De-Mystifying Baccarat - Part One: Just the Basics For Now

September 10, 2013

For a lot of people, baccarat is just one of those games that is a little too difficult to understand, and they may be one of the reasons they stay away, whether it is in a physical casino or in the online game. There is really quite a simple premise to the game, once you can get past a few things. Let's take you through some of the very basic principles and procedures that might actually enable you to sit down and play it a little (perhaps at first just "for fun" in an online mode).

• Baccarat is played with a shoe that contains eight 52-card decks.

• There are three ways to bet in baccarat - on the "Player," the "Banker" or a "Tie."

• For all intents and purposes, you are not the Player or the Banker, in the sense that you are playing against the house's cards. Those are just designations in the game.

• Other than which side to bet on, and how much, there are no other decisions you have to make when playing this game. So if you are intimidated by decision-making, don't worry too much about it.

• Initially, two cards are dealt to the Player and two to the Banker. There is the possibility of a third card being drawn, under certain circumstances.

• What you are ultimately sitting and watching for is which of the two hands comes closest to the total of nine (9), which is the best possible hand to have.

• Have the understanding that only the second-digit of any two-digit total counts. In other words, if a total is 14, it is expressed as four (4).

• Given those parameters, ten value cards, like the 10, Jack, Queen and King, are not counted at all in any two-card initial combo. Just look at it that way.

• Oh by the way, aces are not counted as one or eleven as they are in blackjack. They simply count as one in baccarat.

• When you make a successful bet on a tie, you will receive a payout of 8-to-1. However, the odds against winning this wager are much greater, so it is not the smartest bet in the world.

• Whenever you have bet on either the Player or the Banker, you will be paid even money.

• Okay, there is one codicil to that. when you have bet on the Banker, and you win, you have to pay a 5% commission back to the house at the end of the shoe.

Okay, now we see that we may have gotten you into a territory of confusion. Have no fear - we've got plenty of time to explain all of the subtleties to you!

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