Popular culture was introduced to the game of Baccarat by James Bond, the legendary Ian Fleming character, that spend hours sipping vodka martinis, smoking strong filterless Turkish blend cigarettes and playing the casino card game of Baccarat Chemin de Fer. Baccarat is a very old casino game believed to have originated in Italy. Sometime during the reign of Charles VIII (1423-1483), Baccarat made its way to France. Historically speaking, Baccarat has been a game of the wealthy and sophisticated but is now available and played by players of all backgrounds online.
While Baccarat may seem somewhat confusing at first, it is actually a fairly simple game with a very low house edge, approximately 1%. Baccarat is somewhat similar to Blackjack in that both the Player hand and the Banker hand are both dealt two cards and similar to Craps in the fashion that the table places bets.
In Baccarat, there is a Banker hand and a Player hand. “Banker” and “Player” do not necessarily refer to hand of the house and player respectively; rather, they label the two hands dealt in the game and, in fact, the player can bet on either hand to win.
The action in Baccarat opens with the player betting one of three outcomes: Player win, Banker win or Tie. In essence; players may either bet that the “Player” hand will win, the “Banker” hand will win or the “Player” and “Banker” hands will have the same point value.
Once bets have been placed, the croupier will deal two cards to the “Player” hand and two cards to the “Banker” hand. The numeric value of the cards determines the outcome of the game with cards - being worth their face value, cards -[K] being worth 0 points and the [A] being worth 1 point. In order to tabulate a hand’s score, the point value of the cards is added and the 10’s digit is dropped (modulo 10), if there is one. For example:
: 5 (6+9=15 and the 10’s digit is dropped leaving us with “5”)
The best score that a hand can have is “9” and the worst score is “0”.
A winning bet on the “Player” hand pays 1:1, a winning bet on a “Tie” pays 8:1 and a winning bet on the “Banker” hand pays 1:1 minus a 5% house commission.
Baccarat and mini-baccarat have the same odds. The only real difference between Baccarat and Mini-Baccarat is that mini-baccarat tends to be a quicker game since the dealer turns all of the cards. Players will typically find mini-Baccarat games at lower stake ranges than they will Baccarat.
While Baccarat is enjoying a great deal of popularity online, Baccarat is still very much a high roller game in land-based casinos. Players will find Baccarat tables at casinos will often have extremely high table minimums.