Baccarat is a very popular card game, a game of chance that has developed from the French game popular in the court of King Charles III – way back in the late 1400s.
As with anything that’s stood the test of time the game is deceptively simple. There are a number of ways to bet on the game and a number of variations – but ‘Punto Banco’ is the most commonly found in casinos now.
Other variations on the game – namely ‘baccarat chemin de fer’ and ‘baccarat banque’ – have more complex rules and require more skill as the player makes more influential decisions on the play – but these are far less commonly found in casinos so it’s best to focus on Punto Banco Baccarat to understand the gameplay.
The play takes place between the player and the banker. A ‘shoe’ holds the cards – usually 4, 6 or 8 decks shuffled together. These are drawn from for play, and each hand is known as a ‘coup’.
The scoring and play can seem complicated to the uninitiated – but it’s far simpler than it appears and once you’ve grasped the basics it’s a great game to play.
The name ‘baccarat’ is used in reference to anything with a value of 0; in the game that applies to the 10, the face cards and any hand that totals a score of 10 or 0.
Hands are valued on the rightmost digit of the total – ie if the cards combined value is 16 then the hand is worth 6. The highest value in the game is a total of 9.
The play is simple – the player and banker play their hands against one another and the highest value hand wins; the results are player wins, banker wins, or a tie.
Bets are placed on each coup – and bets can be either player wins, banker wins, or the tie – betting on a tie pays out the most to the winners as it’s the least common result.