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Baccarat : Game Tips & Strategies

There are three present-day games that are essentially the same and sometimes all thought of as baccarat. They are:

1. Chemin de fer:
This game is played in some European casinos, but is not played in the U.K. and North America. The goal is the same (to get as close to 9 as possible) but the rules allow a few conditions where drawing a card is optional. The casino doesn't play the role of banker, the players bet against each other, the players take turns being the banker-dealer (the option may be declined, and it then passes to the next player to the right) the house takes a standard cut out of the player banker's winning coup.

2. Baccarat:
This game is the only game played in the U.K. and North America. The goal is the same (to get as close to 9 as possible) however the game is strictly mechanical with formal rules dictating every aspect of play. The house banks the game, thus the bets can be much larger than when another player is acting as the bank, also with the house assuming the role of banker the game can be played with as few as one player (in chemin de fer you have to wait for additional players before the game can start).

3. Mini-baccarat:
A new version of the game. The game is played at a blackjack sized table with up to seven players. The rules are the same as for the full version of baccarat, however to speed up the game the players don't touch the cards they are dealt by the casino dealer. The stakes are much lower for this game than the full version, this plus the less formal atmosphere make this version appeal to many players.

Baccarat is one of the easiest games in all of gambling to learn and requires little practice or skill for participants to be successful at winning. Players simply wager on which of two hands of cards adds up to or comes closest to 9.
  • Baccarat is played with eight decks of cards. Each numbered card less than ten is worth its face value, aces are worth 1, and tens and face cards are worth 0. The suit does not matter.
  • Play begins by all players betting either on the 'player', 'banker', or a tie. Player and banker are in quotes because that is the correct terminology but they do not necessarily represent the dealer or the actual players.
  • After all bets are down the dealer gives two cards each to the player and the banker. The score of the hand is the right digit of the total of the cards. For example if the two cards were an 8 and 7, then the total would be 15, and the score would be a 5. The scores will always range from 0 to 9 and it is impossible to bust.
  • A third card may or may not be dealt to either or both the player and the dealer depending on the following rules.
    • If either the player or the banker has a total of an 8 or a 9 they both stand. This rule overrides all other rules.
    • If the player's total is 5 or less then the player hits, otherwise the player stands.
    • If the player stands, then the banker hits on a total of 5 or less.
  • The score of the player and dealer are compared, the winner is the one which is greater. Winning bets on the banker pay 19 to 20 (or even money less a 5% commission), winning bets on the player pay 1 to 1, winning bets on a tie usually pay 8 to 1.
Before you try playing Baccarat for real money, you test your skill on our FREE Baccarat Game. Its free, its fun and its right at your finger tips!

Baccarat School Lessons
Lesson 1: Baccarat History
What does baccarat mean anyways? Where did originate?
Lesson 2: Baccarat Rules
Did you know there are three main variations to Baccarat? Also find out the specific regulations for the North American variation.
Lesson 3: Baccarat Strategy
Once you've learned the basics, find out the when is the best time to "hit", "stand". What is the house advantage?
Lesson 4: Baccarat Tips
Things to keep in mind. Is a game played with fewer decks really a better game?
Lesson 5: Baccarat Vocabulary
What’s a ‘shoe’ and is a ‘shill’ a type of bet? Find out.
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