For those who are not yet familiar with all the Baccarat games rules, betting types, variants and strategies, here are some basics.
Baccarat rule number 1: Contrary to popular belief, this table game is not just for high rollers and high rollers (mini baccarat is one of the most popular versions for small stakes players).
Comparatively speaking, it is a card game similar to Chemin de Fer, but many players refer to it as a distant cousin of tarot. The object of the game is to get close to the number 9 with only 2 or 3 cards.
The players (called decks) all have an opponent they must beat: the Bank. Each player receives one card, then two, and must get closer to the number 9 without exceeding it by obtaining the best hand and the highest number of points.
The first step is to choose whether to bet on the Player’s Hand or the Banker’s Hand (the aim being to guess which will win by getting closer to 9).
To do this, you need to know the value of the cards in points.
Baccarat Variants and Cards
As in poker, there are various forms of baccarat. Punto Banco, for example, is a Mexican derivative of baccarat.
Depending on the online baccarat variant, some of the rules may vary, but in general, the basic rules are always the same.
The 10 and tricks (Jack, Queen and King) are worth zero and the Ace is worth 1 point. For the rest, it is sufficient to refer to the face value, which is shown on the card.
To calculate the value of a hand, simply add up the points of each card, but be careful, if the sum exceeds 10, subtract 10 from the total.
So with a 2-card hand consisting of a 5 and a 6, the value adds up to 11. Subtract 10 to find out the correct hand value in Baccarat: Hand value 11-10 = 1.
As you may have quickly guessed, the value of a hand is always a single digit sum. After the 9 comes the 0.
If the cards dealt first (initial hand) add up to 9 points, then it is the best hand. This is called a ‘natural 9’. If the initial hand adds up to eight points, it is the second best hand (‘natural 8’).
It is also possible that the point value of the first two cards is not sufficient to determine the final result, so a third card can be dealt in this case.
But beware, the player can usually only receive a third card if his initial hand adds up to 5 or less.
The dealer (the banker) usually only receives a third card if his initial hand value is 2 or less.
In some cases, he may also exceptionally receive a third card depending on the player’s third card and if his initial hand is less than 6.
Before starting a game of Baccarat, always remember to refer to the Baccarat Games Rules section of the variant you are playing. Certain exceptions for example may be listed in the game rules.