Whether you’re playing through your Lucky Nugget app or visiting the local casino, there are many fantastic casino games to play. From blackjack to roulette and poker to slots, players really are spoilt for choice. With all those popular casino classics, it can limit the time you get to try out different games. However, if you haven’t yet played baccarat you really are missing out.

Here we will provide you with an in-depth guide to the casino game that you may have heard of but never played.

Brief history of baccarat

Baccarat is a prominent game in most casinos around the world and is renowned for the speed, fun and excitement that it generates from each hand.

The game itself actually began in the 1400s, making it one of the oldest and most played casino games played today. It got the name baccarat because it’s the Italian word for zero, which refers to the fact that the high cards are worth zero in the game.

Of course, over the years the game slightly adapted and evolved from how it all began, but baccarat remains one of the most popular casino games around.


How to play

Fortunately, baccarat is a fairly straightforward game to play, although it may take some time to get used to.

Firstly, you will have to place a bet on one of the three sections that are available for wagers, they are; the bank, the player or a tie. Don’t get too caught up with the names of these, the player doesn’t refer to yourself, nor is the banker the house, it’s just the three betting alternatives on offer.

Similarly, you can bet on any outcome you want. A bet on the banker or the player will pay 1:1, allowing you to double your initial bet. Whereas, a tie bet will pay out at 8:1 or 9:1 depending on the casino you’re playing at.

Although, any win on the banker will result in you playing a small commission to the house, usually around 5%, which is how they get the edge. Yet, the likelihood of the banker winning is slightly higher than the player so it makes little sense to avoid betting on the banker because of the commission.

Your objective is to choose who will win the upcoming hand, player, banker or tie. It really is that simple.

Once all bets are placed, the game will begin.

Next, the banker and the player will be dealt two cards each, with differing values for each card.

– All cards from 2-9 are worth their individual number
– Aces count as one
– Tens, Jacks, Queens and Kings count as zero.

The aim of the game is to get a value of 9 from your cards, or as close to it as possible.

Inevitably, you will go over 9 on many occasions. When that happens, you subtract the value by 10. For instance, two 9s that give you 18, become 8. An 8 card and 4 card which is 12 becomes 2, and so on.

Once the first two cards are dealt, a winner can be determined. As mentioned, it will be one of the three outcomes that are available, depending on who is closer to 9 or a tie if necessary. Your bet will then be settled accordingly.

However, in certain situations an additional card will be dealt. It happens when the player has a value of 5 or lower from the first two cards, unless the bank has 8 or 9 in which case they would automatically win.

If not, once the third card is dealt, the rest of the game will play out as normal, with the winning hand decided after that.

A more unique circumstance will see the banker receive a third card, although, there are many scenarios that need to come into play for this to happen. Firstly, the player needs to receive a third card. Then, it will depend on the value of that third card as to whether the banker will get one. That works in the following way;

If the player’s third card was a 2 or 3, the banker will get a third card if their sum is 4 or less
If the player gets a 4 or 5, the banker will be given an additional card if their sum is 5 or less
With a 6 or 7, the banker will receive a third card if their sum is 6 or less
An 8 will see the banker receive a third card if their sum is 2 or less
A 9, 10, Ace or face card will see the banker receive a third card if their sum is 3 or less

If the third card is required, the result is decided after that.

That’s about as complicated as baccarat gets, although ultimately, it’s not something for you to worry about as it will happen automatically if needed. Once you have placed your wager, you have no control on the outcome.


House edge makes baccarat appealing

We briefly touched on the house edge for baccarat. Playing the banker involves a house edge of 1.06% and the house edge for the player is 1.24%. That is much lower than the figures for roulette and games on slots, which should attract players to baccarat.

The game often has a reputation for attracting high rollers and elite players who are prepared to play with a serious bankroll, which in turn puts off the average player. However, the low house edge proves that it’s a game that will suit all types of players.

That concludes our guide to baccarat, which should leave you ready to play when you next come across it online or at the casino. It’s sure to bring out a range of emotions given that one card could swing the result, but that’s the thrill of the game. Baccarat is one of the oldest casino games around and simple to play. If you’re looking for something different or want a game that gives you a realistic chance of winning, then make sure you give baccarat a go!

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