A Guide to Baccarat

by Tim | Nov 24, 2021

A Guide to Baccarat

Baccarat is a card game that has been enjoyed for hundreds of years. It’s a relatively simple game that’s easy to play while being challenging enough to hold a player’s interest. We’ve gathered some useful information that will give you a deeper understanding of the game’s idiosyncrasies and betting strategies when playing baccarat games at our no deposit mobile casino.

A quick history of baccarat

We can’t be completely sure how or when baccarat first started. Some historians think that soldiers returning from the Franco-Italian War at the end of the 1400s brought the game to France from Italy. While the name “baccarat” – the Italian word for “zero” in some dialects at the time – does suggest the game had its origins in Italy, the game is first recorded as a popular activity among the French nobility in the 19th century.

The earliest (three-person) version of the game, “Baccarat Banque”, evolved into a two-person, zero-sum game called “Chemin de Fer” (which received a boost in popularity as the game of choice for the fictitious secret agent, James Bond, in Ian Fleming’s novels). Then in the 1940s, Baccarat Punto Banco, a house-banked game played mainly in Havana, Cuba, spread to gambling houses around the world, and has become the most popular form of the game played in most casinos today. 

How to play baccarat

If you’ve enjoyed live blackjack or play roulette online, you’ll be familiar with some of the basic concepts of playing the house by betting against the dealer’s hand or the spin of a wheel. When playing baccarat, your aim is always to predict which of two hands (the player or the bank) will have a hand value that is closest to 9. While there are some differences between the live and online versions of the game, the basic rules of baccarat are as follows.

  1. The dealer will ask players to put their bets on the table. Wagers can be placed on either the dealer (or “banker”) or the player getting a hand value that’s closest to 9, or a tie between the two hands (similar to a side bet that’s a standard blackjack strategy). Keep in mind that the chances of landing a tie bet are less than 10%, and with a significant 14.36% house edge, tie bets are the least favourable ones you can place in baccarat. Once chips have been placed on the table, they should not be moved.
  2. The cards are dealt, with both the dealer and the players each receiving a hand of two cards, known as a coup.
  3. Now each player bets on whether their coup or the dealer’s is closer to nine, or if they will tie. In this card game, the suits are irrelevant. To work out your score, note that the cards with pip values 2 to 9 carry their usual value; aces are worth 1; and 10s and all the picture cards – kings, queens, and jacks – are worth 0. (Note: if the sum total of your cards exceeds 9, you only “count” the unit number, so for example, a 7 and a 6 would add up to 13 – but in baccarat, that would be just “3”.)
  4. With the betting done, players and the dealer reveal their hands, and if either totals 8 or 9, this is called a “natural”, and a winner is declared and the game ends. Successful bets are then paid in due course.
  5. If a “natural” does not occur, a third card is drawn, but this will depend on the value of the initial hand. So, if each hand is valued at 0 to 5, a third card is dealt. If a coup is valued at 6 or 7, then no more cards are dealt, and the player or dealer with this hand wins. If the value of each hand is the same, then a tie is called.
  6. When the player draws a third card, the dealer must follow these rules, depending on what that card is:
  • If the player draws a 2 or 3: the banker must also draw a third card, if their two-card total is between 0-4; or stand with a total of 5-7.
  • If the player draws a 4 or 5: the banker must also draw, if their total lies between 0-5; or stand with a total of 6 or 7.
  • If the player draws a 6 or 7: the banker must draw with a total between 0-6; or stand with a total of 7.
  • If the player draws an 8: the banker will draw a third card only with a coup worth between 0 and 2, and will stand with a 3-7 total.
  • If the player draws a 9, 10, face card or an ace: the banker must draw when their two cards score between 0-3; or stand when the total is 4-7.

 7. Now the dealer calls a winner and distributes any money for successful bets.

Standard baccarat bets have the same payouts, with either the banker or player being paid out at 1:1 for a win and tie bets paying out at 8:1. Keep in mind that the banker bet includes a 5% commission, so always keep money aside to pay this at the end of the game.

Online or live baccarat?

No matter whether you choose standard online baccarat or the live version, you’re in for an exciting online gaming experience, but there are a few differences.

Playing online baccarat games such as Risk requires nothing more from a player than to place a bet and click the “deal” button. Decisions are made by random number generator (RGN) software, which has been successfully used for many years for the best online slots and video poker machines. This software is trusted by online casino sites the world over, and ensures a fair playing experience.

Live baccarat is a whole different ball game (so to speak). Developers including Playtech and Evolution Gaming have brought all the excitement of the casino to your living room. It involves a live-streamed game in which you see a real-life casino dealer, who hosts the game, deals the cards, and interacts with you via a stable internet connection. Some games in the live format actually allow you to play against people from all over the world. It’s well worth a try if you haven’t experienced live casino games before.

Have baccarat at your fingertips at The Phone Casino

Baccarat has stood the test of time, and with good reason. If you want to relax into a game that’s easy to play but will engage you from the start, then why not take out your mobile and give it a try? Register at The Phone Casino to start playing. 

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