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Baccarat Rules

The baccarat rules are stringent and complex. The object of the game is to place a bet on the hand which will, at the close of the hand, be closest to "9" in value without going over. Similar to the game of blackjack, the cards have a particular value in Baccarat; all "10-value" cards as well as face cards (jack, queen, and king) are worth zero, the ace is worth "1" and the remaining cards (2 through 9) are worth their face value.

There are two hands dealt regardless of how many players there are: the banker's hand and the player's hand. Both the banker and the player are dealt two cards, and depending on the value of the hand, might be dealt a third in either case. If you get a total hand that is greater than 9, the left digit of the total number is dropped. For example, if you get a 6 and an 8 the total would be 14, but after dropping the 1 the outcome is 4.

The task for you as a player is to bet on the banker's hand, the player's hand, or a draw, which means that the two hands are tied. The payout for winning a bet on the banker's or the player's hand is even money, or 1 to 1 and winning draw bets are paid off at 8 to 1 odds or 9 to 1 depending on where you are playing. Although the payoff for winning a draw bet is much more appealing, the chances of actually getting it are pretty low.

Baccarat Drawing Rules

  1. The maximum number of cards in a baccarat hand is three.

  2. If the banker or the player has an eight (natural eight) or a nine (natural nine) on the first two cards dealt, no further cards are drawn.

  3. The player always draws when the hand is a five or less, unless the banker has a natural, and stands on a six and seven.

  4. The banker draws if the hand is a

    a) three and the player's hand stands on a six or a seven, or draws anything but a face card or an eight.

    b) four and the player's hand stands on a six or a seven, or if he draws any card between two and seven inclusive.

    c) five and the player's hand stands on a six or a seven, of it he draws any card between four and seven inclusive.

    d) six and the player draws a six or a seven.

  5. The banker always stands if the player stands on a six or a seven.

Baccarat rules are such that pretty much all decisions are automatic. There is little room left for systems and strategies as the outcome of the game mostly relies on how lucky a player is - and some are. Counting cards or using a certain betting strategy won't reduce the house edge by much. Counting cards is possible in a game of baccarat, but you'd only be able to make certain predictions once you've gone through most of the cards. Now, considering the fact that there are usually six or eight decks used to play the game, counting cards becomes more of a hassle than an advantage. Although the rules of baccarat might be a little tricky to remember when it comes to when to draw, there is always enough people present at the table to ensure that no mistakes are being made. So, don't worry if you haven't mastered the baccarat rules before you take on the challenge at the table, you'll always have back-up. Read more on betting rules.