Regardless of the number of players at the table, only two hands are dealt, the "banker" hand and the "player" hand. The object of baccarat game is to bet on which of two hands will have a score closest to 9. You can bet on either hand or you can bet on a tie.
Players make bets before the hands are dealt - any amount from the table minimum to the table maximum. There are three options:
To find out more read Baccarat Betting Rules.
Baccarat is played with eight or six complete decks of cards. The cards are shuffled by the dealer, and then placed in a special box called the "shoe."
The deal rotates among the players by passing the shoe counterclockwise around the table, and each "Player" alternate being the "Banker". This rules may be intimidating at first, but there are always "Callers" at the table to assist you, and if you do not want to deal, you may pass the shoe to the next player. The same person will keep dealing as long as the "banker" hand keeps winning.
The player with the shoe represents the banker-hand, although the player takes no additional risk and the casino remains the banker. Even though the player dealing is acting as the Banker, he is not obligated to bet on the Banker's hand.
Four cards are dealt face-down:
- First card to the player's hand. The dealer takes a card from the "dealing player" and passes it to the player who wagered the largest amount on "player's hand".
- Second card to the banker's hand - placed next to the shoe.
- Third card to the player's hand.
- The fourths - to the banker's hand
Then player who got two cards (he wagered the largest amount!) takes first look at the cards - then cards are passed to the dealer who announces the hand value and places cards to the special area on the table marked as "PLAYERS".
Then the same procedure with the bankers hand - player who acts as a banker looks at the cards and passes them to the dealer. Then cards are placed on "BANKERS".
Card values in baccarat are different than other games. If either hand has a total of 8 or 9 (nine is the highest), then it is called a 'Natural' and no more cards are dealt. If it is not a natural, then depending on the value of each hand the casino dealer may instruct the card dealer to draw a third card. The decision when to deal a third card follows precise set rules used by all casinos.
As a matter of fact, all you need to do to play the Baccarat is to make the bet. Once a bet has been placed, there are no opportunities for further decisions - both the banker hand and the player hand are dealt according to Baccarat Drawing Rules.
The Baccarat's fixed rules results in final hands of either two or three cards for each. The dealer keeps track of the player-hand and the banker-hand totals and announces the winning hand.
The winning hand will be the hand that holds two or three cards totaling closest to nine. If there is a tie, bets on the banker or player are returned.
Since your decisions in this game are limited, it's not necessary to memorize the rules. Of course, you want to know why your money is coming or going the best way to find it out is to look the rules over, so you know why you're winning or not.
The classic baccarat is a good way to enjoy the casino game if you can afford to play the high table limits. But if your budget is low, there are other options:
You will have the same odds playing the same rules, but without putting as much at stake.