The Game of Baccarat

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The Game of Baccarat

Baccarat is a card game that is rather intimidating to most but once learned is actually quite simple and could be quite profitable as well.

There are two hands played in Baccarat - the "player" hand and the "banker" hand. You can bet on either one. If the hand you bet on wins, you receive an even money (one to one) payoff.

There is one other bet you can make - the tie bet. If you make this bet and the two hands tie, you receive an eight to one payoff. The problem is, that ties occur less than once out of every ten hands.

In the beginning, each hand receives 2 cards. When necessary, additional cards are drawn according to the rules. The hand closest to 9 wins the bet.

The values are as follows:

  • 10s, Jacks, Queens, and Kings all count as 0.
  • The ace through 9 cards have face values of 1 to 9, respectively.

To determine the value of each hand, you simply add the cards. If the total is over 10, the first digit is ignored. So an 8 and a 6 would normally equal 14, but since we disregard the first digit, we instead have a hand of 4.

Similarly, a 6 and 4 would equal 0, and a 10 and 9 would equal 9. Sounds a bit confusing but once you master the values, you'll get the idea of how the game is played. If the first two cards total 9, the hand is called a "natural" and automatically wins.

Two cards totaling 8 is also referred to as a natural, and it wins automatically too, unless the hand it is playing against has a natural as well. When both hands contain a natural, the higher natural hand wins (8 beating an 7). If the hands have equal value, it's a tie. When neither hand has a natural, there is no automatic winner, and additional cards are drawn to determine the outcome of the hand played.

Baccarat is played mainly in land based casinos but is becoming more and more popular online as well.


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