Baccarat for Beginners
Accounts vary, but baccarat is generally accepted to be more than a century old and having originated in Europe.
In the present, it’s now heavily popular in Asia and at other land-based casinos across the globe. Baccarat has a more relaxed design than blackjack and roulette, making it quite suitable for social play.
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Punto banco is easily the most popular baccarat variant in the world, and even more so online with casino sites.
The game is quite straightforward, allowing players to decide on their hand in a more relaxed manner. Before playing, you will need to understand how to play baccarat online:
• Baccarat is typically played with a shoe of eight cards.
• Cards are scored by their numerical value, whereas aces are worth one point and face cards are valued at zero.
• Spectators have the option to back either the banker or the player, with side-bets occasionally included.
• After betting, the player and dealer shall each receive two cards. If the score goes above 9, then the 1 is dropped from the total (e.g. 11 = 1 point).
• At this point, the hand shall end if either player has a ‘natural’ 8 or 9.
• If not, then the player can draw a third card with 5 or less, but will be forced to stand on 6 or 7.
• The banker also stands if they have a 6 or 7, but can draw an extra if they are on on 5 or less. They base this decision on the quality of the player’s third card.
• The player earns an even-money win if they finish higher, but the wagers will be pushed if there is a tie.
Not familiar with some of the betting terms? Visit our Betting Glossary and get familiar with them.
At live casinos, there is often considerable potential for making side-bets as a spectator. Rather than get involved with the core decision-making, players can simply place bets on these common outcomes:
• Tie: 8/1 payout
• Player pair: 10/1 payout
• Banker pair: 10/1 payout
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Basic Baccarat Strategy
Baccarat is comparatively simpler to blackjack and roulette, given the rules. Nevertheless, there are some common elements of baccarat strategy that should be considered ahead of your next gaming session:
• Avoid tie bets: There is a 14.36% house edge on tie bets, whereas this falls right down to 1.24% for the player and 1.06% for the dealer.
• Back the banker: you have to pay a 5% commission on banker bets, but they do win more than 50% of the time. Obviously, this is less relevant when you are serving in the player capacity.
• Lower the stakes: baccarat is a game that can elicit streaky outcomes, so it helps to lower the stakes and give yourself more rounds of betting.
• Ride the form: you might as well ride the form until you lose, rather than try to call precisely when to jump from the dealer to the player.
Baccarat offers you the chance to step back from the complex calculations of other table games and just enjoy a few hands of cards. Integrate the tips above and you can also be more effective.
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