If you’ve ever watched James Bond play Baccarat in the movies you may be feeling slightly intimidated about playing yourself. With a reputation for being esoteric and elite, Baccarat is often played at the most exclusive private tables.
But online casinos have opened up this fascinating game, also known as Punto Banco and Chemin de Fer, to every player. Fancy channeling your inner Bond and hitting the tables? Read on.
The name Baccarat comes from the Italian word baccara meaning zero, and that’s where it flourished in the 1400s. Felix Falguiere is considered to be the father of modern Baccarat which was originally played with Tarot cards. The game was quickly popularised in France by soldiers returning from the Italian wars of the 1490s and quickly became the favourite of royalty. Joseph Guttenberg printed the first deck of cards in 1455.
Baccarat is a game of pure chance; the player’s involvement begins and ends when he makes his wager. The essential gameplay is the same whether you play mini, squeeze, Punto Banco or Chemin de Fer.
Getting started with Baccarat online is a breeze. Just place your bet and hit the deal button.
The objective is to predict which hand will come closest to totalling nine. Players can bet on the dealer, the player or on a tie. Cards count at face value unless they’re a 10, J, Q or K when they count zero:
The game starts when the dealer deals two cards to the player hand and the dealer hand. Depending on the total of each hand a third card can be drawn. Whoever has a hand totalling closest to nine is the winner.
Baccarat is considered one of the most player friendly games with a house edge of 1.24% for the player and 1.06% for the banker.
If an 8 or 9 is dealt in the first two cards that’s a ‘natural’ and automatically wins, unless both the dealer and the player have an equal natural in which case the result is a tie. What happens next is dictated by the rules governing the player’s and the dealer’s hand so relax and watch as the game plays out.
This is where Baccarat can get a little more challenging as the rules dictating whether the dealer draws a third card are more complicated. The banker must always draw if their cards total 7 and they must always draw when the total is 0-1-2.
When you’re getting started with online Baccarat it’s important to remember it’s a thrilling, fast-paced game that can quickly pull you in. Before you start playing set a session budget and a time limit and take frequent breaks from the action. That way you’ll stay in control of your bankroll.