Looks Complicated But Easy Game To Play

If you watch someone playing this game, it looks complicated. It’s not really as hard as it looks, but you do need to know exactly how to play it just as you would when you play blackjack, craps, or roulette.

James Bond plays this game. He is one cool dude, for sure. Those who have watch James Bond movies will often see him in a casino playing a game called baccarat. It’s not obvious from just watching how the game is played. It looks very elegant, upscale, and romantic, but what are the nuts and bolts of the game. Should you play it?

Most major casinos will at least have a mini-baccarat game. The regular version is usually only in the “high limits” area.  This game will be played the same but with mini–bets. You may find tables with a minimum bet as low as $5. Before we get into the rules and strategies, let’ look at the history of this game.

Baccarat has a history that can be traced back to the 1400s. It was first known in France and may have originated in Italy. Baccarat means “zero.”  This makes sense in that when playing the game, all kings, queens, jacks, and tens have a value of zero.

According to While the game was first noted in the 1400’s it took over 500 years to become one of the premier casino games in Europe. In particular the game was popular among the French royalty. At this point there were several versions being played. In Europe the chemin de fer variation was the most popular while in England punto banco was the game of choice. Interestingly enough it was the English version that would make its way to the US via South America. Read more about this game’s history here.

Now how do you play? It’s fairly easy, but you do need to know what you are doing. First, you have a choice to make. Do you bet on the banker or the player? There are usually a difference caused by the house edge.  If you bet on the banker, a commission is usually charged. Once you decide who to bet on, the dealer will deal two cards to both hands, the player and the banker.

At this point and as wikihow points out: Tens and face cards all are worth zero points; all other cards are worth their face value, with the ace worth one point. If a total is more than 10, the second digit is the value of the hand. For example, a 9 and a 6, which total 15, make up a five-point hand. In order to win, your bet must be on the hand that totals closer to nine. 

There is another twist to know. There is a situation in baccarat that is called a “natural.” This is when one of the first two cards in either hand adds up to either 8 or 9. If this happens the game is over and bets are cashed in.

The player’s hand is always completed first. If the player has an 8 or 9 game is over. If the player has a 6 or 7 he or she would stand. If the hand is 0-5, a third card would be taken.

Whether or not the banker takes a third card is a little complicated. The rules are precise. Again, wikihow gives concise information:

If the Player stands pat (or draws no new cards), the Banker draws with a hand total of 0-5 and stays pat with a hand total of 6 or 7. All other hands are dependent on the third card the Player draws:

  • If the Player’s third card is 9, 10, face-card or Ace, the Banker draws when he has a 0-3, and stays with a 4-7.
  • If the Player’s third card is 8, the Banker draws when he has a 0-2, and stays with a 3-7.
  • If the Player’s third card is 6 or 7, the Banker draws when he has a 0-6, and stays with a 7.
  • If the Player’s third card is 4 or 5, the Banker draws when he has a 0-5, and stays with a 6-7.
  • If the Player’s third card is 2 or 3, the Banker draws when he has a 0-4, and stays with a 5-7.

If there is a tie, no one wins unless the player bets on a tied hand. Check out the video below for more on this bet.

So, are you ready to play like James Bond? Or, do you stick with some other casino game a little less complicated? Again, baccarat is not as hard as it looks. Whatever game you play may the luck of James Bond follow you.


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