Baccarat is an old game. It grew in popularity with French nobility in the 19th century and was played head-to-head. The more modern version is player vs the house and has seen a large growth in land-based casinos in the past decade and made the jump to online casinos almost as quickly as slots. This game, while looking complicated to the untrained, is one of the simplest card games in a casino and can be enjoyed by anyone with very little time invested.
The goal in Baccarat is get as close to 9 without going over with 2 or 3 cards. Each card from A-9 are counted at face value and 10-K are 0’s. If the total value of cards crosses the 9 threshold the count restarts. For example, if the player is dealt 7/K, then the point total is 7. If the banker is dealt a 9/8, then the banker total is 8 (17 – 9). In this scenario the Banker wins. If the value of the player cards drawn are 5 or less they are given a 3rd card. The same rules apply to the banker unless the player receives a 3rd card. After a 3rd card for the player, the banker is able to receive a 3rd card according to the following ruleset:
- If the banker total is 2 or less, then the banker draws a card, regardless of what the player’s third card is.
- If the banker total is 3, then the banker draws a third card unless the player’s third card was an 8.
- If the banker total is 4, then the banker draws a third card if the player’s third card was 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
- If the banker total is 5, then the banker draws a third card if the player’s third card was 4, 5, 6, or 7.
- If the banker total is 6, then the banker draws a third card if the player’s third card was a 6 or 7.
- If the banker total is 7, then the banker stands.
While the drawing rules seem a bit complicated, all bets are placed before any cards are placed, so the game itself is still a 50/50 tossup (minus house edge of course). A two card hand is considered a natural, and a 3 card hand is considered non-natural.
Betting on a game of baccarat is quite simple, choose banker, player or tie. The majority of Baccarat tables pay as follows:
- Banker Pays 0.95:1
- Player Pays 1:1
- Tie Pays 8:1
With this simple knowledge a player can sit down or login and enjoy a game of baccarat, but what is a table game without some fun side bets? Many Baccarat tables offer a few side bets to increase risk or hedge losses if one side is on a streak. An interesting caveat to the baccarat table is that you can usually place side bets regardless of whether you are placing bets on banker or player. We will cover some of the most common side bets included in online casino Baccarat.
Player/Banker Pair: Simple enough this side bet is betting on the initial 2 cards being a pair for either the banker or the player and pays 8:1.
Either Pair: The player wins the either pair side bet if either the baker or player’s initial 2 cards are a pair and pays 5:1.
Perfect Pair: A perfect pair side bet is won if either the banker or player’s initial 2 cards are a suited pair and pays 25:1.
Player/Banker Bonus: The Bonus side bet for either player or banker is a little more complicated with multiple payouts for different scenarios, we will assume a player bonus bet:
- The player wins with a non-natural hand by 9 points pays 30:1
- The player wins with a non-natural hand by 8 points pays 10:1
- The player wins with a non-natural hand by 7 points pays 6:1
- The player wins with a non-natural hand by 6 points pays 4:1
- The player wins with a non-natural hand by 5 points pays 2:1
- The player wins with a non-natural hand by 4 points pays 1:1
- The player wins with a natural hand pays 1:1
- If the game is a natural tie the side bet pushes
Our hope here at BTCGosu is that you are now comfortable going to a baccarat table and laying your chips down with confidence. Whether you want to play straight with player or banker bets only, or if you want to try your luck with a few side bets, now you know what you are looking for.
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