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  Baccarat:

Baccarat is a rather unusual card game in many ways. First is its name. The three syllables do have a certain Old World elegance to them, but “baccarat” turns out to be the French spelling for the Italian word for “zero.” The game was so named because of the odd way in which cards are counted towards a player’s score. The scoring system is, in fact, one of the most confusing things about baccarat, and it is perhaps better to get this explanation out of the way before we move on to the other rules of play.

As advertised by its name, baccarat stands out among card games because it is possible to get a score of zero. This seems impossible, because all cards must have some value. However, one is able to score zero in baccarat because the tens digit is ignored when tallying the total score. So any pair of cards whose value is ten would yield a score of zero. Any total in excess of zero loses its tens digit. Or, in arithmetical terms, subtract ten from any score greater than ten. For example, suppose you get a seven and a four, which ought to give you eleven points. However, since you are playing baccarat, you lose the tens digit, which ultimately gives you the rather discouraging score of one. Also, any individual card whose value exceeds ten will have its own tens digit ignored in terms of its contribution to your total score.

In baccarat, players have a choice of betting on either the “Player” or the “Banker” to win. Please keep in mind that neither label refers to an actual person. They only refer to two hands that are dealt to, well, nobody in particular. Whichever hand has the higher score is the winner.

The simplest and perhaps most well-known variant is North American baccarat, which is different from the other two in that the outcome is left entirely up to chance. There is another variant called baccarat chemin de fer (“the way of iron,” a holdover from the days when the cards were kept in an iron box. It is a very early version of baccarat, presumably the Italian version that made its way to France and became popular with the French aristocracy. We can say that this version of baccarat is less of a game of chance than the North American one, because it allows more room for players to control the game with their decisions. Of course, these decisions are always made with some degree of uncertainty. Otherwise, this type of baccarat could not be considered true gambling.

Baccarat


This “control” usually happens when a hand of two cards totals five. In baccarat chemin de fer, one person is in charge of making decisions about the “player” hand. He or she alone is allowed to see the cards, and may not even show them to other players betting in favor of the same hand. The person who is in charge of making decisions for the “player” hand can decide whether or not to take a third card. Aside from this very special circumstance, the decision of whether or not to take a third card is already made for this player. If the total score from the first two cards is four or less, a third card must be drawn. If the person in charge of the “player” hand asks for a third card even if the initial draw is higher than five, he/she has broken the rules and may be penalized. As another small concession to player freedom, all players are free to reshuffle the cards if they are unhappy with the shuffling that the croupier has done.

Bets

As stated in the rules section, players are supposed to bet on the outcome of a card-deal of two hands. This means that even though only two hands are dealt, there is room for multiple players who then take sides.

In baccarat chemin de fer, the person in charge of the “player” hand takes the lead in terms of wagers. Should he break the rules, all others betting on the same side may all suffer a loss. This is the kind of game in which one prays very hard that the Player representative is an honest gambler.

Strategies

As already explained, one of the most popular versions of baccarat is a game of chance. The outcome depends on the luck of the draw, unless one chooses to cheat. Of course, you will not find any cheating strategies in this article. Strategies come more often into play in the European version. In this case, the best advice is to stick to the rules. The costs of cheating outweigh the benefits. Should you win, you may be penalized anyway once the other players realize that you have lied to them. Should you lose, you will also be financially responsible for the losses of the other players.

Baccarat Game


So, if you are one of the players at the baccarat table, how do you decide whether to bet on the player or the banker? What some players like to do is keep track of who seems to be winning, and then change sides according to apparent trends. However, one is more likely to gain more (or at least, lose less) money over several hands of baccarat if one picks a side and sticks to it. The side of the banker is recommended.

The Experience

Like many other classic card games, baccarat has an interesting, partly legendary, history, which has given rise to a certain image in the popular imagination. If games like poker are often associated with the Wild West, baccarat is associated with the French aristocracy, who made a complex, high-stakes ritual out of the game. Some of this atmosphere still remains in modern baccarat, especially in the European versions. One notices it in the ceremonial laying-out of small hands of cards, and in the highly prescribed rules that dictate when a player is to ask for a third card. This courtly atmosphere is especially visible in the dishonor and financial penalization that result whenever a player commits a “false draw” (the term for asking for a third card when the score from the first two already exceeds five).

Due to its unconventional tallying system, baccarat is an especially suspenseful and thrilling card game. The first card drawn might suggest a high total, but the second card may ultimately yield a total of zero. Conversely, the first card may have a discouragingly low value, only to be more than made up for by the second card.

Still, the unusual nature of the game might be a drawback for some. The scoring system of baccarat is so unusual that even people with a great deal of experience in other card games might find baccarat disorienting. However, once one gets used to this system, one can enjoy baccarat for the exciting, enjoyable game that it is.

  List of casinos with Baccarat:

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