The rules of Baccarat
Baccarat is a card game that is dealt from a shoe that holds 6 or 8 decks of cards. Two hands are dealt by the house dealer, the "banker" hand and the "player" hand. Before the hands are dealt, bets may be placed on the banker hand, on the player hand, or on a tie.
Winning bets on banker or player are paid 1:1, but a commission of 5% is charged on bank bets making the net odds on such bets 0.95 to 1. Some casinos may charge a lower commission (e.g., at this writing, Binion's Horseshoe in Las Vegas charges 4%.).
Some sources report that tie bets are paid 8:1, while others claim that tie bets are paid 9:1, so this may vary from casino to casino. If there is a tie, bets on the banker or player are returned. Once a bet has been placed, there are no opportunities for further decisions -- both the banker hand and the player hand are dealt according to fixed rules, resulting in final hands of either two or three cards for each.
The value of a hand is determined by adding the values of its individual cards. Tens and face cards are counted as zero, while all other cards are counted by the number of "pips" on the card face. Only the last digit of the total is used, so all baccarat hands have values in the range 0 to 9 inclusive. The hand with the higher value wins; if the hands have the same value, the result is a tie.
Rules for the player hand: If the player's first two cards total 6 or more, then the player must stand without drawing a card. If the player's first two cards total 5 or less, the player must draw one additional card.
Rules for the banker hand: If the banker's first two cards total 7 or more, then the banker must stand without drawing a card. If the banker's first two cards total 0, 1, or 2, then the banker must draw one card. If the banker's first two cards total 3, 4, 5, or 6, then whether the banker draws is determined by the whether the player drew, and if so the value of the player's draw card.
Just a little history on Baccarat:
While commonly believed Baccarat stems from France, it is in fact traced back to 15th century Italy and famous Italian gambler Felix Falguerein. The word ‘baccarat’ is a French word, deriving from Italian ‘baccara’ for ‘zero’. Unlike other games like Black Jack, baccarat is named after the losing hand (zero points) in all three variations of the game – Chemin de Fer, Punto Banco and Baccarat Banque. While originating in Italy, within a decade the game spread to France, where the popular Baccarat Chermin de Fer and Baccarat Banque were ultimately designed. Not long after, the game became popular in China. It was in the late 19th century that the game spread throughout America. It set off relatively slow, being introduced alongside Blackjack. While blackjack quickly became popular, Baccarat remained in the shadows at first. In the 1950s Baccarat underwent its final transformations and the modern baccarat emerged in Las Vegas Casinos with a few new rules. This is how American Baccarat (also known as Punto Banco) was born.