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Baccarat Basics

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Perhaps the hardest thing about Baccarat is knowing how to pronounce the word. It's "bah-caw-rah", not "back-a-rat". Baccarat is one of the easiest table game to play. It's the most uncomplicated game there is. All you need to decide is whether to bet on "bank", "player" or "tie". (Betting "tie" is not recommended, the house edge is too high). Except for the tie bet, Baccarat has a very low house edge - 1.36 % if you bet on Player and 1.17% for bets on Banker. While the rules may seem a bit confusing, keep in mind that there really is no need to know them precisely. It's pretty much a game of chance, all you really have to do is decide which hand you think will win, and bet accordingly. However, knowing the basic rules will certainly help you follow what is going on, making the game a lot more enjoyable.

Two hands are dealt, one for the "player" and one for the "banker". You can bet on one or the other. If the hand you bet on wins, you receive a 1 to 1 (even money) payoff. You can also bet that the hands will tie, but as mentioned above, it is not recommended. You receive an 8 to1 payoff, but ties occur less than once out of every ten hands, making the tie bet a poor choice.

At the start, each hand receives two cards. When necessary, additional cards are drawn according to the rules. The hand closest to 9 wins. Tens, Jacks, Queens and Kings count 0. The Ace counts 1 and cards 2 through 9 are at face value. The hand that comes closest to a count of 9 wins. Hands don't bust like in Blackjack, because the first digit of a two-digit number is always dropped. For example, if 5 and 7 are drawn for a total of 12, the count is 2. When there is a tie, nobody loses.

If the first two cards total 8 or 9, the hand is called a "natural" and it wins automatically, unless both hands have equal value "naturals", in which case it's a tie. If neither hand has a natural additional cards are drawn to determine a winner.

Banker and player bets pay even money when you win. However, winning banker bets are subject to a 5% house commission. Even after paying a 5% commission on winning banker bets, betting on "banker" is still a slightly (0.19% to be exact) better proposition than betting on "player". Banker hands win more often.

All bets are made before the cards are dealt. In live games every player at the table gets a chance to deal the cards, but you don't have to deal, just pass the shoe to the next player. If you have the bankroll (often $25 or more minimum bet), don't let the tuxedoed dealers and fancy surroundings scare you away.

Play Baccarat at on online casino and you won't need to feel intimidated stepping into a fancy, roped-off baccarat pit. And, on the computer, you'll be able to play at considerably lower limits.







 

 

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