If you ask anyone to answer the question “what popular casino games do you know?” without a moment’s hesitation, the answer will most likely be “poker and blackjack“.
These two pillars of the gambling world won the audience’s love and recognition long ago. However, the arsenal of games is vast. And some options are worthy of attention, and a little effort to master them.
For example, baccarat.
The favourite game of polite society?
The game of the aristocrats, polite society and monde. This game was often played with tarot cards, but not to find out the future. This is the game of unsophisticated rules but increased focus. So let’s get to know the peculiar game of stationary gambling establishments and online casinos better.
The mysterious baccarat came to us from the Middle Ages. For the record, when it first made an appearance in the 1450s, the game was the most popular in France. Imagine that captivating atmosphere of private clubs, standing receptions, ball gowns, fans and gentlemen with canes. High stakes, the intensity of emotions, the smell of victory and defeat – this is how you can describe the baccarat of the 15th century.
There is another story about the game’s origin – some say that baccarat emerged from Italy. Entrepreneur Felix Falguiere invented it. It was him who suggested using Tarot cards for dealing. And only after recognition in Italy the game began to be mastered in France. Among the famous fans of the game are King Edward VII and the renowned writer Ian Fleming. And, by the way, thanks to Fleming, the love for this game “heritably” passed to James Bond.
So how is the game different today?
The goal of baccarat is to get a combination that is equal to or close to nine. Somewhat similar to the famous “21”. However, there is a condition: this combination must be obtained with no more than three cards. Moreover, the question “to be or not to be” regarding the third card became the biggest reason for disputes and conflicts in the traditional version of the game. It is still so now. Usually, the player’s opponent becomes the institution itself (that is, the dealer), and the participant makes the most important decision: whether to take the third card or it is better not to risk.
Usually, the participant plays against the institution itself (the dealer) and has to make the most important decision: whether it is worth taking the third card or it is better not to risk it.
The value of cards and simple maths
As in other similar games, each card has its value in baccarat.
Cards from 2 to 9 – the value is equal to the number on the card.
Ace is worth only one point.
And the tens and cards with images are worth nothing. Here’s an interesting fact: the game’s name is translated from Italian as “nothing”. This is the unequivocal hint that such significant cards as the Queen, Jack, King are equal to zero here.
If the player’s cards amount to ten or more, a ten is deducted from this sum. The remainder after subtraction is essential for the final calculation of the results.
For example, if your cards are 7+7=14, the value of the hand is 4
If you have cards 2+8=10, the hand is worth 0.
Two tens will be worth 0.
If your cards amounted to 8 or 9, this is the most practical value.
The hand of the Player and the Banker: what’s what?
It all starts with the Player. Always.
The first two cards always go to the Player, then the dealer reveals them. If the sum of the cards is between 0 and 5, the player gets an additional card. If it’s between 6 and 9, the Player doesn’t get any more cards – they are stuck in this position. If the hand’s value is 8 or 9, it is called the natural nine. The person who has this combination is the strongest player that beats everyone else. There’s only one exception: if the Banker’s cards are also worth 8 or 9. Suppose the player’s combination is 8 and the Banker’s 9, the latter wins.
Two cards are dealt to the Banker as well. If the value of cards is between 7 and 9, he doesn’t get an additional card. But there’s one more thing to pay attention to – the first two cards must be worth between 0 and 3. That is, the Banker’s decisions depend on the Player’s cards. Some believe that it is an advantage for the Banker.
Some gaming platforms have their own additional rules, making the game more intricate.
For example, if the player has less than 5 points in total, the Banker gives him his third card.
In any case, if there are any sophisticated game variants that the participants need to know about, the casino will definitely warn them.
There are three types of bets in baccarat:
Placing a bet on the Player, if they win, the ratio is 1 to 1.
Placing a bet on the Banker, if the Banker wins, the ratio is 1to 1 and 5% commission is deducted.
Placing a bet on a draw – provided that the player and the banker have the same value of cards. The ratio is 8 to 1.
Is there a strategy that will always work? As in roulette, there is no strategy that will always be 100% successful here. Because the Player is not allowed to make decisions during the game.
Varieties of baccarat
In addition to the classic version, there are many varieties of baccarat. There’s guaranteed to be plenty of excitement. The game’s goal is always the same – to get the desired 9 points.
So what can be different? Firstly, the number of decks used in the can be between one and eight. The number of players can also vary – up to fourteen participants. The ways the cards are dealt and the conditions for acquiring the third card also differ.
The Dealer (Banker) can be either croupier or a fixed player, or it could be a new player each time.
Enjoy the way you spend your weekend, whatever you do – try the game of the French Kings or take a walk in the winter park.