A lot of people are intimidated by baccarat when they first see a table. Or they are under the impression that baccarat is a game for high rollers only. But once the rules are properly explained, most people realize that baccarat is actually quite a simple game. The rules become easy to identify and explain to just about anyone.
Understanding what the value of each card is helps to begin the process of truly comprehending the game of baccarat.
Starting out, aces have a value of one. Most people are used to having aces either being “high” or “low.” In this case, they would be considered low. It is important to remember that aces have a value of one, as they may come in handy or they may hinder your chances of success. More will be explained about that later.
However, all other face cards have a value of zero. This can be confusing to some, as they are used to face cards having much higher values. But remember that “baccara” means zero in Italian and that game is the origin of this one. So any face card counts as a zero.
Any ten card also has a value of zero. Remember that the game is based around whether or not the player or the bank gets closer to a sum of nine. So the cards that count as more than zero are any card nine and lower. Otherwise, there would be cards that automatically bring the total above nine, making for a much harder game.
All other cards, the numbered cards, have a value of their face value. So, a two card counts as two, an eight card counts as eight, etcetera.
Here’s where things seem to get complicated. However, with a proper explanation, the game of baccarat is simple and straightforward.
So, the goal of the game is to bet on whether the “player” or the “bank” will come out with a total sum closer to nine. You can also bet on the tie, meaning the player and the bank come out with same total sum number. Betting on the tie has lower odds and therefore a higher payout.
Understanding the player and the bank and their roles in the game of baccarat is essential.
Bets are placed before the cards are dealt. Anyone at the table can place their chips on the table to make a wager. This wager will determine whether or not the person wins or loses money. There are different payouts depending on what each person bets on. They will be explained below.
The highest hand that can be had in the game of baccarat is nine. If the hand exceeds a grand total of nine, it must be adjusted. When the total of either the player or the bank’s cards exceeds a total sum of nine, there are two options which can be chosen by each player.
The first option is to subtract ten from the total. So, if the grand total of the hand of the player, just for an example, comes out to be sixteen, then subtracting ten from the total would leave you with a grand total of six. The same can be done for any number above nine, so if the total is twelve, the new adjusted total would be two.
The second option is to drop the first digit of the grand total number. In this instance, if the grand total of the bank’s hand, as an example, reaches seventeen, you can drop the one from the total number, leaving you with a grand total of seven.
Either option is fine. But it’s important to remain consistent in choice in this matter, to keep everything consistent in betting and adding numbers.
Occasionally in the game of baccarat, one of the hands (either the player or the bank) will require a third card. This seemingly simple rule can often scare some people away from the baccarat table. Some people assume that the third card rule makes baccarat just like blackjack, where an understanding of popular “hit” or “stand” options is necessary for proper play.
Baccarat is a different game!
In baccarat, the players have absolutely no control over whether or not the third card is entered into the game. Nor does the “dealer.” The only person who controls whether or not there is a third card entered into the game, as well as who the third card goes to, is the caller. The caller’s one and only job is to “call” when either the player or the bank needs a third card to continue playing.
So it’s not necessary to understand a bunch of different rules for the third card play. However, it is important to have some comprehension of what is happening when the caller does call for a third card. Here are the general rules:
Baccarat (pronounced bah-cah-rah) is based on an Italian game called “baccara” that has been played for over 600 years! The word baccara simply means “zero” in Italian. The reason this word is used to describe this game is that everything from the 10 card to the King card has a value of zero in baccarat.
In the 16 and 17 hundreds, baccarat was one of the most popular games amongst French royalty. Even when gambling became illegal in France, in 1837, baccarat continued to be played in the homes of just about every class in the country.
The game lived on this way until it finally reached the Riviera in the late 1800s. After some time, it became the leading game in most European casinos. And it remains popular to this day.
Much of baccarat’s popularity in modern times can be attributed to the international fictional spy James Bond, and his books and movies. Many people can remember seeing James Bond playing baccarat with a definitive look on his face. This is certainly a big reason why baccarat is so popular in the United States, which has their own version of baccarat. More will be explained about that later on.