The Basics: How to Play Baccarat
Baccarat is a game that most people know, yet few are familiar with. It is an insanely popular casino betting card game in Asia, made famous by the 007 movies. It’s a rather fun and easy game to pick up and you’ll only need a few minutes to get caught up on all the rules. When you decide to play casino online, you’ll have this article to help you understand Baccarat basic rules. Check other casino guides published on Nitrogen Sports Blog for strategies and tips.
Baccarat, which is also known as “Punto Banco”, has a basic objective: bet on the hand that when added together will be closest to 9. But the devil is in the details. Let’s elaborate.
Baccarat basic rules
The only control you have in Nitrogen Baccarat is where to place your wager. Once all players have placed their bets, four cards will be dealt: two for the “Player” and two for the “Banker”.
There are three possible “winning” outcomes in Baccarat:
- Player hand.
- Banker hand.
- Tie between the two hands.
Remember; you’re trying to bet on the side that when added together, is closest to 9 (or you’re betting on the tie, which we’ll talk about later). Choose the correct side, and you win. It’s that easy.
But Baccarat deals with card values differently. Cards that are numbered 2 to 9 are worth their face value.
So a 2 is really a 2 and a 5 is really a 5. However, 10s and face cards are valued as ‘zeros’, while aces (A) are worth ‘one’.
Let’s run a scenario: you place a bet for the Banker to win the next hand. The Player is dealt a 5 and a K, while the Banker is dealt an A and an 8.
Player hand: 5 + 0 (K) = 5 points
Banker hand: 1 (A) + 8 = 9 points
The banker hit a 9 (also called a “natural”). Great for you, because that’s the side you bet on. You won the hand. Don’t forget that the whole point of Baccarat is betting on the side that will add up closest to 9.
In some cases, a total hand value can reach double digits, which would look bad at first glance is the objective of the game is to get close to 9. But instead of just busting over like in Blackjack, Baccarat offers a shot at redemption. Let’s say the Banker is dealt a 4 and an 8.
According to the rules above, this results in 12 (4 + 8 = 12). Here’s where another rule comes in: any total sum that reaches two digits will get rid of the left digit. In the example above, the 12 becomes a 2 (1 | 2 w/ 1 removed).
The hand’s not over yet: the banker still has a shot at getting close to 9. A third card is dealt. But there are special rules for that as well.
Third card (drawing) rules
The third card rule happens automatically, so you don’t have to memorize all the third card rules to play, but it’s best to understand what’s going on when a draw happens and a third card is needed.
Player hands are really simple. A Player hand with a total of 6 to 9 will stand regardless of anything. But if the total for a Player hand is from 0 to 5, a third card is automatically dealt.
If a Player stands after just 2 cards, the Banker must follow the exact same rules as above and may only draw a third card according to the Player’s rules. That’s the easy part.
It gets much more complex when the Player has to take a third card. It’s then that the Banker has to play by a complicated set of drawing rules.
- If the Banker’s hand is 2 or less, it doesn’t matter what the Player’s third card is; the Banker draws a third card.
- If the Banker’s hand is 3, unless the Player’s third card is 8; the Banker draws a third card.
- If the Banker’s hand is 4, unless the Player’s third card is 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7; the Banker draws a third card.
- If the Banker’s hand is 5, unless the Player’s third card is 4, 5, 6, 7; the Banker draws a third card.
- If the Banker’s hand is 6, unless the Player’s third card is 6 or 7; the Banker draws a third card.
- If the Banker’s hand is 7; the banker stands.
This may seem needlessly complicated, but Baccarat evolved as a parlor game for French aristocrats who probably had nothing better to do than to invent complex drawing rules. Probably.
In the event that both the Player and the Banker tie, those who placed their bets for the tie are paid out 8-to-1. Bets made against the Player or the Banker are returned as a push.
Super 6 or Punto 2000
In Super 6, if a Banker’s hand is 6, the bettor is only paid 50% of their bet, but if the Banker wins with any other hand, no house cut is taken and the bettor is paid full even money.
In this variation, you’re getting paid a bit more for each Banker win, but run the risk that if the Banker draws a 6 and wins, you’ll only take 50% of your winnings.
Baccarat roadmaps like Big Road are tools to help you manage your play better. It’s essentially a history of all past hand outcomes, and can be used to set systems for wager size and frequency.