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Baccarat: Learning The World's Classiest Card Game

BACCARAT: LEARNING THE WORLD’S CLASSIEST CARD GAME

When you first learned about casinos, maybe in a movie or a TV show, you had to be in awe of the class and glamour of it all, right? Players looking great, showing off their best clothes and jewels, looking sophisticated while playing games that were a mystery. No wonder you’re here; they made it easy to want to join them.

If that exposure was thanks to James Bond, the chances are really good that the game they played was Baccarat. Long the chosen game of the Western World’s elite, you couldn’t help but be impressed while Sean Connery—seemingly doing nothing other than smoking a cigarette and wearing the hell out of a tux—won hand after hand before being complimented on his play as he walked off with enough cash to buy a Porsche.  

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More than a few Bond-watchers have left theatres confused about what they just saw. That confusion—plus the elitism of the game—might make it incredibly intimidating, but here’s the reality: It’s incredibly simple, and nearly impossible to play badly. The odds are good and it’s a lot harder to mess up than in games like blackjack and poker.

By the end of this article, you’ll know the ins and outs of how Baccarat works and you’ll realize that all that confusion was more about wanting to be as cool as Connery than the rules of this simple game. Welcome to Baccarat.

What is Baccarat?

Baccarat starts with the scoring. Aces are worth one, tens and face cards are worth zero, and twos through nines are worth the values you’d expect. You start with two cards and if their combined total reaches double digits, you just remove the first one. So:

2s + 6c = 8

Ah + 7d = 8

Kc + 8s = 8

9d + 9h = 8

Ts + 8c = 8

The object of the game? Get the highest score. Nine is the best total you can have and zero is the worst.

There are two sides you can bet on: Player or Banker. These names can be confusing, but remember that these are just the names of the bets. Indeed, “Player” doesn’t refer to you, and “Banker” doesn’t refer to the house.

Sometimes, the Player or the Banker is obligated to take a third card based on what the first two cards are. These charts explain when:


Player or Banker: A two-card hand of 8 or 9 is called a “natural,” and no more cards are dealt in the game. Otherwise:

If Player Has

If Banker Has

0–5 Draw a card

0–2 Draw a card

6–7 Stand

3 Draw, except if Player’s third card = 8

4 Draw when Player’s third card = 2–7

5 Draw when Player’s third card = 4–7

6 Draw when Player’s third card = 6–7

7 Stand

When Player stands on 6–7, Banker draws on 0–5 and stands on 6–7

It’s all automated, happens in a blink of an eye, and doesn’t require any decisions on your part.

That’s it. That’s Baccarat.

Why Baccarat might be the game for you?

You sit there and watch as your fate is decided, with the automated dealer doing everything except for placing the initial bet. Why do so many wealthy people love this game? Because in their lives, they’re usually in control and need to let go of that control to let loose. That’s Baccarat.

Just like some people love poker for the strategy or blackjack for the constant decision-making or roulette for the timeless agony of the wait, people love Baccarat at the opposite end of the spectrum. They find the lack of all of the above to be soothing and the speed of the game gives them that adrenal dose of chaos every few seconds. It’s the calm in the eye of the casino storm.

If you’ve gotten to this point, you’ve already gotten a leg up on those confused moviegoers. You can see that everything they did in those films actually made sense and that there’s a fun game behind it. Whether you’re looking to let your control loose or just want to feel like Connery, we think you’ll find Baccarat to be a game worth trying. Click right here and then use the search function to give it a shot.

Authored By: Gary Wise