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How to play baccarat
is played with either six or eight complete decks of
All cards, ace through nine, are valued
according to their count. Tens and face cards count
as zero. When any two cards total over a 10 count, 10
must be subtracted and the remaining total is the card
count. So for instance, a 7 and 6 combined count as
3 (7 + 6 – 10 = 3).
The highest total any baccarat hand
can have is nine. A two-card total of nine is called
a natural and is unbeatable. An eight is the second
best hand and is also known as a natural.
The cards are shuffled by the dealer
and then reshuffled and placed in a covered box called
As part of the formality, each player
gets a turn to handle the shoe, and the caller explains
exactly what to do. The player is expected to bet against
the bank when holding the shoe, but any player may decline
this role and pass it to the next player. The caller
receives the cards from the player with the shoe, places
them in the appropriate boxes and then calls for another
card or declares the winner.
If both player and bank are dealt identical
hands, it is a tie and neither bank nor player wins.
If neither hand has a natural, the player's
hand is played first, followed by the dealer. If the
first two cards total six or seven, no further cards
can be drawn. If they total five or less, another card
is drawn. No more than three cards may be drawn for
either hand, and when both hands have been played, the
hand closest to nine wins.
Players bet by placing chips with either
the player, bank, or tie spot in the numbered box opposite
where they sit.
Winning bets made on the player or bank
are paid off at even money. The only other bet that
can be made is a tie bet, which is paid off at 8:1.
In most games, bets range from a £20
minimum to £2,000 maximum, though games with a
£20,000 maximum are not uncommon and it is even
possible to find no-limits baccarat. The type of wager
and the amount are the only decisions a player must
make, after which point the dealer takes over.
After the winner is decided, the two
other dealers pay off the winning bets and collect from
the losers. If players bet on the bank and it was the
winner, winning players must pay a 5% commission on
their winnings. A record of the commission owed by each
player is kept in a numbered box. Players can pay this
fee at any time, but it must be paid when the shoe is
completed. Each time the shoe is out of cards, decks
are shuffled and replaced in the shoe.
The house edge in baccarat
is the lowest of any casino game. With a 5% commission
on winning bank bets and nothing taken from winning
player bets, the player's disadvantage is only 1.37%.
The payoff for ties is 8:1, but it is a bad bet as the
house edge is increased to 14.1%.
01 June 2013
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