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Baccarat


With history that dates back to the Middle Ages, this popular casino classic is a favourite among high-rollers. With style and sophistication second to none, Baccarat is bound to keep you glued to your chair for hour.





History of Baccarat


Most casino games have origins shrouded in mystery, and it is rare to find one in which its beginnings can be definitively be tacked down to a specific time period or group of people. That being said, the history of Baccarat is a particularly murky one, and adding considerably to the confusion is the fact that there are no less than three different variations of the game, each with its attendant myths and legends.


Baccarat – Where Did it Begin?


In any case, one persistent fallacy in the history of Baccarat should be set straight, and that is with regard to its supposed French origins. The fact of the matter is that the name “Baccarat”–while indeed a French word–is actually Italian in origin, and that is precisely where the game actually began. Stemming from the word “baccara”–which literally means "zero"–this explains why that particular hand is the losing one in each of the three main variations of the game.


The earliest developments in the history of Baccarat can be traced to the 15th Century, when a card game became quite popular in the Italian countryside. Instead of the typical 52-card deck commonly used nowadays however, this early game in the history of Baccarat utilized tarot cards, which is only fair play really, as the suits of the modern day playing cards are actually derived from the tarot.


After the game spread throughout Italy and made its way to France, Baccarat somehow found its way to China, where its popularity positively boomed. This was a time when the history of Baccarat was being written, although the United States was a bit slow to catch on to the global Baccarat fever.


Baccarat vs. Blackjack


One thing that was instrumental in Baccarat’s steady-but-slow popularity was its inadvertent competition with the more popular blackjack. In the late 19th Century, blackjack was the game to play, and the introduction of Baccarat to the general public was just wrong timing. Nevertheless, the French and English migrants to the United States kept the embers of the game burning slowly but steadily, and it was apparent that there were a lot of events yet to transpire in the history of Baccarat…


One of those events was the series of radical changes that the game underwent in the 1950's, when it finally grew into its present role of a respectable casino game in its own right. It was at that period in the history of Baccarat that the game entered its modern phase.


Today, three versions of the game are most commonly played: the Punto Banco version favored by many Americans, and the more formal Baccarat Banque and Chemin de Fer versions that most Europeans are familiar with.


Punto Banco itself has birthed an offspring of sorts, in the relatively new variant of the game called mini-Baccarat. This variation of the game came about partly to address issues related to the lack of physical space. Interestingly enough however mini-Baccarat has some into its own as a pretty respectable game in its own right.

How to Play Baccarat


People who play Baccarat are probably attracted to the fact that it is one of the simplest of casino games to figure out. In most cases, the only decision a player will have to make is what type of bet to make. The dealer takes over at this point, and each player then simply collects or pays up, depending on whether his hand won or lost. In fact, in the most commonly played version of the game nowadays–mini-Baccarat–the players don’t even get to handle the cards.


Baccarat usually has its own designated floor space in casino. The table is roughly the same size as the table used in craps, and each table may have as many as three casino dealers and anywhere from 12 to 14 players.


You play Baccarat from either a six-deck or eight-deck shoe, and the number 10 card and all the face cards don’t have any value assigned to them. All the other cards are considered at face value, and Aces are equivalent to 1. The suits of the cards do not have any bearing on the game at all according to Baccarat rules. The object of Baccarat is to bet on the hand that you suppose will have the highest value.


Baccarat Betting - Banco or Punto?


The Baccarat rules with regard to betting allow players to make either a Banco (banker) bet or a Punto (player) bet. In some cases, you may be allowed to make a Standoff bet, although this practice isn't common nowadays.


While everyone who play Baccarat can make a choice between Punto or Banco bets, players that deal out the cards would go for Banco more often than not. According to Baccarat rules, players can choose not to deal at all, and instead pass the 'shoe' on to another player. As long as the Banco bets keep winning, the shoe will remain with the player holding it. When Punto wins, the shoe can then be passed on to another player and so on.


When you play Baccarat, each hand is made up of two cards or three cards at the most. Baccarat rules require the player/dealer to place two cards face down under the shoe, and hand the other two cards over to the player that has made the largest Punto bet. These cards will also be placed face down.


Winning Baccarat


The player who opts for Punto then looks at his cards and hands them back to the player/dealer. The dealer then reveals both cards, after which one of the casino dealers will declare the winner of the round.


When you play Baccarat, getting a hand with a total of 8 or 9–called a 'Natural'–automatically means that dealing is over for that round. How Baccarat rules differ from other games is that the casino dealer and not the player who will decide whether or not to "hit" depending on the value of the hand. The rules governing this aspect of the game is pretty much set in stone, and is implemented unwaveringly in almost all casinos in which you can play Baccarat.


