Baccarat is an exciting card game that originated in Italy during the middle ages and derives its name from the Italian word for "zero", because the face cards and Tens which normally are high value cards in most games are counted as zero in Baccarat. At some point it migrated to France where it was embraced by the aristocracy. Today, Baccarat is a favorite game of high rollers and famous gamers around the world.
The object is to bet on which of two hands (the "Player" or the "Banker") will have a score closest to 9. You can bet on either hand or you can bet on a tie.
Dealing and Scoring
Baccarat is played with eight decks of cards, shuffled and placed in a "shoe". Each hand will receive at least two cards, but no more than three. The first and third cards dealt from the shoe constitute the Player's hand and the second and forth cards constitute the Banker's hand. If required, a third card is dealt to either hand according to specific rules outlined in the charts below. All cards are dealt face up.
Card values are:
The score of each Hand is the last digit of the sum of the card values in the hand. Thus, a hand with an 8 and a 9 would have a score of 7 (since 8 + 9 = 17). This is why Tens and Face cards count as zero only the last digit counts, so a 10 has a value of zero. The scores will always range from 0 to 9 and, unlike blackjack, it is impossible to bust.
Examples of point scoring:
Since the object of each hand is to get as close to 9 as possible, getting a score of 8 or 9 with the first two cards is a good thing. This is called a "natural", and if EITHER hand scores a natural, BOTH hands must stand. Naturally (pardon the pun), the only score that will beat a natural 8 is a natural 9.
Two cards are dealt face up to both the Player and the Banker. If one hand has a natural, that hand wins. If both hands have a natural, the higher natural wins. If both hands have the same natural, it's a tie.
If neither the Player nor the Banker has a natural, then play goes to the Player.
The Player's hand stands on a score of 6 or 7. If the score is less than 6, the Player draws one card and receives a new score based on the value of all three cards.
Rules of Play for Player
Now it is the Banker's turn. When the Player stands on 6 or 7 (and therefore did not draw a third card), the Banker's play is quite straightforward. The Banker must draw on scores of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 and stand on 6 or 7.
Rules of Play for Banker when Player Stands on 6 or 7
However, if the Player did draw a third card, the Banker's play gets more interesting. In this case, the Banker stands on a score of 7 but draws or stands on scores of 6 or less depending on the value of the Player's THIRD CARD (not on the score of the Player's HAND). The rules governing whether the Banker draws or stands are as follows:
Rules of Play for Banker when Player Draws a Third Card