Baccarat: What the Game is All About

Baccarat is a very exclusive game played only by those who are prepared to win and lose obscene amounts of cash in the flip of a card. It has its own place in casino halls, away from the regular gaming tables and separated from view by velvet curtains. Players are usually served with the house's best food and wine and they play served by dealers in tuxedos.

Baccarat is a very old game, one that has experienced countless modifications as it made its way from Italy the other parts of the world. There are three variations of baccarat played today--chemin de fer which started in France, baccarat banque and punto blanco. Punto blanco is a game of pure chance, where each move is determined by the cards that the player gets. In contrast baccarat banque and chemin de fer allows players to play a part, and this is where skill is most handy.

How each hand is valued is very simple. Cards 2-9 have face value, cards, 10s and face cards are worth zero, and aces, 1 point. Players add up the sum of the values of their cards to get the total value. If the total value comes up to or exceeds 10, the tens is dropped. For example, if the total value is 13, the 10 is dropped and the player's hand is worth 3. A hand with total of 10 is called a baccarat or zero, the worst hand. The highest score a player can have is 9.

The game starts with two cards for the player and two cards for the bank. If, at the start of the game one of the players gets a hand of 8 or 9, which is called a natural, he must expose his cards and the game ends. If not, the game continues. If the player hand has a total of 6 or more, then he cannot draw a card and the turn goes to the bank. If the player's total hand is5 or below, then he draws an additional card.

If the banker's total of the two cards is equal to 7 or more, he stands without drawing a card. If the first two cards equal 0, 1, or 2, then he draws an additional card. If the total of the bankers first two cards equal 3,4,5, or 6, then whether he can draw is determined by whether the player drew and the value of the player's drawn card.