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Online Casino Project >>> Baccarat Rules

Baccarat, which etymologically comes from the Latin word baccara, originally hails from Europe, although you will most likely run across the American version when playing baccarat in an online casino.  The game is reportedly credited as being the invention of the Italian, Felix Falguierein.  Records show that baccarat was brought to France in the 15th Century, making its way to America in the late sixties when Las Vegas casinos needed a makeover of sophisticated gambling games.  And although the rules of the game itself are not at all sophisticated, baccarat does have a reputation of being a high-class game for high rollers.

The layout of the baccarat table is relatively unchanged since its royal beginnings.  Each side mirrors the other, and consists of fifteen places for players to sit at one time, with 4 half circles directly in front of the players.  The first row of numbers is simply a position marker.  The second row has the word Players marked on it, which conveniently has one letter corresponding to each number marker.  This is where wagers on the Player Hand are set.  The following half-circle has the word Bankers marked on it, which also conveniently has one letter corresponding to each betting position. This box is where bets on the banker's hand are set.  The last and remaining circle says the word 'Tie' and 8 to 1 (or 9 to 1), depending on what odds the casino pays tie bets.  This is where bets on a tie hand are set.  A series of numbered boxes (one for each player) is where commission fees are kept track, since the casino does not collect its commission fees from players every game.  The three boxes behind these numbers are the drop box, discard tray, and tip box.  There are usually two dealers and one caller, also called a croupier, who directs the game.  In online baccarat you will only be confronted with probably three betting seats and the corresponding player, banker, and tie wager boxes.

The structure and rules of the game are quite simple. 

Much like blackjack, two hands are played - a dealer and a player hand pitted against each other.  Unlike blackjack, but rather, more like craps, multiple players around the table can bet on which hand will win.  After all is said and done, the hand with a point total closest to nine wins.

The game begins with players placing bets.  Essentially, only three bets can potentially be made - A bet for the player's hand to win, the banker's hand to win, or a tie. After all bets are made, which cannot be added to or retracted once play begins, the House will deal four face-down cards - two cards each to both the player and banker (House).  After the cards are finished being dealt, they are revealed and tabulated.  Depending on hand outcomes, the Player hand will either draw a third card or stand.  After the players turn, and depending on both the outcome of the players hand and its own, the Banker hand will either draw a third additional card or stand.  The hand closest to a total value of nine wins.  If both hands are the same, the game is deemed a tie.

Two components of the game need clearing up at this point.  One factor is how hand values are tabulated.  The other is how drawing a third card is determined.  Please note that both hands are allowed a maximum of one card draw.  Therefore, a baccarat hand will never exceed three cards total. 

Tabulating the hand value is straightforward and only takes simple mathematics of addition.  All cards numbered 2 through 9 are worth their numeric value. All other cards (tens and picture cards) are worth zero points.  In order to calculate a hand total, simply add the value of the two cards.  If this sum goes over ten, subtract ten and you will have the final value.  For instance, a hand of 6 and 10 will have a total value of 6.  A hand of seven and four has a value of 1. (7 + 4 = 11 - 10 = 1)  A hand that has drawn and composed of three cards is calculated in the same fashion.  For instance, a hand of 5, Queen and 9 has a value of 4 (5 + 0 + 9 = 14 - 10 = 4).

Card draw determination is slightly more involved and is often explained with a chart.  However, I will try to simplify this as much as possible with a few brief guidelines.  First off, know that right from the beginning a hand of 8 or 9 automatically wins.  If both hands have an 8 or 9, the game is deemed a tie, in which all Tie Bets win.  If one hand is an 8 and the other is a 9, the 9 wins.  If such is not the case, the Player Hand makes the first move.

PLAYER DRAW

Player shows a 6, 7, 8, or 9 (8 and 9 win)
Player Hand must Stand

Player shows a 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 or 0
Player Hand must Draw

Once the player hand is finished and standing, the bank hand will determine whether it must draw a third card.  The following guidelines determine what action the Bank Hand will take:

BANKER DRAW

On a side note, if the player hand does not draw a card, the banker hand will always draw if its value is lower than the player hand or if its own two-card value is 0, 1, or 2.

Banker shows a 7, 8 or 9 (8 and 9 win)
Banker Hand must Stand

Banker shows a 3
Banker Hand must Draw if player's draw card is a 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7
Banker Hand must Stand if player's draw card is an 8

Banker shows a 4
Banker Hand must Draw if player's draw card is a 0, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7
Banker Hand must Stand if player's draw card is a 0, 1, 8 or 9

Banker shows a 5
Banker Hand must Draw if player's draw card is a 4, 5, 6, or 7
Banker Hand must Stand if player's draw card is a 0,1, 2, 3, 8 or 9

Banker shows a 6
Banker Hand must Draw if player's draw card is a 6 or 7
Banker Hand must Stand if player's draw card is a 0,1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 or 9

After the dealer has finished drawing, the hands are added up and a winner is declared.  Winning bets on the player hand pay back 1 to 1, while winning bets on the banker hand do the same, but with a 5% vig (commission).  Winning tie bets pay back 9 to 1.

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