Baccarat is a game of cards played at casinos, though it was originally a social and private gambling game. There are three variations of baccarat;
- Baccarat banque, also known as a deux tableaux,
- Baccarat chemin de fer, also known as chemmy and
- Punto banco also known as North American baccarat.
Punto banco is stringently a game of chance. Players require no skills to participate and no strategy is necessary to win. Any moves by a player are necessitated by the cards the player is dealt. In the other two games, baccarat chemin de fer and baccarat banque, players are allowed to make their own choices and thus given capability to employ cleverness and skill to come into play. However, the winning odds favor the bank, and the house edge is of at least one per cent.
Baccarat is played between two hands; the banker and the player. Every baccarat coup has a possibility of three outcomes that are; player having the highest score, banker having the highest score and a tie.
Valuation of hands in baccarat
In a baccarat game, the cards 2 up to 9 have the face value in points, that is, the card 2 is worth 2 points, the card 3 is worth 3 points, the card 4 has 4 points, e.t.c. Ks, Qs and Js have no point value and thus worth nil. In baccarat, jokers aren’t used. Aces are worth one point. Hands are valued according to the rightmost digit of the summation of the constituent cards. For instance, a hand holding the cards 4 and 5 is worth 9, and a hand having the cards 5 and 7 is worth two. This is because the summation of 5 and 7 is 12 and the rightmost digit in the total sum is 2.
Thus, rationally, the highest possible hand value is 9. In the game, a ‘Baccarat is any set of cards with a value of zero. In a hand holding a K, 4 and 6, the King is‘Baccarat’ and the hand value is also a ‘Baccarat.
The baccarat game is synonymous with the punto banco variation of the game. This is because many casino baccarat games across the world are punto banco baccarat and are often branded as just ‘Baccarat’.
In punto banco, the casino will always bank the game, all the time. The casino obliges to play both hands according to fixed tableu (French for table) rules or drawing rules. The player - punto - and the banker - banco - are simply titles for the two hands dealt out in every coup. Note that the banker has no association with the house and the player too, has no association with the customer.
Punto Banco in casinos
In casinos all over the world, punto banco is normally carried in special gaming rooms that are separated from the main gaming area due to high stakes usually implicated in punto banco. The extra measure is meant to amplify the security and privacy of the players. High rollers usually frequent the game and they may wager tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars on a single coup. Even the lowest bets can be considerably high. Bets can begin from anything between USD 25 to USD 500. The amount of bets are usually arranged to suit a player. Highs of USD 10 000 are familiar.
High roller baccarat games are hosted at high perimeter separate rooms when it comes to online casinos. Players yearning to play online baccarat game can only do so with invitation which is usually hard to come. The invitations available are normally given to players who spend large portions of time playing the game for real money. As a baccarat game is frequented by wealthy players, a casino can lose or win millions worth of dollars on a single night on the game.