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Learning the Ropes at the Baccarat Tables
In short, baccarat is played with regular decks made out of 52 cards each. It is very common for six or eight decks to be shuffled in together to provide a higher level of fairness. Jokers are not used in this card game.
Players can place real cash bets on the outcome of the round, also known as a coup. There are three possible results for a baccarat coup: Punto wins, Banco wins, or it is a tie.
The score is determined by the value of the cards dealt for each side. Cards that range from 2 to 9 are worth their value in points. Face cards (Jack, Queen and King) are worth zero points. The ace is worth one point. Card values are added up, with only the rightmost digit taken into account for the final score. For example, 17 is actually only worth 7 points, and so it loses to 8.
After a bet is placed, the dealer gives both sides two cards facing up. If either party gets a total value of 8 or 9 from the starting two cards, the round is over, and the winner is announced. If this is not the case, the game continues according to set rules where additional cards are dealt. Once the needed cards are on the table, the coup is finished, and the winning wagers paid out accordingly.
In Punto Banco, you can bet on either side for the chance to win 1:1. However, there is a 5% commission taken from the winning payout when betting on Banco. Despite this, the house edge is much smaller for the Banco bet as the casino only has an advantage of 1.06% over the customer. For Punto to win, the house edge is of 1.24%, which is still a favourable return to player rate.
If both sides have the same value after all the required cards are dealt, the result of the round is a tie. A draw/tie is the third betting option that can pay 8:1 or 9:1, depending on the version used by the casino. If the tie only pays eight times the wager, the house edge is of 14.4%, making it a bad bet in the long run. Even with a payout rate of 9-to-1 the house still maintains a significant advantage of 4.85%.
Winning Strategies for Beating the House!
The best tip for playing online baccarat is to stay away from the tie bet. Despite the fact that it promises a nice payout that appears attractive, the house edge isn’t favourable over the course of a long session. You are facing a disadvantage of 14.4% on every tie bet you make. If you want to have the option, on the other hand, we recommend opting for a Punto Banco variant where the tie payout rate is of 9:1, rather than 8:1. The payout rate is usually written on the table when playing online.
A. Maintain a fixed wager
Probably the most commonly used strategy is to do nothing. Although the temptation can be there, it is recommended to keep the same bet size with every round. Even with a house edge of about 1%, a fixed wager will limit the chance of losing. It also has the potential to increase the winnings slowly and steadily during a good run.
B. The Martingale strategy
In just a few words; the Martingale strategy consists of doubling the size of the bet after a failed wager. The goal here is to cover the losses and also claim the winnings on the initial bet. Once you win a hand, you can go back to the starting bet size. It is recommended to start at a small level so that the total balance can handle several bet multiplications if needed.
For example, if you bet €1 and lose, you will have to bet €2 on the following round. If this bet also fails, you need to put down €4 on the third bet. If at this point you win, you will get €8 after spending €7. As a result, not only are the losses from the first two bets covered, but you also get the winnings from the initial wager added on top.
C. Percentage betting
The idea with this strategy is to bet a fixed percentage of the total available amount. As the bankroll increases, so do the bets. If the bankroll drops, the level also goes down to limit the impact of a bad run.
Let’s say that you have a full balance of €1,000 and you bet 10% of it, or €100. If the bet wins, you will have €1,100 in your account. Now, your wager should be of 10% of €1,100, or €110. The winnings will increase at a faster pace with this strategy than when using a fixed bet amount. As a result, winning streaks are rewarded better.
If both hands have two cards when playing Baccarat, the dealing rules come into play. The rules dictate whether an extra card is to be dealt to either hand.
Here is the gameplay procedure for the Player’s Hand;
- If a player has 0, 1, 2,3,4,5 as the value of the hand, he or she will have to draw an extra card.
- If the player has a 6 or 7, he or she is to stand.
- If the player has an 8 or 9, he or she has to stand. Having an 8 or 9 is referred to as having a natural.
NB; The term natural is given to 8 and nine as they are “naturally” strong.
In summary, if the player’s hand has a zero to five, the player will have to draw a third and final card. If the player’s hand has a value of six to nine, the player doesn’t have to draw an extra card. Instead, the player will have to stand.
For the Bank’s Hand, players have to follow the gameplay below
- If the Bank has a total value of 0,1 and 2, the player can draw anything
- If the Bank has a value of 3, the player can draw cards with the values of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9
- If the Bank has a value of 4, the player can draw cards with the value of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
- If the Bank has a value of 5, the player can draw cards with the value 4, 5, 6, 7
- If the Bank has a value of 6, the player can draw cards with the value of 6 and 7
- If the Bank has a value of 7 the player has to stand
- If the Bank has a value of 8 and 9, the player has to stand since 8 and 9 are considered natural
NB; when the Bank’s hand has a value of six, some complexity is added to the gameplay. A Bank can only draw a card if a player’s total of six and seven are reached with three cards. If it is reached using a two-card total, then the Bank stands.
Guide to Playing Live Casino Baccarat Right Now
Getting started with live casino baccarat is not that much different than playing regular online baccarat. You will have to find an online casino that offers the game and join the fun. There are usually multiple tables available in the live casino lobby, and you can choose the preferred one based on the current dealer, the betting limits, and the available features.
In most cases, live dealer baccarat follows Punto Banco rules. As a result, the dealer will invariably have a large stack of cards made out of several decks. These are shuffled randomly by the machine. Cards are dealt for the two sides, known as Player and Banker. Keep in mind that these are just the names of the options and the players can choose to bet on either of them. Also, there is an option to bet on the outcome being a tie. You can find some live casino baccarat games with additional options for betting on a pair, which must be formed with the first two cards for one side.
Cards are dealt and scored according to a set of rules. In short, each card with a number is worth the displayed amount in points. Cards with painted faces (King, Queen, and Jack) are not worth any points. An ace in a hand will add one single point to the final score. The winning side is the one with the highest value. One thing to keep in mind is that only the rightmost digit that matters.
When the cards are dealt from the deck, they are quickly scanned by a sensor built in the table. This way, the gaming software can process the results and offer the payouts accordingly without wasting any time. Betting is done on the online interface, which is normally located over the table view for a more realistic experience. Players are given multiple chip denominations and additional betting options as part of the dashboard to make things easier.
If a Player wins his or her bet, the payment is made on even money. All Bank winnings are paid at odds of 19 to 20 which implies that there is a 5% tax on Bank winnings. Winnings from the tie (Egalite bet) are paid at 8-1.
Playing with the Bank gives the house an edge of 1.17% while playing with the Player gives the house an edge of 1.36%. The real odds of waging an Egalite bet are 9.47-1; this gives the house a massive edge of about 14%. If you love the game, this shouldn’t stop you.