Baccarat is one of the most advantageous games for players that a casino has to offer. The attractive odds make Baccarat a pretty popular game amongst high rollers, some of them spending tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on a single bet. Because of this popularity, casinos can sometimes lose millions in the course of a night, these swings can even affect the quarterly profits of gaming companies.
There are a lot of versions of this game but we will now refer to the North American version of the game. Baccarat is a rather simple game with only three results – Player, Banker and Tie. These terms do not refer to the actual player and the banker is not the casino. Players may bet on any of them, which are merely names for the two hands dealt in every game.
In Baccarat the cards between 2 and 9 are worth their face value, 10s and face cards are worth zero, and Aces are worth 1 point. You calculate your score by adding the value of all your cards and looking at the right-most digit only. So for example if you have a 3 and 8 it is worth 1 (3+8=11=1) – you drop the first digit.
All of the cards are dealt face down, first to the Player then to the Banker and so on. Both cards are then turned over and added together while the croupier calls out the total. From here the table of play is used to determine if more cards have to be drawn. Depending on each hand, the Player and Banker might have to draw another card or stand. If either of them has a total of 8 or 9 no further cards will be drawn. If the Player has a starting total of 0-5 he will draw a card. If he has an initial total of 6 or 7, he stands.
In big casinos, Baccarat is usually played in special areas which are separated by the rest of the main gaming space to offer privacy for the players. The table has a croupier who directs the play of the game, and two dealers who collect and pay bets and figure out the commissions that are due.
Usually, they will use 6 or 8 decks of cards. The shoe which holds the cards is passed from player to player, who deals the cards and acts as the “banker”. This role is purely tradition, the banker can bet on the player hand as well or he may pass the shoe along to someone else. Whoever bets the most on the player hand is given the “player” hand so he can turn them over and count their total. The croupier will then inform the “banker” to deal necessary third cards and then he will announce the winning hand.
A lot of people like to talk about counting cards in this game but a lot of experts have done the math and it has shown that card counting is not a viable strategy for this game. So if you’re ever looking for a new card game to try your luck and skill at, maybe give Baccarat a chance.