Baccarat is one of the most popularly played games at casinos around the world. The game has been associated with the social elite. The online version of baccarat is as popular as the original version. There are a number of variants to the baccarat game – these include ‘punto banco’, ‘baccarat banque’ and baccarat ‘chemin de fer’.
Part of the reason for baccarat’s popularity among gamblers is that the game is simple to learn and yet manages to create excitement for the players. Also, unlike other real money casino games, baccarat does not require too many skills from the player, as it is a game of chance. The online version of baccarat is provided at most online casinos.
Rules of the game
There are two hands involved in a game of baccarat, the “player” and the “banker”. In a normal casino, up to 14 players and a banker can play at a single table. The objective of the game is to predict which hand would win the game, the player hand or the dealer hand. There are three possible outcomes to the game- the winning hand could either be that of the player or the banker, or it could end up as a tie. The hand with the value closest to 9 is declared the winner.
Card value– Cards with the numbers 2-9 are considered numbered and the number depicted in each card is the number of points a player receives. For example, a card numbered 3 entitles a player to 3 points. The cards 10, K, Q and J are valued zero and carry no value and Aces are counted as 1.
Counting hands– the value of the hand is calculated by counting the value of the cards. When the value of the cards is above 10, e.g. 5+6= 11, the 10 is ignored and the value is considered as one, as the rule is that the value should not go above nine.
The game– the game commences with a betting round, where each player places a bet either on the player, the banker, a tie or all three. At the end of the round, the dealer calls out “No more cards” and gives the shoe to the player seated next to the dealer. A player can choose to deal the cards or he can choose not to. In case of the latter, the player can pass the shoe to the next player.
The dealer will place 2 cards, called banker cards, under the shoe face down and the players make bets on the two face-down cards. The player making the highest bet looks at the cards and returns them to the dealer. The dealer then flips the cards and announces the hand total. In case both player and banker have values of 8 or 9, they both stand up. If the player’s hand value is 5 or below, he/she will have to deal another card. This is called the Third-Card Rule. All players may not necessarily get a third card.
At the end of the game, the scores of each player are compared and the hand with the highest combination closest to 9 wins the game. The winning players collect their winnings and the losing bets are collected separately. The person acting as the dealer is also a player in the game.
Versions of baccarat
There are a number of variants of baccarat. It is, in fact, believed that the game was developed during the middle ages in Italy or France during the Middle Ages. The word baccarat is actually a derivative of the Italian word for zero. The earliest version of baccarat used tarot cards, which represented the nine Etruscan gods. This was popularly played by the upper classes and aristocrats. From this form, European Baccarat, or ‘Chemin de Fer’ as it is known, was evolved.
While the game was considered illegal in most countries around Europe until the late 10th century, England was perhaps the only country where baccarat was legalized. The English version was slightly different from the version played throughout the rest of the continent. While the ‘Chemin de Fer’ reached the American shores, the English version was accepted in Argentina, where it was called ‘Punto y Banca.’
It was eventually in Las Vegas that baccarat was played in a casino for the first time. Ever since then, the game has been included in all casinos that came up around the world. Even when casinos went online, most of them never failed to include baccarat in their selection of casino games. From being a game that was illegal and played in secret circles, to being a popular game in casinos around the world, baccarat sure seems to have come a long way.