What Is Baccarat?

What Is Baccarat?

What Is Baccarat?

Baccarat, also known as baccara, is a comparing card game that is played at casinos between two hands.  One is the “player” and the other is the banker”. Its origins are disputed with some sources claiming that it actually dates back to the 19th century, while others maintain that it was introduced by soldiers into France from the neighbouring Italy at the close of the 15th century.  This was after the Franco-Italian War when Charles VIII was reigning.

Baccarat is not a game of skill. It is doesn’t involve any strategy as it is totally based on luck, with the only decision you make being what you stake on when playing.  Each baccarat round of play, (known as coup), has three potential results namely “player”, “banker”, plus “tie”. Baccarat shares many similarities with blackjack. It involves 2 or 3 cards and the hand with the higher score being the winning one. 

The game has three popular variants.  They include the following:

Punta Banco

“Punto banco” also referred to as “North American baccarat”,   is a popular baccarat variant. This is actually the traditional high roller form of this game that is played at a large table in the casinos’ specially, roped-off part.   It is normally separated from the rest of the casino games.

High rollers, particularly Asians can be found betting thousands or even more per hand. While certain casinos have bets of $500 minimum, the lowest bets in these games normally start at roughly $100. 

In the baccarat’s traditional version or punto banco, the game is generally directed by the croupier. The croupier is usually helped by 2 dealers who take care of the bets as well as the payouts.  Even though these games typically use 8 decks, occasionally they use only 6 decks. The difference between an 8-deck and a 6-deck game house edge is small.

Mini-Baccarat

Mini-baccarat is the same game, only that it is a smaller version of it.  The biggest difference between the two is just bets, with the minimum bets being lesser at a mini-baccarat game.  Actually, the table is tinier, accommodating fewer players as well. There is no difference in the rules, and no real difference exists in regards to the mathematics behind the game, as well as who really has an advantage or the amount of the edge.

Chemin de Fer’

A French word for “railway”, Chemin de fer, is actually an earlier variation of baccarat.  The railway was then the quickest way to travel and the variation is designed to be actually faster than the original baccarat game.

Chemin de fer involves the use of just 6 decks, with a player taking the banker’s role and deals, while the other players are customers. The banker role alternates anticlockwise around the table. It is in the course of a round of the game that the banker decides on the amount she wants to stake.  After that, the players match that bet or stake a smaller amount. In case the punters’ total bets exceed the amount the banker intended to bank, the banker is accorded the chance to actually increase it. In other words, any bets greater than the banker’s amount are removed from the play counterclockwise. The gameplay, however, is the same as that of the traditional baccarat.

Baccarat Strategy

Players always look for a system or strategy that can give them an edge over the casinos, which in some instances, is actually possible.  One example is card counting in blackjack. However, when it comes to baccarat, no opportunity exists for a winning tactic. It does not matter which strategy you may try to use, the house advantage for all these bets remains the same.