Baccarat is one of the table games that you will find at almost any online casino you may choose to play at. The game has a rich history and before being digitalised for online casinos was played for centuries. It takes its name from the period when it gained popularity in France during the reign of Charles VIII in the 15th century. Although the game has evolved over the years into the version we know today it essentially remains true to the basic rules played all those years ago in medieval Europe. Nowadays the game is especially popular in Asia though retains a following in Europe and the Americas.
There are a number of variations of baccarat but we will concentrate here on the most common form of the game, known as Live Baccarat. It is a simple game and like all good casino games can be mastered quickly. The first concept to grasp is the three betting options available to players, namely Player, Banker and Tie. The number cards up to 9 hold face value in baccarat but the 10 and face cards count as 0 points and Aces 1. A player’s score is therefore the sum of the cards they hold with 10s or face cards worth nothing towards this total.
Conversely to many other card games, the game takes its name from the weakest possible hand of 0, referred to as a baccarat. The dealer deals two sets of two cards one which is referred to as the ‘player’ and the other the ‘banker’. Players bet blind on which hand they believe will show the highest score, or if it will be a tie. The cards are turned over and the score calculated. If either hand tallies to 8 or 9, this is referred to as a ‘natural’ and no further cards are dealt, otherwise a third card may be dealt. One of the most important aspects to baccarat is that every casino will have its own rules on when a third card is dealt and you must make sure you understand those before playing.
Once dealing has been completed the hand with the highest points tally wins and players who bet on it scoop the wagers of those who bet on the other hand or a tie. The casino will take a percentage tax on all winnings, which equates to the house edge. This is usually around 2-3%.