Before I explain how to play Baccarat let’s get in the mood by imaging the look of the gaming room. It’s going to be a lush, opulent room with custom curtains & drapery made from 100% dupioni silk. Dupioni silk has fiber slubs found throughout the fabric. With its natural wove of two different color the fabric shimmers appearing to change color as the silk is moved around in different light. This is perfect for my imaginary gambling room. The basic color of the custom drapery will be a deep burgundy wine with tassel pull backs made of gold and black thread. The windows that the custom drapes grace will open out to a stunning garden with a large fountain. The light fixtures are ornate throwing out a warm comforting glow. Of course everyone is dressed in elegant evening clothes s they sip on champagne and make their bets. Got the picture? Pretty cool! Now it’s time to play.
How does a game of Baccarat unfold? Well, let’s start with the quick version:
- You choose to bet on Player, banker, or Tie
- The croupier deals a card face-down to the Player area, then the Banker area
- and then another one to each area, also face-down
- then they’re turned over (so why deal them face-down? Skip a step! Geez…)
- the cards are added up for each. An 8 or 9 “natural” ends the round immediately (go to #8), otherwise:
- the Player stands on 6 or 7, and draws on 0-5
- the Banker stands or draws depending on what the Player just did.
- If the Player stands, the Banker stands on 6 or 7, and draws on 0-5 (just like the Player!)
- if the Player’s 3rd card was 2 or 3, the Banker will draw on 0-4 and stand on 5 to 7
- if the Player’s 3rd card was 4 or 5, the Banker will draw on 0-5 and stand on 6 to 7
- if the Player’s 3rd card was 6 or 7, the Banker will draw on 0-6 and stand on 7
- if the Player’s 3rd card was 8, the Banker will draw on 0-2 and stand on 3 to 7
- if the Player’s 3rd card was Ace, 9, 10, or a face card, the Banker will draw on 0-3 and stand on 4-7
- The croupier announces “Player”, “Banker” or “Tie” (“Egalité”, if you’re in Monte Carlo)
- Money changes hands:
- Player bets win even money (1 to 1)
- Banker bets win slightly less money (usually 1 to 1 minus 5% to the house)
- Egalité bets win 8 to 1 odds
These are the nuts and bolts of Baccarat. You can now visit any online casino that welcomes USA players or if you are outside of the US, anywhere else and play Baccarat like the high-rollin’ VIP that you are.
Since the cards themselves determine what will happen, you don’t even really NEED to know this much — but just like in online slots, the difference between a beginner and an expert is understanding what you’re seeing happen in front of you rather than just pressing buttons — though the results will be the same.
This game, like bridge, has some fanatical players who live to play. My friend Roger Sherman, who taught me, is one such player. By day he’s a social security disability attorney, filing claims on behalf of the disabled and attempting to win monthly awards for them. So this dude is a do-gooder in the real world. Never thought I would classify a lawyer as a do-gooder, but in this case that’s the reality. By night though, Roger transforms into a cut throat Baccarat demon who will give you no quarter.
I didn’t even mention the fact that there are other types of Baccarat besides Punto Banco. There’s also chemin de fer and banque (also known as à deux tableau). The latter two variants are complex enough to require a page of their own.
When looking into playing Baccarat, you’ll need a lot of computer equipment to get the full experience.
* * Update * * the game is not easy to catch on to. I am an avid poker player & I play other table games as well. I consider myself versed in the games available at a casino but when I came across this one it took some time to get it down. I had a hard time with not only grasping the cards values but the scoring of the game as well. I found myself slipping into old habits often.