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RULES OF BACCARAT

baccarat

The object of the game of Baccarat is to have a hand with the value, which is closer to 8 or 9 than a hand of the opponent. Initially, a player is dealt two cards. He can be dealt only one card more and have maximum of 3 cards. According to Baccarat rules the picture cards and the tens count zero. The cards from 2 to 9 count at their face value and the Ace value equals 1. For ex, if a player has Ace and 4, the value of his hand is 5. If the hand value is in double digits, only the second digit represents hand value. If first two cards are 10 and 3, the hand value is 3. If he holds 5, 10 and 9 the total value of the hand is 4. An 8 made with two cards is better than 9 made with 3 cards. There are two positions to make bets on - the Banker and the Player.

The Rules of Baccarat Chemin-de-Fer and Baccarat-en-Banque

Six or more full decks of cards are used. In the center of the table there is a discard box for the used cards. The players take seats around the table. The relative seat positions of the players are determined by lot. By the rules, a player who draws the first place seats first on the right hand of the dealer. Other players follow and take their places according to the results of the lot.

The dealer shuffles the cards and then split them into parts to give them to the players to shuffle. After players’ shuffling a dealer collects all cards and shuffles them again. In the next step the cards are offered to a player on the left side of the dealer to cut the cards.

The first player on the right from the dealer has a right to be a first banker and deal the cards. He will continue to be a banker until he loses a bet. If that happens the next player after him gets a privilege of being a banker and deals the shoe. In result, the shoe moves around the table counterclockwise like a little train on the railroad (chemin-de-fer in French means railroad).  Thus, one player is a Banker and the rest of the participants are are the Players.

The banker gets the shoe from the dealer and places his bet on the table. The players make their bets before any cards are dealt. Any player who is on the immediate right of the dealer can declare “Banco” – meaning that his bet equals the banker’s bet. If none of the players says “Banco”, all players place their bets in front of them. If the amount of all bets is less than Banker’s bet, the difference is set aside for the Banker. If the total amount of bets exceeds Banker’s stake, Banker can decline few bets. In that case the players nearest to the Banker have the preference over the rest of the players. A player with the highest bet represents all the players. He is an active player while all other players are just observers, waiting for the outcome between the Banker and the active player to lose or to win their bets. If there are few players with the same highest bets, then, according to baccarat rules, the player first in a counterclockwise rotation has the preference.

As soon as the bets are made, the banker deals four cards face down. The first and the third cards go to an active player and the second and fourth cards – to the Banker. The Banker and the active player look at their cards. If they see that the value of their hands is 9, which is the highest point in Baccarat or 8 (the next highest), they announce the hand value and turn their cards up. The hand is over.

If the Banker’s hand has a higher value in comparison with an active player’s hand, all players lose their bets to the banker. If a player’s hand is better, the Banker pays to every player an amount corresponding to his bet. If the Banker won, he continues to deal. If he lost, the next player in rotation assumes the role of the Banker. The new round starts and the new bets are made.

If the Banker and the player don’t turn cards up that means that both of them don’t have an 8 or a 9. In this case the Banker has to offer a third card to a player. If a player has baccarat (hand value of zero, which happens when he has two tens or his two cards add up to a ten), or a hand value of one, two, three or four, he has to accept a third card according to the rules of Baccarat Chemin-de-Fer. If his hand equals 6 or 7, then he has no choice but to refuse the third card according to the same baccarat rules. Only in the case of his hand being equal 5, a player has a choice to draw a third card or to stand with his two starting cards. If a player accepts the third card when he has 6 or 7, or refuses it when he has baccarat, one, two, three or four then, according to baccarat rules, the result is nullified due to the “false draw”.

