Even the most frequent casino goer, myself included, knows very little about the game of baccarat. Sure we’ve all passed by the rooms where it’s played, seemingly set apart from the rest of the casino. Those rooms are usually full of sharp dressed, powerful looking men, dressed to the nines and sipping brandy, whilst puffing on a huge cigar. It does not seem like the type of place that would embrace a woman with cheap pumps and a fake Coach purse, or a fella with a Hawaiian shirt and sandals.
The reason you don’t find baccarat games going on beside the $1 blackjack tables is because it is exactly how it looks; a card game for big money players that is oftentimes an invitation only event. The game itself dates back to the 1400’s, but modern versions are basically split into 3 different varieties; punto banco (the most popular), baccarat chemin de fer, and baccarat banque (see, even the names sound intimidating).
The premise of the game is very simple, despite the high stakes involved; it is played between two people, the player and the banker, and is a card comparing game with only three possible outcomes, which are player, banker and tie. This though, is not like blackjack where everyone gets a hand and plays against the dealer, instead only 2 hands (player and banker) are dealt, and the players at the table wager on which one will win.
Each card is assigned a point value; 2-9 are at face value, 10-K are worth zero and the Ace is worth 1 point, with the highest total score available being 9. You may wonder how this is possible given that you could draw a 7 and 8 at face value, and that is where it gets complicated. I could sit here and try to explain the mathematical values of the hands, but I would end up confusing everyone, myself included.
I would recommend going online and searching for baccarat rule, and once you think you have it down, then play a few hands at your favorite online casino (Platinum Play),making sure to play for fun rather than real money. When the day comes where I can afford a real Coach purse, then maybe I’ll slip under the velvet rope at the casino and play for real.