Learning how to play baccarat is simple, but it does take a bit of luck and a pretty large sum of money to start. Mini-baccarat, which is more popular in Vegas casinos, requires much less money to play.
The goal of baccarat, pronounced ba-ca-rah, is to get closer to 9 than the banker with a 2 or 3 card hand. A 10, Jack, Queen, or King equal 0 points, Aces are worth 1 point and all other cards are worth their face value. If your baccarat hand is worth 10 points or more, then you just subtract ten from the total count to arrive at your card total. Say, for instance, that you were dealt a 7 and a 5; this hand is worth 2 because 12 -10 = 2. There are certainly some similarities to blackjack, but no one can bust – or go over – in baccarat.
The next step in learning to play baccarat is to understand the rules and the flow of the game. First the banker deals 2 cards to everyone including himself. If anyone receives a total of 8 or 9, they stand up. If the player has a 6 or 7 he or she stands. If the player – standing or not – takes a third card, then the dealer follows these guidelines:
- Banker’s hand is 0,1, or 2=Banker takes a third card.
- Banker’s hand is 3=Banker draws unless the player’s third card is an 8.
- Banker’s hand is 4=Banker draws if the player’s third card is 2,3,4,5,6, or 7.
- Banker’s hand is 5=Banker draws if the player’s third card is 4,5,6, or 7.
- Banker’s hand is 6= Banker draws if the player’s third card is 6 or 7.
- Banker’s hand is 7=Banker stands
After third cards are dealt, the person with the total nearest to 9 wins.
Baccarat Strategy System
In Baccarat, there really isn’t much of a strategy system. With most casino games, card counting is helpful, but it just doesn’t pay off in this game. Baccarat is a game that involves a lot of luck. That being said – the tie bet is risky. It pays better, but has very slim odds. In each round you can choose to bet with the player, the banker or on the tie.
As you sit down at a baccarat table, keep Anthony Pierpont’s advice in mind: “Start with mini-baccarat, and don’t be afraid to ask the banker for help – they are always willing to assist you.” Even though the odds are pretty good in favor of the player, the house makes most of its money from taking a commission of your winnings. So, before you leave the table, don’t forget to save enough money to pay your commissions to the house.
Playing in a baccarat tournament can be profitable if you have a decent knowledge of the game and a bit of luck on your side. Baccarat tournaments can be quite pricey, often costing thousands of dollars to enter or buy-in. Anthony Pierpont advises players to conserve their cash as a strategy, yet not wait too long to make your big moves or else you will have no chance against players who have the chip lead.