Baccarat, along with Roulette, is the simplest table game in the casino to learn and play. Its simplicity lies in the fact that the player has only three choices, and all three deal with the betting; no other playing skill is required. There are two versions of the game; the American version and the European version. For the purposes of this article we will concentrate on the American version of Baccarat.

An eight deck shoe or a six deck shoe is dealt in the American version of the game. All the numbered cards, 2 through 9, are counted as face value, with the suits having no relative value. The ace is counted as 1. Tens and all face cards are counted as zero, although it will sometimes be referred to as a 10. Any hand that adds up to more than 9 is counted by the second digit only. For example, if your hand totals 14, the hand is counted as 4; likewise, 11 becomes 1. Using this system, the highest possible score is 9.

Baccarat is a very attractive game to play primarily because it has a relatively low house advantage. Additionally, it’s important for you to know that there is a very strict set of playing rules that have been established and that cannot be changed by the player or by any actions of the house. In other words, in Baccarat there are no decisions or options, and no degree of skill is required to play as either the player or the banker.

The real objective of Baccarat is to correctly guess which of the three possible outcomes will come up on the next round. If you bet the player, the house edge is 1.36 percent; if you bet the banker, the house advantage is only 1.17 percent; and if you bet a tie, the house advantage is 14.4 percent. If the player and dealer hands end in a tie, and if you did not bet a tie, it’s considered a push (with no win or loss), and no chips change hands. There are only three actions that can be played in Baccarat the first is to bet the player, the second being to bet the banker and finally you could bet a tie. With only these three choices and the dealer making all the required plays, it is important for you to concentrate on how much to wager on each round.

By J Finney
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