After the winner of the round has been determined, the casino dealers collect the losing bets and pay out the winning ones. It is important to keep in mind that the player who deals out the cards is not accountable for the payouts, and is instead competing against the casino just like all the other players around the table.


Baccarat Rules

This article dealing with the common Baccarat rules is primarily intended for the Punto Banco version of the game, although many of the conventions mentioned here may be applicable to other versions of the game as well.


Before we go into the common Baccarat rules, it would be helpful to mention that if you are in search of a surefire way to win at the tables; your quest is likely to end in disappointment. For one thing, techniques such as card counting–which aren't explicitly against Baccarat rules (although many casinos do frown upon this practice)–aren't really all that effective unless done when the shoe is almost depleted. Even then, the results that you may get would be marginal at best. Accept the fact that the Baccarat Card Game is a game of chance just like every other game in the casino, and you will have a more enjoyable time.


When you play baccarat it is important to keep in mind when playing the game effectively is down to a few Baccarat rules, and here are some of the more important ones.


Baccarat Betting

One of the most essential Baccarat rules to consider has to do with betting. Betting on your own hand–in what is known as the Player bet–effectively means that you are going up against a house advantage of 1.24%. If you choose to bet on the Banker's hand however, the house edge becomes 0.6% for casinos with a 4% cut, or 1.06% for casinos with a cut of 5%.


According to Baccarat rules, the object of the game is to beat out the banker by getting a hand that is as close to 9 as possible. Each hand will be comprised of either two or three cards.


Baccarat Card Values


The value of the cards is another one of the more important Baccarat rules, and the 10, J, K, and Q cards have absolutely no value whatsoever. All the other number cards in the game are taken at face value, and the Ace is equivalent to 1.


Unlike Blackjack, there is no such thing as a "bust" under Baccarat rules. If you somehow end up with a hand that totals more than 10, you simply deduct the 10 from the total. For a hand comprised of an 8 and a 7 for instance, the value will be counted as 5 instead of the expected 15.


Baccarat rules dictate that the banker and the player draw two cards each. In the event that the player or the banker gets a hand with a total of 8 or 9, they both will have to stand. In case of a player total of 6 or 7, the player will then have to stand.


Its action by the player will have a number of effects on the banker’s actions as well. If he is faced with a player that stands and he has a hand of 5 or less he will have to "hit" according to Baccarat rules. This goes for the player as well, for whom a similarly valued hand will require a hit as well. Once all the cards have been dealt out, the player with the hand closest to 9 is declared the winner.


Baccarat Strategy

As a casino player, more often than not, you’ll be looking for new ways to improve your chances of success at the tables; and as a baccarat player this is no different. The aim of the game is to win as much money as possible, so any baccarat strategy that can be employed is considered and analyzed by hundreds of thousands of people.


However, this classic card game is different to most table casino games, in that it is essentially a game of chance where the player has very little influence on the proceedings. Baccarat is a very simple game to play, because really all you have to do is bet on the banker, the player or a tie and see who wins. You could even get away without understanding how the game works, because it doesn’t make too much difference – the end result will be the same: either the player or the banker wins or it will end in a tie.


Baccarat Rules – Understanding the Game


It is worth understanding the rules of the game, more to make the experience more enjoyable, but this will not change the outcome at the end of the day. Therefore, those players looking to improve their baccarat strategy would be able to conclude that in reality there is little that can be done in this respect. But while that may well be the case, there are still some tips which could help you when sitting down to play the game which has enthralled casino goers for more than 500 years.


First you must understand how the game of baccarat works. Before any cards are distributed the player decides whether to bet on himself, the banker or a tie. The banker then deals out two cards to himself and two to the player. The aim is to create a hand that has a total as close to nine as possible. There is no potential for going bust, because with any total that is more than nine you simply only count the second number, for example if you receive a nine and a ten your total is 19 which is therefore nine. On some occasions you are able to hit, ie receive a third card, but unlike blackjack rules, where this is the decision of the player, in baccarat this is an automatic decision decided on according to which cards you are holding. If you bet on the player and you won, you’ll receive 2-1 to the bet, if you bet on the banker and he won you will receive 2-1 to the bet minus a 5% fee and if you bet on a tie and both the player and banker end with the same score you will receive 9-1 to the bet.

Baccarat Betting Tips


One baccarat strategy which is worth employing is to avoid betting on the tie. Even though it pays out much more than betting on the banker or the player, the odds are so much lower that you are unlikely to win over the long run. A popular baccarat strategy is to use scoreboards provided by the casino to track the pattern of cards. This is also worth avoiding as the patterns are really meaningless.


