In the realm of casino games, baccarat is the best proof that looks can be deceiving. Many players consider baccarat as the game of the elite, and this is why they do not bother playing the game. It is not a surprise why average players choose to stay away from this particular game. At first glance, baccarat appears intimidating and its players even more so. After all, baccarat players follow a strict dress code and they go to rooms enclosed by velvet ropes and separated from the main gaming area.
What most people do not know is that without the fancy outfits and the exclusivity, baccarat is simply a game of chance—and an easy one too. One need not be a high-roller to play and win it.
Baccarat – A History
The reason why baccarat is deemed as the game for the wealthy can be traced to its history. The game's origins is as posh as its current reputation. The modern version of the game is believed to have originated in Italy; it was brought to France by Charles VIII in the late 15th century. The royalty association is probably what gave such game its fancy image. Even the way the word is pronounced hints at classy origins (it is 'baa-ca-rah,' with the silent 't').
Why Play Baccarat?
Baccarat is said to be among the most ideal table games to play mainly because of its rather low house edge. This means the player may get the closest thing to an even game with this casino staple. That is, house edge of the banker's bet is at 1.06%, while it's 1.24% on the part of the player.
The Basics of Baccarat
The cards to be played for baccarat are dealt out of a shoe, which is also called as the bank. The bank, which contains eight decks of cards, will be passed around the table so that each player can have a turn dealing the cards. The face cards and 10s' value is zero, while aces count as one. Meanwhile, cards 2 through 9 count at their face value. If the face value of the cards exceed nine, 10 will be subtracted from the total.
The main objective of baccarat is quite simple: wager on a sum that is equal to nine or closest to it in two to three cards. Each hand starts with players making their bets. They can bet on either the player, the banker or a tie. There are times when the two hands will tie, but betting on a tie does little to benefit the player. Nine is considered as highest hand. A sum of eight or nine with the two cards held in either the player's or the dealer's hand is known as a natural. Except when the dealer a calls a tie or shows a nine that can thump the eight, the player with a natural is the automatic winner.
It is important to note that each hand is limited to three cards. Baccarat deals two hands of two cards, one for the player and one for the banker. The player whose two cards equates to six or higher cannot pick another card. If a player has natural nine or eight, the dealer cannot draw a third card; consequently, if the dealer has a natural nine or eight, a player cannot pick another card.
The regular game of baccarat is usually played on a spacious, kidney-shaped table which can sit 12 to14 players. Every seat is assigned with a number, but there isn't a seat with the number 13. There are slots for placing bets and for keeping track of the house commission that each player owes. In the table, there are also rows betting on the player's and the banker's hand. There are three dealers at the table during the game. One is the caller, who announces the total of each hand and determines the third-card draws when necessary; the other two keeps track of player wins and losses, as well as commissions owed.
Article written by Robert Swan from Lotto Scotland a company who supply Club Lottery Ticket Machines to pubs and clubs throughout Scotland and UK.