What Is Baccarat?

Baccarat is a casino game that has been played for many years, all around the world. But just what is the game of baccarat?

History of Baccarat?

Baccarat dates back to the Middle Ages. It has been said the game was first played with a Tarot deck and originating in Italy. It soon made its way to France where it found a home among the upper-class aristocracy. However, more recently it was made popular by Ian Fleming’s fictional secret agent James Bond.

In many of the books and the subsequent Bond movies, you’ll see James sitting at the Baccarat table with a Martini in hand. In the original ‘Casino Royale’ book and movie, the whole film is centred around the game. For the 2006 remake starring Daniel Craig, the Baccarat scenes are switched to a high stakes poker table.

The Baccarat we know today originated in Great Britain and was then passed along to South America and of course Las Vegas, Nevada. The famous Dunes Casino introduced baccarat in the late ’50s. Since then it has made its final migration onto the Web.

How To Play Baccarat?

The basic premise of the game is simple: predict whose hand, the Banker’s or the Player’s, will be closer to the value of nine. You can also bet on the possibility of a tie. The hand with the highest point value wins.

Both the player and the banker will be dealt two cards each. Third cards are dealt according to certain rules. The highest total any Baccarat hand can have is nine. A two-card total of nine is called a “natural” and cannot lose. An eight is the second-best hand and is also called a “natural”.

If both the player and banker are dealt hands of equal value, it’s a push (tie) and neither the banker nor the player’s hand wins. Unlike most games, in Baccarat face cards and tens have no value. Ace has a value of 1 and all other cards carry their face value. If the point value of the first two cards is 8 or 9 the game ends and no third card is dealt.

Baccarat Strategies

There are various strategies to use when playing Baccarat, namely when to draw and when the bank draws etc… Though the game rules are quite consistent across various bookmakers and casino sites, just check that you and your chosen casino site are singing off the same hymn sheet before you lay down any bets. Baccarat is a great game and though not as popular as some of the other casino games virtually all online casino’s have it as a feature.

The main baccarat game strategy is called following the shoe. As an example, if the banker wins the previous hand, you bet on the banker next time around. You keep on doing this until the player hand wins and then swap to betting on the next player hand.

Another strategy is called playing the chop. This is when you play against the last result. For example, if the banker’s hand just won you would then bet on the player’s hand. Due to the house edge only being around 1% in baccarat, it’s pretty much a 50/50 chance as to which hand will win.

Betting on the banker generally has the best chance of winning in baccarat due to the house edge being lower. Obviously this doesn’t mean you will win every time but statistically, it is better. However, betting is effectively betting against the odds!




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