Baccarat is a card game that developed in Italy during the 1400s, and in Italian, the name means zero. However, it wasn’t until the 1800s, when the game was imported to France, that it gained global recognition.
Today, baccarat is one of the most popular casino games in the world, including online play, but is probably best known to most people as the preferred game of British secret agent James Bond.
A big part of Baccarat’s popularity is the ease at which it can be learned. This is especially true today due to the numerous automated baccarat games available, many of which can be played without real money stakes. Perhaps the most confusing aspect of learning baccarat is understanding the differences between the various versions and recognizing that while some variants are games of skill others are games of chance.
Baccarat is a game played with two hands, the dealer’s hand and the player’s hand. At baccarat tables that seat multiple players, all players play the same hand, and the dealer uses just the single hand. Basic baccarat is not complex, and the player does not need to memorize rules before sitting down to the table. Each player has a 50-50 chance of winning, the house edge is 1.17 percent and the dealer will automatically walk the players through the process.
There are three primary versions of the game described above: punto banco, chemin de fer and banque. Punto banco is entirely a game of chance because no choices are made and the player simply wins or loses based on the cards dealt. In baccarat chemin de fer and banque, however, the participants have the option of making changes, and correct changes can significantly shift the odds in their favor.
How to Play Baccarat
Baccarat is a played by comparing the dealer’s hand to the player’s hand and determining a winner. A game only has three possible outcomes: player wins, banker wins or there’s a tie. If there’s a tie, a new hand is dealt using the current wagers. On a multi-player punto banco table, a player win means that all players win. In the other variants, there is one player and a series of punters, and win-loss for each player/punter is judged on a per-person basis.
The objective of the game is to have a two- or three-card hand that is more valuable than the opposing hand. In casino scenarios, however, a player doesn’t necessarily have to bet on the player hand; he/she can bet player, banker, tie or some combination. A winning tie bet pays out 8:1 and still carries the current wagers on to a new hand. A winning bet on player pays out 1:1, and a winning bet on banker pays out 0.95:1.
Becoming a Winning Player
The ideal way to become a winning player in baccarat is to focus on chemin de fer or banque and then learn and practice the various decisions and their related odds. A great way to get a lot of practice in is to play mini baccarat. Mini baccarat is just like standard baccarat except that the cards are all turned over, which results in a much faster pace and many additional hands per hour.
The most important aspect of being a good baccarat player is being a good bankroll manager. The second most important aspect is factoring in the 5 percent commission on all wins from a bet placed on the banker’s hand. That house edge makes a big difference in determining whether you should bet banker or player.