Baccarat is one of the easiest casino games to play and it offers players great odds compared to other casino games. The house’s edge on the banker’s side of Baccarat is 1.06% and the edge on the player’s side is 1.24%. Compared to a game like Roulette (5%+ edge), Baccarat offers players a much better chance of beating the odds and winning some money.
In addition, Baccarat is somewhat of an automatic game. All you have to do is place your bet on the Player, the Banker, or Tie; and the dealer takes over and deals the cards according to the rules of the table. A word of caution – most casinos offer horrible odds for a tie bet (14.36% edge). Don’t make this bet often if at all.
Baccarat can be confusing for players who don’t know what’s going on. The player looks down at an 8-7 and is told they have 5. Then the player gets their third card, a jack, and is told they still have five. The banker wins the hand with a four and a three (7). What just happened?
In Baccarat, every card is assigned a value. Aces are worth one point, tens and face cards are worth ten points, and all other cards are worth their face value. For example, Jack-5 is worth 15 points and Jack-Queen-7 is worth 27 points. However the first number is dropped in Baccarat, so the official value of Jack-5 is 5 points and the official value of Jack-Queen-7 is 7 points.
Suits have no meaning in Baccarat. It doesn’t matter if you have Jack-Queen-7 rainbow or the Jack-Queen-7 of clubs; you still have 7 points in both cases.
The goal in Baccarat is to get as close to 9 points as you can. A hand worth 9 points cannot be beaten – only tied.
The best hand that you can be dealt in Baccarat is called a “natural nine” and it consists of any two cards that equal nine points. The following hands are “naturals”: 9-10, 9-Any Face Card, A-8, 2-7, 3-6 and 4-5. These hands have a high probability of winning and cannot lose.
Baccarat is a fun game to play and it offers players some of the best odds in the casino. The game play may be a little confusing at first to the uninitiated, but once you understand the hand values, the rest is easy. Here’s a quick recap on what the cards are worth (Baccarat Hand Values):
- Ace- 1 point
- Face Cards- 10 points (effectively 0 points)
- Other Cards- Face Value
Remember that face cards are worth zero points because the first number is always dropped in Baccarat so 10 becomes zero, 13 becomes 3, etc.
Baccarat is one of the few games that require little or no practice before you start playing. Once you have a basic understanding of the hand values and the game play, you can make your way to any baccarat table and start placing your bets.