Baccarat is a well-known and popular game and anywhere in the world, you can find it in every bigger casino. So-called “whales” sit at the baccarat tables, so playing this game definitely has an advantage to the casinos.
Baccarat tables can usually seat 8 to 14 players. There are 3 bets:
- On the banker
- On a player
- On draw
Two hands, two cards each are then dealt on the table, representing the hand of the player and the banker. The combination, which has a card sum closer to 9, wins. The cards have their nominal ratings except the 10. The Ace counts either as 1 or 10 and the face cards count as 0. If the hand value is a two-digit number, it counts as the value of its last digit. For example: 15 = 5, 16 = 6, 11 = 1, etc.
Under certain conditions, a third card is added to the original two cards. The good thing is that the player does not even have to know the rules to play. That’s because he can’t affect the process of the game round. This game is thus suitable for complete beginners, too.
These are the rules of the classic baccarat as played mainly in American casinos. But there are also other versions.
Chemin de Fer
As you can guess from its name, this version is played mostly in French casinos. The goal of the game is the same as in classic baccarat – reach 9 or as close to it as possible. The cards have the same values.
However, the big difference is that players cannot bet on the banker or a player as they see fit. Each player can only bet on himself. Here, the cards are not dealt with by an employee of the casino, but rather one of the players. Players are betting against each other and not against the casino.
The players take turns in playing as the banker and dealing cards. If you do not want to play the banker, you can reject the role, of course. You pay a 5% commission for a bet and win on the banker.
Another major change is the rule allowing you to decide for yourself whether you will hold at 5. In classic baccarat, players are automatically dealt another card with a hand value of 5 or less. The banker may take the 3rd card as they see fit.
Another type of baccarat that is not very common in the US is so-called European baccarat. Like in Chemin de Fer, it is up to the player to decide to play with a sum 5 or less. In this variant, too, one of the players has the role of the banker who is also free to play the 3rd card when he wants to. In general, however, you will most likely encounter the banker playing according to the rules of the American baccarat.
Another difference is in financing the banker’s bankroll. He is financed by the casino and has an allowed limit per round, up to which he can receive bets on player’s win. Let’s say the dealer gets 1000 euros per round from the casino. The first player bets 500 euros and the other player bets another 500 euros. Other players cannot bet because the limit was reached.
Players who win a bet on the banker pay a commission fee.
As with other variants of baccarat, the main goal of the game remains unchanged. You bet on a player or the banker and select who is closest to the sum of 9. The rules for playing the third card for a player and the banker are the same as in the Chemin de Fer version.
But the course of the game is quite different. Instead of the classic two hands (one for the player, the other for the banker), 3 hands are dealt. 2 for the player and one for the banker. Players can bet on both player’s hands or just on one of them. The total amount of bet on the banker is financed by the casino in this variant, too.
Mini baccarat follows basically the same rules as the classic American baccarat, except that it is played on a smaller table. In general, it is also possible to play here for smaller money compared to big tables where the minimum bet is usually higher. It is probably the most widespread form of baccarat in smaller and medium-sized casinos.