As is the case with all online casino games, Baccarat is a popular and thrilling casino game which is played by many people online each and every day. Many casino operators have welcome bonuses for Baccarat as well as for their other offerings such as slots, roulette and others. The game of Baccarat itself is fun to play and very easy to learn. In just a few steps online, you can get yourself set up, practising and playing Baccarat.
Baccarat falls in to the ‘table game’ category of casino games and can often be found in casinos alongside other well-known games such as blackjack and poker. It is also very common to find UK casino bonuses specifically for Baccarat to get you started.
What is Baccarat?
Baccarat is a card-based casino game in which players make one of three bets, with their outcome determined by the hand dealt to them. It can also be played as both a large multi-player game or a solo game. Although a lot of guess work is involved in Baccarat, a healthy dose of knowledge of this exciting casino game could help improve your bet decisions and overall gaming skill set whilst learning a greater appreciation for such a classic game, that could win you many thousands of Pounds each play. You should, as with all casino games however, be mindful of the wagering requirements for Baccarat when playing.
One of the most commonly played variations of this game is titled ‘Punto Banco,’ translating to ‘Player Banker,’ the ‘player’ and ‘banker’ being two of the main components to the game as detailed below. Being the most widespread version of Baccarat, this is the version of the game that will be used for the purposes of this article.
History and Origins of Baccarat
Traced all the way back to 15th Century Italy, and further travelling across to France and England where it was later developed into the game we know today, Baccarat is a game rich in its history. Invented by Felix Falguiere, the name of Baccarat derives from the origins of the medieval Italian word for zero ‘baccara,’ which is in reference to an important number in the game’s rules with all face and ten cards valued at this number.
The game is also claimed to have initially been played with Tarot cards instead of the standard deck used in today’s game, with its origins also commonly believed to be based on an old Etruscan legend. This legend following the story of a virgin who must throw a nine-sided die with its outcome determining her fate.
If an 8 or 9 was thrown the virgin was promoted to a priestess, if a 6 or 7 was thrown she still went away with her life, however was banned from all further religious and community proceedings. However, if the virgin threw lower than a 6, she would be forced onto the sea and left to drown.
Although the game’s stakes have since dropped from forced drowning to losing a bit of money, today’s game still retains elements of the myth; with chance and guesswork a fundamental component to the excitement and suspense of Baccarat game.
Baccarat Useful Terminology
As with any casino game you play from roulette online to slots and more, the more players know about the game and its associated terms, the better advantage they have of coming away with the winnings. Learning the terminology for Baccarat is no exception to this, allowing for a smoother game with reduced confusion throughout. Some of the basic terms include:
- Baccarat – If the ‘player’ or ‘banker’ have a total hand of 0
- Banco – The card dealer can often be called this
- Bankroll – The total sum of money a player intends on spending in the game
- Burning – After the shuffling of cards and before starting a new game, 3 – 6 cards off the top of the freshly shuffled deck are discarded
- Carte – linking back to the French history of the game, the phrase used to request a further card from the ‘banco,’ or dealer
- Commission – when winning Baccarat on a ‘banker’ or ‘player’ bet, 5% commission is taken from the winnings to the house
- Coup – Another link back to the game’s French origins, translating as a round of the game including both banker and player hands
- House Edge – The advantage a casino has on bets that players have made
- Monkey – Slang for any card with a ten or face on it, these cards have a value of 0 in the game
- Natural – When the first two initial cards dealt to a player total to either an 8 or 9
- Player – One of the three bets that can be made in Baccarat, more details of this can be found in the section subtitled ‘Types of Bets in Baccarat’
- Punto – A player in the game
Types of Bets in Baccarat
In addition to the key terminology, another fundamental component of the game of Baccarat players always benefit from learning is the types of bets that can be made. Knowledge of the types of bets and how they work in practice could help players make more informed decisions on where to put their money, therefore yielding a higher chance at winning.
There are three main bets that can be made in a game of Baccarat, these being as listed below:
- The “Player” Bet – A 1:1 bet, this type of bet aims for the hand closest to 9 as possible over their opponent “banker” hand
- The “Banker” Bet – A 1:1 bet, this type of bet also aims for the hand closest to 9 as possible over their opponent “player” hand
- The “Tie” Bet – Typically a 9:1 or 8:1 bet, extremely high casino advantage (or house edge), this being over 14%. Aiming for a tie in hands dealt for both player and banker
Card Values in Baccarat
Knowing the values of your hand in a game of Baccarat is yet another essential part of the game, allowing players to know where they stand at any given point in the game and thus making bankroll betting decisions accordingly:
- Face value – All cards from 2 to 9 have a “face value”, and therefore when dealt in the game retain the value of the number given on the card
- Zero – All cards with the number 10 or a face card are valued at 0
- Aces – All aces in the game are valued at 1
If any summation of cards within the game reaches two digits, the left digit is dropped from the result of the hand; e.g. if a 7 and 5 are the hand dealt, the sum value would be 2, effectively subtracting 10 from the total value.
Types of Hands in Baccarat
Another important aspect of the game that is vital for players to know is the type of hands a punto can be dealt. Knowing the potential types of hand will help a punto understand where they stand at all times in the game, therefore giving them the ability to be more prepared for each outcome the game provides.
There are two main hands in Baccarat, these being the ‘player’ hand and the ‘banker’ hand; however, the goal for both sets of hands is to get as close to an overall result of 9 as possible.
Initially, two cards are dealt to both the ‘player’ and ‘banker,’ and this is where the rules for each hand differ:
“Player” Hand Rules:
- An outcome of 8 or 9 = a natural, both “player” and “banker” hands in game stands
- An outcome of 6 or 7 = stands
- An outcome of 0,1, 2,3,4 or 5 = a third card is drawn
“Banker” Hand Rules:
- An outcome of 8 or 9 = a natural, both “banker” and “player” hands in game stands
- An outcome of 7 = stands
- An outcome of 3, a third card of 8 is drawn = stands
- An outcome of 4, a third card of 0, 1, 8 or 9 = stands
- An outcome of 5, a third card of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 or 9 = stands
These fundamental elements to the game Baccarat will not only provide players, or ‘puntos’ with a greater knowledge of rules and regulations surrounding it, but also give insights into the fascinating and mythical origins that make this classic casino game what it is today. Although the stakes are less high than the virgins in the game’s initial mythical origins, Baccarat is still to this day an exciting gambling game, in which both a combination of both luck and extensive knowledge can take you a long way and win you a lot of money playing online.