Baccarat in a nutshell

Baccarat is a popular card game. In Holland Casino they play the Punto Banco variant, but at an online casino it is actually still called Baccarat.

If you look at the game it seems quite complicated. When to add or subtract cards is sometimes unclear. Yet the rules are not too difficult. Let us give you a crash course in baccarat.

The rules of baccarat

The basics of baccarat are very simple. There are two parties: the Player and the Banker. Both parties compete against each other. In this game, the dealer deals two cards to each party. The party whose total of cards is closest to 9 is considered the winner.

The cards are counted as follows:
Numbered cards are counted based on the card (i.e. 5 is worth 5, 6 is worth 6). Tens, J’s, Q’s and K’s are worth 10. Aces are worth 1. If the total goes above 10, the first digit is removed so that the total is always 0-9. (i.e. a total of 15 would be 5).

The dealer does all the handling and all you have to do is sit back and see if you won. Although simple in the basics, baccarat can be a little confusing here and there. If either the player or the banker gets a “natural,” which is a total of eight or nine, this is an automatic winner. If both the player and the banker get a natural, it’s a tie, also called a “TIE.” A natural 9 beats a natural 8.

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When do you get extra cards?

Sometimes the Player or Banker will receive a third card. This seems to happen randomly at first, but of course it doesn’t.
If the player’s first two cards show a hand from 0 to 5, the player gets a third card. If the total is 6 or 7, the player passes and if it is 8 or 9 then it is a “natural”.

The Banker has a few more options. If the total of the Banker’s hands is 0-2, the Banker draws a card. If the Banker’s total is 3, he draws a card unless the player has drawn a third card and it is an 8. With a total of 4, the banker draws unless the player has drawn a third card that is an 8, 9 or ace.

With a total of 5, the bank draws unless the player has drawn a third card that is not between 4 and 7. For a total of 6, the bank passes unless the player has drawn a card of 6 or 7. The banker always passes on 7 and of course an 8 or 9 is a “natural”.

These additional rules may seem confusing, but they are actually quite simple. The advantage is that all these rules are predetermined and the dealer knows exactly what the rules are. So as a player you never have to make a decision. The only decision you have to make is what to bet your money on.

Final remarks

Always remember that you have to pay a commission to the house when you win a bet that you placed on Banker. This is usually between 4% and 5%. The overall advantage of the house is small in Baccarat, which is probably why it is a high-roller favorite. On the player’s hand, the house advantage is 1.24% and for the banker it is 0.6% to 1.06%.

Although the typical version of Baccarat in a casino is usually a game of chance, it still offers the lowest house edge of the casino games. Many people probably don’t play Baccarat because they don’t understand it, but hopefully after reading this brief introduction you won’t be afraid to give it a try and see what you think.