Baccarat Strategy


Probably the most popular casino game in the world, baccarat has its roots in gambling salons in Italy and France. The game has been played for hundreds of years and was popular throughout Europe and Asia in the 18th century. Its name comes from the Italian word for zero and is also known as ‘baccara’. The game is played by two players, one on the Banker side and the other on the Player side.

The objective of baccarat is to form a hand that is closer to nine than the opposite hand. This is done by choosing the Banker or Player hand and placing a bet on it. The Banker can stand on 5, 6, or 7 while the player has the option to call “non” if the hand total is 6 or 7, or to call “carte” if the hand total is 0. When a draw is made by the dealer, the active player has the option of drawing the third card. The decision is not based on strategy, but on whether the card being drawn is likely to beat the dealer’s hand.

A basic strategy for baccarat is to stick with the banker bet, assuming the banker has a slight advantage. This strategy is easy to understand. The first two cards of a player’s hand are counted as the player’s “natural” hands, meaning they are automatically winners. If the player draws a third card that is a 10 or higher, the first digit is dropped from the total. The player then draws another card, usually to either hand.

The Banker hand has a 5% commission that reduces the payout odds to about 19 to 20. The banker has the freedom to choose to stand, draw or call for a third card. If the player’s third card is a 3 or 4, the banker will draw. On the other hand, if the player’s third card is a 5 or 6, the banker will call. Depending on the banker’s hand, a draw may be made on 3, 4, or 6.

When the Banker’s hand is close to 9, it is called a “natural”. The banker’s hand wins 95% of the bet. If the banker’s hand is closer to 9 than the player’s, the player wins. If the hand is a tie, the banker and the player both win 8 to 1. The player can bet on a “Tie” bet to be paid out at a higher rate than a normal bet.

The third card is placed face up. The value of the cards in a baccarat hand are the face value, plus the value of the tens and pictures. The ace counts as one and the pip cards, 2 through 9 are valued by the pip denomination. The values of the other cards are the same as the face value, except for a 10-pip card that counts as zero.

After all the betting has been completed, the player and the banker are awarded equal points. The player can announce the point totals of the two sets of cards. Aside from that, the player does not have much say in the cards being dealt.