The game of Baccarat (pronounced BAH kah rah) has long been associated with wealth and style. It is the game secret agent James Bond plays when matching wits with villains at the casino. It is the game Robert Redford as billionaire John Gage is playing when Demi Moore discovers him in the movie “Indecent Proposal.” But you don’t have to be a billionaire or a secret agent to play Baccarat. You can play it in any casino and thanks to the Internet, in the comfort of your own home.
บาคาร่า is one of the simplest games in the casino to play, for the basic reason that all of your decisions are made for you. It also has some of the lowest House edge in the casino, less than one and a half percent, so if you are a newcomer to casino gaming, this may be a game to try.
The game is played with a Player against a Banker. Although you will obviously be a player, you don’t need to place your bet on the Player area. You are welcome to bet either that the Player will win or that the Banker will win. You can also bet that it will be a tie at 8 to 1, but this bet gives a large edge to the House.
The Player and the Banker are each dealt a two card hand, with a possible third card dealt depending on your hand’s value. Aces are worth 1, face cards and tens are worth 0, all other cards are face value. Hands have only a single digit value, if you go over 9, you subtract the tens place from your hand, so for example a hand totaling 16 would count as 6 and a hand totaling 23 would count as 3. If anyone is dealt an 8 or a 9, this is called a “Natural” and whoever is dealt the Natural wins. If the Player and Banker both have a Natural, it is a tie except in the case of a Natural 9 beating a Natural 8.
If the Player’s two card hand is 5 or less he gets an additional card. If it is 6 or 7, he stands and if it is 8 or 9 he has a Natural. The Banker also gets an additional card if he has a 5 or less, unless the Player has drawn a card, in which case there are some exceptions: If the Banker’s two card total is 3, he does not draw if the Player’s third card was an 8. If it is 4, he does not draw if the Player’s third card was a 0, 1, 8 or 9. If the Banker’s total is 5, he does not draw if the Player’s third card was 0, 1, 2, 3, 8 or 9. If the Banker’s total is 6 he only draws if the Player’s third card was a 6 or 7. In all other cases the Banker stands. You do not have to remember any of this; the casino will take care of it for you.
These bets pay off at even money, so the House edge comes from the chance of a tie. In addition, since the drawing rules favor the Banker slightly, winning on a Banker bet requires a five percent commission paid back to the house on the win.
In a live Casino, lower stakes players should look for a “Mini-Baccarat” table which has the same rules other than the lower stakes. Online, if the site you play supports Baccarat, there will be a link or menu directing you to the Baccarat section of the site.