eight.

If the Banker’s total is Four, the Banker draws a third card UNLESS the Player’s third card is: Zero, One, Eight, or Nine.

If the Banker’s total is Five, the Banker draws a third card, UNLESS the Player’s third card is: Zero, One, Two, Three, Eight or Nine.

If the Banker’s total is Six, the Banker draws a third card IF the Player’s third card is a Six or Seven.

If the Banker’s total is Seven, it stands.

If that sounds too complicated, then as I stated earlier…. Forget It! You simply need not know any of the Third Card Rules. You can’t change them, you can’t decide whether or not to use them… they are hard and fast rules that MUST be followed… but the good news is: It’s all done for you via the Dealers.

There are strategies however that will make for exciting wins for you in spite of the fact that you are powerless to alter the game’s outcomes. The strategies lie in How, When, and Where to bet your money. I’ll write about that next time.

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