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Baccarat is one of the easiest games to learn in the Casino. The objective is to predict which of the two hands—the Banker or the Player—will come closest to nine. Players may also choose to wager an optional Dragon Bonus side bet. The game is played with eight decks of cards and is dealt from a shoe.
In terms of strategy, few games are easier to play. Decision making on the part of the gambler is minimal. In fact, only three decisions need to be made:
From there, baccarat is hands-off; the playing of the cards is in the dealer’s hands.
As mentioned, baccarat involves two hands: the Player and the Banker. The dealer begins play by drawing four cards from the shoe, face down. The first and third cards form the Player hand and are placed below PLAYER as marked on the table. The second and forth cards form the Banker hand and are placed below BANKER on the table.
The dealer then turns over the Player hand, followed by the Banker hand. Card values in baccarat are as follows:
The point count of a hand is a single-digit number between 0 and 9; 9 is the best possible hand. If the total of the cards is a two-digit number, the left digit then has no value and is dropped. The right digit is the point count of the hand. For example:
After the first two cards have been dealt and the point counts have been determined for each hand, a third card decision needs to be made. If either the Player hand or the Banker hand has a point count of eight (8) or nine (9) in the first two cards, this is called a natural, and the hand is over.
Here are the rules for all Player hands:
Depending on the outcome of the Player hand, the Banker hand follows this table for its third card decision:
Winning Wagers are based on the point totals of Banker vs. Player:
And that's how to play the game of baccarat. Seductively simple, and great fun!
Baccarat Dragon Bonus® is a registered trademark and used under license from SHFL entertainment, Inc.