Baccarat is a game of mystery to most betting people and is the staple of American brick-and-mortar casinos. Baccarat was derived from the European games of chemin de fer and punto banco. With this writing, we hope that you will unravel the secrets of baccarat and with a little study learn how to become a winning player. Baccarat has become very popular after it appeared in the James Bond movies like Goldfinger and others. Let’s get started with the history of the game.
Baccarat is a game of mystery to most betting people and is the staple of American brick-and-mortar casinos. Baccarat was derived from the European games of chemin de fer and punto banco.
The game has its origin in 1490 and the word Baccarat is a French spelling for the Italian word baccara or zero. Baccarat was played mostly in Europe by the nobility in the reign of King Charles VIII. Baccarat was introduced in Las Vegas casinos in 1959, about a year and a half after chemin de fer was introduced. Both games were flourishing in the illegal Eastern casinos.
As a result of the game of chemin de fer, baccarat is now played in the United States, chemin de fer is very similar to baccarat, one major difference is that players bet among themselves rather than against the casino, with the house taking a commission from the player holding the bank. Chemin de fer was played in Las Vegas briefly in the 1950s, but it was quickly replaced by baccarat.
For decades baccarat was kept under wraps so the game was only familiar to a relative handful of players, and was played only by invitation in the lavish high-roller pits for the amusement of the wealthy. The lowest minimum bet at the table was $20 and the customer would feel like a piker*.
All casinos that cater to high rollers, baccarat is a game of “whales”, the highest money players of the high rollers. High rollers play in an area that is roped off from the main casino, a table for 14 players, is run by three dealers– none of whom actually deals the cards out of the shoe which holes eight decks. The ceremony of passing this shoe allows the players in turn to slide out the cards out of the shoe.
In the 1980s casinos introduced mini-baccarat, on a blackjack-sized table, along with other table games and only seven players. The game moves faster than baccarat, the shoe is not passed between players, and the dealer deals all the cards, but the rules are the same. With the introduction of mini-baccarat now the average customer can play. The minimum bets have been lowered to $10 or even $5 at some casinos. So now everybody can play the game like whales.
At a full-size baccarat table of 15 players, it has one dealer the “callman” who always stands up. This person turns the cards faceup after they are dealt by the player with the shoe. He is also responsible for calling out the point totals of each hand and announcing whether the hand gets another card according to the set hit/stand rules of the game. There are two other dealers that are seated on either side of the callman. They are responsible for paying off the winning bets and collecting the losing bets. Mini-baccarat has only one dealer, who deals the cards and does the responsibilities of all three dealers at the 14-player table.
At both tables, numbers indicate the player’s position. In front of the numbers, there is a lined-off area in which the player is to place a banker bet or a player bet. In front of the dealer are numbers corresponding to the numbers of each player. Each time a player wins a banker bet, the dealer places a marker in the box corresponding to that customer. Bettors must pay a 5% commission on the winning banker’s bet.
With this let’s learn how to play. The following section has the rules of baccarat as well as some strategies to become a winning player. Good Luck!