One of the more
interesting games in any casino is Baccarat. Often considered the
game of “whales” – the biggest player in a casino – it is very
popular with big players.
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On the surface, it seems confusing, but
baccarat is an easy game to learn. The basic rules are simple; suits
mean nothing in this game (like blackjack). Card values are based
solely on the numbers.
Aces are worth one
point, cards 2-9 are worth face value, and 10s and paint (or face
cards – K, Q, J) are worth 0 points. The combined value of the cards
without going above 10 is the player’s score. The best possible
score is 9; the lowest is 10, which is actually zero. If a player’s
hand value goes over 10, the actual score is the combination minus
10. For example, if a player has 8 and 7, the hand value is 5 (15
minus 10). A Queen and a 4 would equal 4, since the value of the
queen is zero.
In baccarat, you are not
playing the house or the dealer; you are playing against the other
cards. Each player gets to hold the Bank as long as it wins, but
there is no real advantage to holding the bank. There is also a
player and a tie.
There are no player
decisions in terms of the cards; baccarat has strict rules for when
you can take additional cards. Winning or losing depends on the
betting options. The ideal result is a “natural,” which is a natural
8 or 9 on the initial deal, when each player gets two cards.
In a real casino, a baccarat table is large and rectangular –
roughly the size of a craps table.
Conceptually, baccarat is similar to blackjack. The house edge on
the game is smaller than most casino games, giving the player more
of a fair chance.
This helped make
baccarat a game for the richest and most elite of the casino for a
long time. Casinos eventually began to reach out to the average
player with mini-baccarat, and the game has been popular with a wide
variety of players ever since.
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