Baccarat has a long history that dates back to centuries. It is believed to have originated in Italy as early as the 15th century, and then it could enter France, where the name got from the Italian Baccara Frenchized Baccarat. These words are related to the concept of zero in the game, which, as you will see, does have a prominent place.
There is still a debate as to which country discovered baccarat, France or Italy, but there is no doubt that France is the country that embraced it with more enthusiasm and for centuries it became the game of choice for the French nobility.
Even today, baccarat is still considered a premium game played by the rich for no particular reason really, other than convention and the fact that it is introduced in casinos with higher prestige and higher minimum and maximum limits, and therefore tends to attract more hoi polloi than other casino games.
However, you don’t have to be a gambler or wear a tuxedo to play baccarat in a casino, and the game is easy for the everyday casino gambler to pick up, even though they may not have the wherewithal to play at the more advanced baccarat tables.
While casinos certainly don’t approve of card counting as far as playing blackjack is concerned, they have no qualms about people even writing their cards down, and it’s common for baccarat players to keep track of the licensing. However, due to the nature of baccarat, this is not beneficial to anyone and is allowed because it is just a novelty, but if the player finds it helpful, it may encourage more action, which is certainly acceptable to the casino.
Baccarat actually comes in 3 forms, the most popular of which is punto banco, which is the way it is played in most parts of the world. The French have kept their own version of the game called chemin de fer, and there is a third variant called baccarat banque, but all 3 are similar, the only difference being that with punto banco, players do not participate at all, they just bet.
The other two versions although the player does represent the player and the banker 2 hands, but otherwise the concept is the same.
For players unfamiliar with baccarat, the hands are known as the Player and the Banker, but it may seem strange that no one plays them, but this is what is known as a hand. Basically, two hands are dealt at the table, and the real player, the bettor, can either bet on the player or the dealer to win the hand, or bet on a tie. Betting on a draw is unlikely, so the bettor is better off betting on either the Player or the Banker.
Betting on the house pays slightly more than 1% and betting on the bookmaker pays slightly better. The dealer’s hand does win a little more often, so the casino charges a commission on the winnings of the dealer’s hand, otherwise the player would have the advantage instead of the house.
How Baccarat is played
The player bets, and the hand is dealt to the player and the dealer. The goal of baccarat is to make the total as close to 9 as possible by adding up the total number of cards in a hand. Cards from A to 9 are valued at their point value, while 10 and JQK are equal to 0. Tens are discarded and only the numbers to the right are used, such as in 5, 6 and 8 which are valued at 9 instead of 19.
Both the player and the dealer play a fixed formula, and players don’t even have to worry about it as long as they don’t license the cards and are accustomed to letting the casino staff license the cases in any way they want.
Each hand is dealt 2 cards with an initial total of 8 or 9. Depending on the value of this total, more cards will be dealt to the player first, then to the dealer, and remember, the bettors at the table are neither, they are only third party bettors.
Once the hands are decided, the winning bettors will receive their winnings, while the losing bets will be collected. It’s really that simple, one doesn’t need to know anything about the game to play, just put the chips on two hands. There is no strategy in this game at all.
However, players do tend to find the game play interesting, and for whatever reason, baccarat is a very popular casino game that appeals especially to the wealthy, although you don’t have to be rich to enjoy it.
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