Another important baccarat strategy is money management. Like in life, it is never worth overspending if it will put you out of pocket. So rather than banking on a repeat win, baccarat players should put a certain amount aside as the cash they are willing to lose and only use that money. This also connected to a recommended flat betting system as opposed to systems like the Martingale. In flat betting you don’t change your bet each time, leaving you in a situation where you won’t lose more money every hand.


Online Baccarat at Casino Las Vegas


For hundreds of years baccarat was the least accessible of casino games. Only the highest rollers from the upper classes were able to get a seat at the baccarat tables, with the game considered the ultimate in exclusivity. While the second half of the 20th century saw an opening up of the game, it was still regarded by the working man as an activity for the upper echelons, those who wore tuxedos to casinos and drank martinis, shaken not stirred.


However that has all changed over the last decade or so. The creation and vast popularity of online casinos like Casino Las Vegas has brought baccarat out of the closet and into the limelight. No longer do players need to wait for an invitation to join a baccarat table. The tables are open to anyone who wants to open a casino account - free market economics at its most potent.


Online Baccarat and its Impact on the Game


This demystification of baccarat through the launch and subsequent success of online baccarat has not only opened up the game to the masses. The accessibility of online baccarat has increased the focus on the game, encouraging innovations at a level which had previously been unheard of. Not only can online baccarat players get a seat at a regular baccarat table any time they want, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but there are also new options. At Casino Las Vegas, for example, players will find Progressive Baccarat and even Live Baccarat.


It is this variety and accessibility which has ensured the popularity of online baccarat and allowed the game to grow into its position as one of the most attractive options at many Internet casinos.


The Experience of Online Baccarat

The fact is that the online baccarat experience is often exhilarating. The rules of Baccarat are simple, and the game is simple to play and lots of fun at the same time. All you have to do is choose to bet on the player, the banker or a draw and wait and see who won or if it was a draw. The hand which is closest to a total of nine wins! In most cases the player and the dealer receive two cards each with the values added together to determine the score. To ensure you never get more than nine the number one is knocked off if you have a total which exceeds nine. In some situations either the player or the banker receives an extra card, but this is predetermined. The thrill of the game comes from seeing if you can beat the dealer, or lose and still win if you bet on the dealer.


The extra games make online baccarat even more fun to play. Choose to bet on whether the banker or the player will receive a pair, and if the hand comes up you’ll win even more money.


Like all casino games, the enjoyment of the online baccarat experience comes from the ease of use. There’s no need to travel to a land based casino or sit alongside other players. Online baccarat can be played in the comfort of your own home with a win just a click away.


Baccarat at Casino Las Vegas


Baccarat is one of the oldest card games still played regularly both online and in land-based casinos all round the world. It is believed to have originated in Italy and become popular in France in the late 15th Century. Over the years, baccarat has established itself as game for high rollers, and in many top international casinos, players are only allowed to enter the baccarat rooms with VIP invitations.


The game has become synonymous with the classiest patrons at the highest class casinos. The cultivation of this image was assisted by the appearance of baccarat in numerous Hollywood films, most notably the James Bond movies. The famed secret agent is often seen dressed in a tuxedo playing baccarat in the most elegant and exclusive of environments, for example in the movies "Thunderball" and "Casino Royale".


That said, baccarat is far from the most difficult game you’ll find in a casino and these days the version played by the James Bond of the Ian Flemming books is exceedingly rare. Nowadays, whether you’re playing at a land based casino or online baccarat, at Casino Las Vegas, you are likely to be playing the North American version of the game, rather than the more complicated chemin-de-fer version favoured by 007.


Baccarat Strategy

Even though there have been many people who have published their own baccarat strategy, the North American version is really a simple game of chance. The aim is to end up with a two or three-card hand which adds up to as close to nine as possible. In some cases you can "twist" to receive an extra card and in other cases you "stick" with the two cards, but this decision is made for you according to the cards you have been dealt. There is no decision making and subsequently no true skill to playing baccarat.


Playing is therefore easy. Before any cards are dealt you choose to bet on the banker, the player or a tie. Once the cards are dealt, you double your money if you bet on the player and won and if you bet on the banker and won you double your money minus a 5% fee. If both players end up with an equal hand it is considered a tie and all bets are returned except wagers placed specifically on a tie, which pay out nine times the bet.


Considering the fact that there are no decisions to be made, you could easily play online baccarat, in a land casino or at a friend’s house without even knowing the baccarat rules! However it is worth understanding the basic premise of how you work out the score. In order to find out how much your hand is worth you simply add the value of the cards together and get rid of the "1" if the total is more than nine. Therefore if you draw a "3" and a "5" your total is eight, but if you draw a "3" and an "8" your total is one, because the "1" from the number "11" is deleted. A third card is only dealt according to a relatively complicated system, which is essentially aimed at helping you get closer to a total of nine.


