Baccarat is a classic and timeless card game, synonymous with James Bond, martinis, and high-stakes action.
The game is a favorite at the high-roller lounges of Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Macau, owing to its glamorous history and action-packed style of play.
If you’re wanting to get to grips with the baccarat rules, either for an upcoming trip to a casino or because you want to start playing online at home, we’ve got you covered.
Read this essential baccarat strategy guide to find out the ins-and-outs of the game, and how to boost your chances of winning the jackpot.
1. Baccarat Rules Explained
Before we dive into how to play baccarat, it’s worth emphasizing that, despite how complex the game might look in the movies, it is actually one of the simplest table games around.
The dealer pretty much does all of the action, and there is little needed from the player other than to make a bet. Of course, there are certain ways that the player can get more out of their game of baccarat, but we’ll get to that later.
No matter how many players are sat at the baccarat table, there are only two hands being dealt out. There is the banker’s hand and the player’s hand. Everyone else around the table can choose to bet either on the player’s hand or the banker’s hand.
The goal of each play is to get a value as close to the number 9 as possible, without going over. All numerical cards other than 10 retain their face value. Meanwhile, all face cards and 10s have a value of 0. Aces carry a value of one.
If either the player or the banker gets an 8 or a 9 in the first hand, they are the ‘natural’ winners and therefore automatically win the round. Players can stand on 6 or 7 or attempt to draw.
If the player is not a natural winner and the banker does not have an 8 or 9, but the player is choosing to stay, then the banker can attempt to draw.
Winning bets are paid off at even money, while ties result in the return of the stake, with no winnings for the player or the house.
However, participants can choose to bet on a tie between the player and the banker if they so wish, which can result in doubling your stake.
2. Baccarat Strategy Tips
Now that you know the way to play baccarat, it’s time to talk strategy. According to the comprehensive Baccarat Strategies guide from X-Fire, just because baccarat is a luck-based game does not mean there aren’t certain ways to improve your odds.
One of the methods you can try is the ‘one-side’ betting strategy, in which you consistently bet on the same side throughout a game. This gives you 50/50 odds of winning, which is higher than at most other table games.
You can also opt for the ‘trend switch’ strategy. This requires some baccarat savvy, as it consists of picking out winning patterns and adopting your wagering approach accordingly.
Then there is the ‘Breaking the Doubles’ strategy, in which you wager in a zig-zag pattern, alternating between player and banker. Of course, it is crucial to set a wagering limit before play baccarat online, so that you don’t overstep.
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Now that you know the baccarat rules, you are ready to start playing one of the most popular online casino games around.
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