Baccarat is a popular casino game favoured by many for its simplicity, low house edge and low stakes. Once known as the card game for aristocrats, baccarat has grown to become a great crowd favourite. And now, thanks to online casino, gambling fans can enjoy playing baccarat wherever and whenever they want.
The History of Baccarat
Baccarat was created more than 500 years ago, sometime between the 14th and 15th centuries in Italy by a man known as Felix Falguiere. It is believed that the game was based on an old Etruscan tale about a virgin who had to throw a nine-sided die. If she rolled anything lower than six, she would be banished to die.
If she rolled either a six or a seven, she would be allowed to live but excluded from community events. Rolling an eight or nine meant she would be promoted to glory by being a priestess. Even though the story is quite mortifying, it did give the first rules of the baccarat game. Felix named the game baccara, which is Italian for zero because all the tens and face cards were worth zero.
However, as the game spread, people adopted the French spelling of the word, changing it to baccarat.
Baccarat expanded from Italy to France, where it quickly became King Charles VIII’s favourite game. He played it with his noblemen and other court members, and for many years to come, it was regarded as a game played only by French aristocrats. From France, it spread to England, and it was there that Ian Fleming learned how to play the game. He would later create the world’s best, albeit fictional, baccarat player: James Bond.
Over time, baccarat spread to other parts of the world with people making different adaptations of the game. In Cuba, for instance, baccarat is known as Punto Banco. Also, how the game is played has changed over time.
In the beginning, cards were dealt by four dealers; each player had the opportunity to be the banker, and players could place bets against each other and the house. Nowadays, however, there is only one dealer, players can only bet against the house and the house double as the banker. This type of baccarat came to be known as American baccarat.
There are many versions of this beautiful game, such as:
- Big Table Baccarat
- Mini baccarat
- EZ Baccarat
- Super Six Baccarat
- Chemin de Fer
- Three Card Baccarat
- Super Pan 9
How To Play Baccarat
In baccarat, eight decks come into play, and the player can bet either on the player side, the banker or for a tie. An ace is worth 1, cards 2 to 9 have their face value, while 10, Jack, Queen and King are worth 0. The house edge changes depending on the decks used (either 6 or 8). The dealer then allots two cards each to the players. The banker gets two cards faced down. Whichever hand’s sum comes closest to nine wins, and if you had bet on the player and that hand won, your winnings are double your bet. However, if you bet on the banker and they win, you get 95% of your bet amount.
If the cards add up to more than nine, you must drop the one or two to get the playable value. That is if you get an eight and seven, the total is 15. If you drop the 1, then the game value is five.
If the player or the bank is dealt a total of eight or nine, they both stand, meaning no more cards are dealt. However, if the value is less than five, then another card can be dealt. Otherwise, the player stands, and in this case, the banker hits on a total of 5 or less. The final betting option is a tie which pays out 8:1.
Tips To Win Baccarat
Like most casino games, baccarat is a game of luck. However, if the stars are in your favour, it can have some of the best odds for you. In popular versions of the game such as mini-baccarat, you can’t change the cards, but you can control how you bet. Here are some tips for playing baccarat to win:
- Learn the rules of the game and table layouts. There are many adaptations of the game; so, to have the best shot at winning, you must be well versed with the rules
- Placing bets on ties can be tricky as it has about 15% house edge
- Always check the odds of the game bets
- Have a budget and set your bankroll within your budget limits
For many years, baccarat was out of reach for many people, but online baccarat changed all that. With low betting minimums, no travel expenses and easy accessibility, anyone with the right skills can play and win baccarat.