As well as betting on the banker, player or a tie, you are also able to place "side bets" on the outcome of either the banker or the player’s hand, such as if either hand contains a pair or a "perfect pair" of the same suit. This allows you to win money even if you lose the hand itself.


Baccarat Card Game


The evolution of the history of Baccarat has been nothing short of stunning, with the game having managed to transcend its physical origins to become one of the most popular games in the online world in the process. Immensely popular in land-based casino as well as on the Internet, the Baccarat card game is a classic that no respectable casino should be without.


Right at the outset, it would be helpful to see Baccarat card game for what it is: a game of chance. What this means is that there is virtually no way that you could utilize some sort of system to beat the game and come out a winner with any regularity. That being said, there are various ways by which you could play Baccarat to your advantage and you could even have a more enjoyable playing experience at the same time.


Variations of the Baccarat Card Game


There are actually quite a few different variations of the Baccarat card game, with the most popular one being the Punto Banco version. It is this variant that is most commonly played in the United States, Canada, Australia, and some parts of Europe. This version of the game uses an eight-deck shoe to hold the cards.


One version of the Baccarat card game that is not quite so common nowadays is Chemin De Fer. This version of Baccarat is rarely played outside of France, and even the country's Baccarat players have largely moved on to more modern forms of the game. In any case, this game has a quaint and some would say, antiquated set of rules that definitely hearken back to the Old World origins of the game.


Another version of the game is (En) Banque. Again this variant is French in origin, and it utilizes a three-deck shoe to hold the cards. Still not as popular as the Punto Banco version of the game, this one is played mostly in a few European casinos.


As well as betting on the banker, player or a tie, you are also able to place "side bets" on the outcome of either the banker or the player’s hand, such as if either hand contains a pair or a "perfect pair" of the same suit. This allows you to win money even if you lose the hand itself.


Mini-Baccarat


Over in the online world, the Baccarat card game fast making waves is mini-Baccarat. The unlikely choice of the Internet set, mini-Baccarat is characterized by an oval shaped table with two identical ends. In this, the online version of the game, the 13 has been done away with.


Regardless of which version of the Baccarat card game you choose, the object is to get as close to 8 as possible, with a 9 being even better. There are a few other rules to keep in mind that have to do with how the game is played and the values of the hands. In any case, learning Baccarat card game is generally easy enough that even first time players will be able to come to grips with it quickly.


One of the best ways to get started on the road to Baccarat action is to check out any on of the many online casinos on the Internet. These sites will provide you with a relatively safe and risk-free way of getting your feet wet in the potentially rewarding world of Baccarat card game.


Progressive Baccarat at Casino Las Vegas


If baccarat is the prince of table games, Progressive Baccarat is the undisputed king. It takes one of the world’s best-loved casino games to a whole new level, giving every player the chance to win thousands from only a small bet, on top of the regular bets made on each hand. Progressive Baccarat adds a new element to the game with a progressive jackpot up for grabs every hand.


In its regular form, baccarat is simply a classic. From the start of the history of Baccarat, in France some 500 years ago, Baccarat has cemented its place as a card table game for the upper classes. Its popularity soared in the early years of the 16th century, and over the ensuing decades it became associated with the highest echelons of society. Think elegant, opulent casinos on the European continent, where patrons dress in tuxedos and wager amounts of money most people could only dream of getting their hands on. This image has continued to hold true to this day. Most reputable casinos around the world contain VIP baccarat rooms, where only the highest rollers are permitted to play.


Baccarat Online


However, the onslaught of online gaming in the last decade has brought baccarat back to the people. Instead of being seen as a game for only the richest, online baccarat can be played by anyone, anywhere at any time. The game is simple to learn and easy to play, a significant factor in retaining its popularity. All you have to do is bet on the player, the banker or a tie and wait and see who wins. There are no decisions to be made once the cards are dealt. The winning hand is the one containing cards of a total closest to nine. If the total is more than nine you knock off the "1" and take the last number. In some cases you are dealt a third card and others you stick with the two cards you received. This is decided according to a previously determined system.


When playing Progressive Baccarat, you just need to play baccarat as normal, but at the same time bet on winning the progressive jackpot. Whether you win or lose the regular hand is immaterial when it comes to the progressive bet. You can bet on the banker and lose your regular bet, but at the same time win the progressive jackpot, which could reach $70,000 or more.


Only one group of cards will win you the big jackpot – both the player and the dealer need to be dealt an ace and an eight of the same suit. But while you may be aiming to with the big jackpot, when you’re playing Progressive Baccarat, there are six other ways to win. The extra prizes range from 10,000 times your bet to 10 times the bet. Simply click on the pay table in the Progressive Baccarat window to find out how much you can win.