Baccarat is a popular card game. Though the rules vary a bit from casino to casino the essential structure of the game remains the same.
How to Play Baccarat 1 - Baccarat Hand Values
The first step in understanding how to play baccarat is learning the card and hand values. Cards from ace to nine are valued at their face value. The remaining cards, which are ten, jack, queen and king, are valued at 0 points. The value of the hand is obtained by adding up the value of the individual cards. If this value is greater than 10 then the tens digit is dropped from the final hand value. For example a hand consisting of a seven and eight has a total of 15. After dropping the tens digit the hand value becomes 5.
How to Play Baccarat 2 - Banker or Player
Baccarat is a game played between a designated Banker and designated Player. The bettors have to wager on who will win the game, the Banker or the Player. They can also wager on the game being a tie. Cards are dealt to the Banker and the Player according to the rules of the game. Two cards are dealt face down to the Player and two cards are dealt face down to the Banker. The Player's cards are turned face up first and the Banker's cards are then turned face up. Depending on the variant of baccarat being played the ritual of dealing the cards and turning them face up is different.
How to Play Baccarat 3 - Drawing a Card
Then the procedure of drawing the third card is followed as per the rules of baccarat. The bettors need not know the rules. The casino employees who are conducting the game will ensure that the rules are followed. In online baccarat the rules are built into the software. The Player's hand is acted upon first. If the Player has a two card total from 0 to 5 then he draws a third card, otherwise he does not draw any further card. However if the Banker has a natural, a two card total of 8 or 9, then the player cannot draw a third card under any circumstances. If the Player has a natural, then the Banker cannot draw a third card. If the Player does not draw a third card then the Banker draws a third card if his two card total is from 0 to 5. If the Player has drawn a card then the decision of the Banker drawing the third card depends on the Banker's two card total and on the Player's third card.
How to Play Baccarat 4 - Hand Values and Showdown
After the extra cards are dealt as required the hand values of the Banker and the Player are compared. If the Banker has the higher hand value then all bettors who have wagered on the Banker are paid out at even money less 5% commission for the house. If the Player has the higher hand value then all bettors who have wagered on the Player are paid out at even money. In case the hand values are the same for both the Banker and the Player the bettors who have wagered on the tie bet are paid out at 8 to 1.
Some of the rules described above differ in the various versions of baccarat that are prevalent in casinos. For example in Punto Banco, which is common in the casinos of Nevada, no third card is dealt. In Chemin de Fer one of the bettors becomes the bank and accepts wagers from other players. This version of baccarat does not offer the tie bet. In Baccarat Banque there are two Player positions and one Banker position. Related articles - Baccarat History - Baccarat Odds and House Edge - Baccarat Betting Systems - Baccarat Betting Strategy