Baccarat

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Baccarat

Baccarat

Procedure of Play

Baccarat is played in a snooty roped off area to separate itself from the other games. The players are usually very well dressed and the table minimums are often high. The regular baccarat table is about the size of a craps table with 3 casino dealers and up to 12 or 14 players. Each player, including the player dealing, may still bet on either the player or the banker but it is customary for the dealer to bet on the banker. The deal will rotate around the table, much like the dice rotate around the craps table. If a player does not want to deal they may pass the shoe to the next player. The same person will keep dealing as long as the banker keeps winning. The person dealing will put two cards, face down, tucked under the shoe, and give the player with the greatest bet on the player the other two cards, face down. This player then looks at the cards and then gives them back to the player who is dealing. Then the player who is dealing will turn over the cards and one of the casino dealers will announce the totals. Depending on the totals the dealer may then instruct the person dealing the cards to deal a third card. Finally the dealers will pay winning wagers and collect losing ones out of the dealer's tray. The player who actually deals is not assuming any financial responsibility of the other players bets, unlike pai gow, and is just turning over cards.

 

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The Rules

Baccarat is played with eight decks of cards. Each numbered card less than ten is worth its face value, aces are worth 1, and tens and face cards are worth 0. The suit does not matter.

 

  • Play begins by all players betting either on the 'player', 'banker', or a tie. I put player and banker in quotes because that is the correct terminology but they do not necessarily represent the dealer or the actual players.

  • After all bets are down the dealer gives two cards each to the player and the banker. The score of the hand is the right digit of the total of the cards. For example if the two cards were an 8 and 7, then the total would be 15, and the score would be a 5. The scores will always range from 0 to 9 and it is impossible to bust.

  • A third card may or may not be dealt to either or both the player and the dealer depending on the following rules.

  • If either the player or the banker has a total of an 8 or a 9 they both stand. This rule overrides all other rules.

  • If the player's total is 5 or less then the player hits, otherwise the player stands.

  • If the player stands, then the banker hits on a total of 5 or less. If the player does hit then use the chart below to determine if the banker hits (H) or stands (S).

 

Banker's
Score

Player's Third Card

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

7

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

6

S

S

S

S

S

S

H

H

S

S

5

S

S

S

S

H

H

H

H

S

S

4

S

S

H

H

H

H

H

H

S

S

3

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

S

H

2

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

1

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

0

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

 

  • The score of the player and dealer are compared, the winner is the one which is greater. Winning bets on the banker pay 19 to 20 (or even money less a 5% commission), winning bets on the player pay 1 to 1, winning bets on a tie pay either 8 to 1 or 9 to 1, depending on where you play. Regardless of whether the tie pays 8:1 or 9:1 it is a very bad bet and should be avoided.

  • You may wonder how the dealer collects the 5% commission on winning banker bets. If they did so every hand it would involve a lot of change and slow down the game. To avoid this during the course of play the dealer will pay even money to winning banker bets and consider the 5% an IOU. As the dealer plays through an eight deck shoe he/she will keep track of the commissions every player owes. At the end of the shoe or when a player wants to leave mid-shoe the dealer will collect on the commissions. Make sure you don't run out of money with outstanding commissions.

 


The House Edge

Except for the tie bet, baccarat is one of the best bets in the casino. The following table shows the house edge on all available bets.

 

Probabilities in Baccarat

Bet

Combinations

Probability
of Winning

House
Edge

Bank

2212744

45.843%

1.064%

Player

2153464

44.615%

1.228%

8:1 Tie

460601

9.543%

14.117%

9:1 Tie

460601

9.543%

4.574%

 

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