Baccarat has become one of the most popular games at an online casino. It offers some of the simplest rules that you can find at a casino and it shares many similarities with the popular game of blackjack. In fact, baccarat is even easier to understand than blackjack so those who are familiar with blackjack, but are looking for a simpler alternative, may have found it with baccarat.
Playing baccarat online offers many advantages, including the ability to learn the rules of the game at your own pace without affecting the other players or the dealer. In fact, you can even learn the Baccarat rules and practice playing for free, without having to risk your own bankroll.
The Baccarat Table
There are a number of different areas on a baccarat table and it is important to understand these before you begin to play. There are four layers to a baccarat table, beginning with the player positions set around the outside. These are labeled with numbers. The next layers in will be the betting rows including players, bankers and tie. Each layer will be made up of squares and it is into these squares that players must place their bets.
Baccarat Table Layout
A baccarat table is symmetrical and up to fifteen players can fit around one table for any game. We will now look more closely at the different sections on the table.
These sections make up the two outer portions of the table. In the center of the table, players will find fifteen boxes, labeled 1-15. It is into these boxes that each player must pay their commission fee for wins on the banker's hand.
There are three dealers, or callers, in a game of baccarat and for anyone familiar with the game, they will probably remind you of the dealers in a game of craps. The caller stands in the Position 1, opposite the two dealers and in the middle of the table. His role is to direct the game and make the calls on the hands. The callers are very important to ensure that the game runs smoothly. The dealers stand in Positions 2 and 3, opposite the caller. Their role is to deal with the betting and each dealer is responsible for betting on his end of the table.
The aim of the game of baccarat is to achieve a total hand value of closer to nine than the teller, without going over. Each player plays against the teller only – not against the other players. All players and then the teller are dealt two cards. Players will need to work out the total value of their hand by adding up the values of each individual card.
Card values in baccarat are as follows:
- Ace is worth 1
- Cards two through nine have their face value
- Tens and face cards are worth zero
The card values are added together; however if the total point value is worth more than ten, ten is subtracted from the total to give you a new value. For example, a hand of (9, 6) would equal 15; however as it values more than 10, ten points will be taken away and the final value of the hand will be worth 5.
Betting in Baccarat
If you thought that working out your hand value was simple, you will find that placing bets is even less complicated. Players have a choice of how to bet, but there are only three options available – that the winning hand will be the player's, the winning hand will be the banker's or the two hands will tie.
A successful bet on the player's hand will win 2 to 1; a successful bet on the banker's hand will pay 2 to 1 minus the vigorish (commission) and a successful bet on a tie will pay 9 to 1.
Dealing a Third Card
Players and the teller are initially dealt two cards, but there are some cases when a third card may be dealt. There are specific rules as to when a third card is dealt in a game of baccarat and when the total number of cards must remain at two.
- If the point total of the first two cards dealt to the player or the teller equals 8 or 9, baccarat rules typically do not allow any further cards to be dealt.
- If the player's point total equals 5 or lower, they will be dealt a third card. The player must stand on a point total of 6 or 7.
- If the point total of the teller's hand equals 2 or lower, he must draw. He must stand on a point total of 7.
- The teller will also be dealt a third card if their first two cards total:
- 3, with the player's third card being 8
- 4, with the player's third card being 0, 1, 8 or 9
- 5, with the player's third card being 0, 1, 2, 3, 8 or 9
- 6, with the player's third card being 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 or 9
Once you have your head around the rules for when a third card is dealt in a game of baccarat, you will be all set to play. The rules for working out hand totals could not be simpler and you can begin enjoying this game in no time. Practice for free in fun mode and once you feel confident start placing real money bets and try your hand at winning some real cash.