What is Baccarat?
Pronounced ‘back-cah-rah,” the ancient medieval Italian card game dates back to the early 1400s, and for centuries it was reserved for high society. Created by the Italian Felix Faliguiere, he called the game baccara, meaning zero in Italian. From there, baccara traveled to France with returning soldiers from the Franco-Italian War. Many presume that it was at this point when the card game gained its popular French spelling, baccarat. In the past, the card game was exclusively played by members of aristocratic families due to the high betting requirements and secluded playing rooms. But lately, and with the introduction of online casinos, baccarat is gaining worldwide traction as it becomes more accessible to regular people from all walks of life.
How to play Baccarat
Baccarat is fairly simple to play since you can expect the dealer to do all the work! There are three possible outcomes in the game; either a player wins, or the bank/dealer wins, or a tie. Players have the option to bet on either the player’s side or the side of the bank. Players can also bet on a tie. The cards are assessed as follows; 10, jack, queen, and king cards have a value of zero, while an ace is worth one, and cards two through nine are worth their face value.
The dealer begins by dealing two cards for each player, placed face up. The hand that totals closest to nine wins. If the bet is placed on a player and their hand is closest to nine, the winnings are simply double the bet. If the bet is placed on the bank’s hand and the bank wins, then the pay is 95% of the wager. It can happen that in some cases the sum of the two cards dealt is greater than nine, when this happens you have to add the two cards together and drop the first digit to get the final value. For instance, a hand of nine and six cards would add up to 15, after dropping the first digit of the total, the final value becomes 5.
Essentially playing baccarat is like betting on a coin flip, which makes for a tight game. Having said so, there are a few ways you can play safely and secure decent wins. Betting on the bank is usually the safest way to play since the bank has slightly over a 50% chance of winning. Finally, keep in mind that betting on the bank rather than other players reduces the other players’ chances of gaining an advantage.
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