After a player finished with his hand, the Banker has to follow the baccarat rules to decide about drawing the third card or standing with his two initial cards. However, the Banker has a lot more freedom in his decision making process. Only if his starting hand value is baccarat, one or two, the Banker must draw himself the third card. If the value of his hand is 3, 4, 5 or 6, he draws or stands depending on what card he has given to a player. When the Banker’s hand equals three and the player’s third card is 9, the Banker has a choice of drawing the third card or standing with the initial cards. Similarly, if his hand’s value is 5, he can draw or stand if the player’s third card is 4. The banker always stands on 7. He stands on 6 only if the player takes no card. If the Banker has a total of 3 and a player has an 8 on a third card, the Banker may not draw. If a player’s third card is any other except 9 (which gives him an option of drawing or standing), the Banker automatically must draw. If the Banker has dealt himself a 4 in the first two cards and has given a player 1, 8, 9 or 10 as a third card, the Banker is not allowed to draw. If on the other hand the third card was 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7, the Banker has to draw. If the Banker’s starting hand equals 5 he must draw if a player’s third card is 5, 6 or 7.  If it is 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 or 10, the Banker must stand on his two cards. If the card is 4 he has an option of drawing or standing. If the Banker has a hand’s value of 6 he must draw if he has given the player a 6 or 7 for the third card. In case of any other card, the Banker may not draw. The tables below show all the rules for drawing and standing for the Baccarat Chemin-de-Fer. The baccarat rules state that in case of a tie neither banker no player wins or loses.

The Rules for the Player

The Rules for the Banker

Player's hand value is

Player must

Banker's hand

Player's 3rd card is

Banker must

Player's 3rd card is

Banker must

Player's 3rd card is

Banker must

1, 2, 3, 4, 10

Draw

3

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,10

Draw

8

Stand

9

Banker's option

4

2,3,4,5,6,7

Draw

1,,8,9,10

Stand

5

5,6,7

Draw

1,2,3,8,9,10

Stand

4

Banker's option

5

Player's option

6

6,7

Draw

1,2,3,4,5,8,9,10

Stand

6, 7

Stand

7

Banker must always stand

8, 9

The Banker can't draw

8, 9

Player can't draw

1, 2, 10

Banker must always draw

Banker stands only on 6,7 if the player does not take the 3rd card

The baccarat rules of Baccarat-en-Banque in terms of drawing and standing rules are the same as in Baccarat Chemin-de-Fer. However, the set-up of the game is a little bit different. In Baccarat-en-Banque the Banker’s position is permanent and usually held by the house. The table has a double-table design to seat 5 players on the right side of the dealer and 5 on the left. Instead of one active player there are two active players, each representing 5 players on their side of the table. Thus, instead of two hands dealt for the Banker and for the Player in Chemin-de-Fer, in Baccarat-en-Banque we have three hands – one for the Banker and two for two active players. The rest of the players can bet either on a left side player or on a right one and also on both of them at the same time by placing money “a cheval” (French for across). In case of “a cheval” bet, if both active players win the bets, "a cheval" bet is won, if both lose the bet is lost. If one side wins and the other loses, this is a standoff and the bet is intact.

The Rules of American Las Vegas Style Baccarat (Punto Banco)

The baccarat rules for American Baccarat, which is also called Punto-Banco in few foreign countries, are similar to the rules of Chemin-de-Fer. However, there are no options for the player in the case of his starting hand valued as 5 and for the Banker when his hands are equal to 3 or 5. Instead of having an option of drawing or standing, the player always has to draw when he has a 5. The same way the drawing is mandatory for the Banker when his initial hand is a 3 or a 5.  Due to such rigid rules, the game is automatic in nature and governed by the baccarat rules only and without any kind of playing decisions on the part of a player or a Banker. The only thing the players can do is to think how much to bet and what position to bet on. They can also cut cards when offered. The table below shows the rules for American Baccarat.

The Rules for the Player

The Rules for the Banker

Player's hand value is

Player must

Banker's hand

Player's 3rd card is

Banker must

Player's 3rd card is

Banker must

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10

Draw

3

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9,10

Draw

8

Stand

4

2,3,4,5,6,7

Draw

1,,8,9,10

Stand

5

4,5,6,7

Draw

1,2,3,8,9,10

Stand

6, 7

Stand

6

6,7

Draw

1,2,3,4,5,8,9,10

Stand

7

Banker must always stand

8, 9 - Natural

The Banker can't draw

8, 9 - Natural

Player can't draw

1, 2, 10

Banker must always draw

Unlike in Chemin-de-Fer, the players in American Baccarat are limited by the rules to have only few choices for their bets – they can bet on the banker or on the player. They can also make a "Tie" bet, which means that the players bet that the banker and the player will end up with equal hands. If a player bets on the bank and wins he has to pay a 5% commission to the house on a winning bet. When the shoe is finished, a player has to pay the house all the money owed because of that 5% charge.

© Progress Publishing Co. 2006

 

 

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