Baccarat (pronounced "BAH-kah-ra") has always had the reputation of being a game for the high rollers. This is due to the fact that many of the world's best land based casinos offer baccarat as their top game along with roulette. However, in the last decade or so, baccarat has made its appearance online and this has opened up the game to millions of online players who would ordinarily not have played the game.
The game itself is somewhat easy to grasp and this simplicity has added to its appeal. Online gamblers looking for a quick way to enjoy themselves (and win money in the process) have adopted baccarat as a favourite.
Where Does It Come From?
There are a few schools of thought as to where baccarat originated, but the main consensus is that it started out in Italy and then moved across to France where it became known as Chemin de Fer. The game we play today in American casinos (which is the most popular) is a derivative of English baccarat. Since this game's introduction into casinos in the 1950s, the rules have remained constant.
How Is It Played?
The game of baccarat is quite simple when you break it down. The essence of the game is that the dealer plays against the player. Even though there may be more than one player at the table, there is still only one hand that is dealt as a communal hand for all the players. The aim is to guess whether the banker's hand will win, the player's hand will win or if there will be a tie.
Hands are calculated by adding up all the individual cards as all cards have a certain value. All cards count as their numerical value with tens and picture cards counting as zero and aces counting as 1. When the hands are totalled and only the last digit in the total is used - for example, 16 would be 6 and 23 would be 3. The aim is to get a hand as close to 9 as possible.
Which Hand To Bet On?
It all depends on whether you are backing the dealer or the player. Unlike craps it is not considered impolite to bet against the player. It is all about guessing correctly. Although you can bet on a tie, this is not the most popular bet because although this does offer much better payouts than the simple dealer/player bet, the odds of a tie occurring are somewhat slim. Many experienced baccarat players will not place bets on a tie unless they are really feeling lucky or if their bankrolls are fat enough to warrant a different type of bet.
The best place to learn baccarat is online. There are several places that offer free baccarat games where you can learn without the risk of losing real money.