Baccarat Explained

Welcome to one of the oldest card games to ever exist! Baccarat was created way back in the 15th century, and it remains one of the most popular casino games. If your knowledge about baccarat leaves much to be desired, have a read!

Welcome to one of the oldest card games to ever exist! Baccarat was created way back in the 15th century, and it remains one of the most popular casino games. If your knowledge about baccarat leaves much to be desired, have a read!

One of the reasons baccarat still lives to this day is because it combines simplicity with entertainment. In fact, it is so simple that the mechanics of the game can be condensed into a single sentence. Place a wager on the Player, the Banker or a Tie, the rest will be taken care of by the dealer.

Okay, there’s more to baccarat than that. Although your involvement in the game begins and ends with your wager, there are some rules you should keep in mind to truly understand what’s going on.

THE MISCONCEPTION

Let’s start off by tackling a big misconception in baccarat. In this game, you won’t be playing against the dealer, but you’ll simply place a wager on any of the three different outcomes. Baccarat isn’t a matter of going toe to toe with the dealer, as is blackjack. The Player and Banker entities could just as well be named Jerry and Sally.

THE RULES

Two cards are dealt to both the Player and the Banker. Whichever side scores a total hand value of nine, or as close to that as possible, wins the round. There are instances when the hands get dealt an additional card, but we’ll touch on that further on.

HAND SCORES

Baccarat card values are unique, so it would be a good idea to learn about them before taking a virtual seat at a live baccarat table.

Cards two through nine carry their face value. Aces count as one point, while tens and the rest of the picture cards count as zero. Mind you, picture cards can be very important! If a hand’s first card is a nine, a picture card will complement it perfectly to score the maximum score of nine, called a natural.

Also, double-digit scores aren’t a thing in baccarat. Here’s how it works: if a hand is dealt two sixes, making for a hand total of 12, the actual hand score will just be valued as two.

What about that additional card we mentioned? A third card will always be drawn for the Player when the initial hand’s score is five or less. If the total is six or seven, the Player stands. When the Player has a natural (eight or nine), then neither side receives a third card. 

The Banker’s hand follows the same rules if the Player doesn’t draw a third card, but the rules become more complex if a Player’s third card is in play. You shouldn’t really worry about them since that’s the dealer’s problem! After sitting at a few baccarat tables, you’ll begin to understand which hand scores warrant an additional card. You can view the ‘Game Rules’ section on any live baccarat table for more information.

BETS

Seeing as the gameplay is relatively simple, you have quite a few side bets to choose from if you want to make things interesting.

As we mentioned above, you can place a bet on either of the sides — the Player or the Banker, as well as a Tie. Then come the pair bets, where you could place a wager on a Player Pair, a Banker Pair, Either Pair or a Perfect Pair. 

The Player and Banker Pair are quite self-explanatory. A Player Pair hopes that the Player gets dealt a pair while the Banker Pair pays if the same happens to the Banker.

The Either Pair bet will pay out if either the Player or the Banker has a pair. The Perfect Pair bet will pay out if either the Player or the Banker has a pair of the same value and suit. This bet offers the best payout in the game when both the Player and Banker are dealt perfect pairs.

There’s also the Dragon Bonus,  subdivided into P Bonus and B Bonus, that pays out if either hand beats the other with four points or more.

LIVE BACCARAT GAMES

Now that you’ve grasped the basics of baccarat, you might be interested in trying it out and getting some experience under your belt. Before that, why not have a look at the different live baccarat casino games you could find out there?

There is Dragon Tiger, Lightning Baccarat, Baccarat Squeeze, Baccarat Control Squeeze, Speed Baccarat and Golden Wealth Baccarat, among many other live baccarat games.

Although each baccarat variant differs in features and general mechanics, the concept remains the same. Check the game’s rules before you grab a seat, then place a wager and enjoy the gameplay — your live dealer will take care of the rest.

Check out LV BET’s collection of Live Casino games to find your next favourite live baccarat game!

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