Baccarat has long held the attention of
gamblers and an early version was played with cards from a Tarot
deck back in the middle ages. A more modern variant originated in
Italy (Europe) around 1490 and at the present time it is most
popular in European casinos.
The word Baccarat is derived from the Italian
word baccara, meaning zero, and refers to the zero value given to
all of the face cards and tens. In the 1500s, it was introduced
to French aristocrats looking for a new and exciting game of
chance by their Italian counterparts. They called it 'Chemin De
Fer', the French term for railroad.
In the 1900s, when the game became fashionable
on the French Riviera (game of choice for the French nobility),
players nicknamed it 'Chemmy' or 'Shimmy'.
Chemin De Fer traveled from Europe to South
America and found a new home in Argentina. Casinos in Mar Del
Plata (Argentina) became a gambling paradise for wealthy South
Americans. When the game reached Cuba, it underwent a rule change
that turned it into American Baccarat (in American Baccarat each
player bets against the house; in Chemin De Fer, players bet
among themselves). In 1958, at Capri Hotel Casino in Havana
(Cuba), a young casino executive named Francis 'Tommy' Renzoni,
spent countless hours watching gamblers play Baccarat.
When Renzoni left Cuba and settled in Nevada,
he persuaded the owners of Sands Hotel to open up a Baccarat pit.
But the game was not an overnight success in the United States.
The separated pit and the game's sophisticated aura intimidated
American gamblers, who at this time were mostly craps players who
had picked up a liking for the dice during military service in WW
During that time a special form of Baccarat
was introduced in many Las Vegas casinos and the game has become
even more popular. In this variation of Baccarat the role of
banker is usually held permanently by the House or Casino; only
one non-Banker hand is dealt, and bets may be played either with
or against the Banker.
Its popularity increased steadily in the
United States, Australia and England during the past century.
Traditionally, the Baccarat pit is set aside from the main casino
area, away from all of the 'common' games, and 'common'
Now that the internet is fast evolving into
becoming a highly diversified meeting place and playground, it
has grown to include Online Baccarat. Gambling has now become
firmly rooted in the electronic age, so it was only natural that
it should gravitate to the Internet in the form of online
Baccarat. The number of internet users is increasing steadily
each week and more money and resources are being poured into the
infrastructure. The resulting increase in bandwidth will provide
support for a high degree of interaction between users and online
Baccarat. As this becomes a reality, online Baccarat will take a
permanent place amongst hundreds of other forms of internet based
Initially 2 hands are dealt; one to the
Baccarat player and one for the banker. The simplicity of
Baccarat rules is, you can bet on either one or the other, or a
tie. If the hand you bet on wins, you get an even money payoff,
that's one to one. If you bet 5 and win, you get your 5 back, and
another 5. If you bet on a tie, you get an 8 to 1 payoff (bet 5
get 5 plus 40). This is of course because a tie occurs less than
once out of every 10 hands, making it quite a gamble.
Each hand gets 2 initial cards. The hand closest to 9 wins. Tens
and face cards (except the ace) count as zero. The ace counts as
1, and cards 2 through 9 are worth face value. Baccarat rules
state that the hand closest to a count of 9 wins.
There is no 'bust' as in poker, and here is
the tricky part. The first digit of a 2 digit total is dropped.
This means, if a 6 and a 7 are drawn, the total is 13, but the
first digit is dropped, so the count is 3.
If the first 2 cards achieve a count of 8 or 9 it is called a
'natural', and as such wins automatically (excluding the event of
a tie of equal valued 'naturals').
If neither initial hand is a natural, additional cards are drawn
to determine a winner.
Baccarat rules state that winning banker bets
are subject to a 5% house commission. This is of course because
there is more of a chance for a banker win.
What's interesting, and what you won't learn from reading any
standard Baccarat rules pages, is that even after the 5% house
commission, there is still an advantage to betting on the house.
The margin is slim at 0.19%, but it does exist.
All bets are made before the cards are dealt. In real life
Baccarat each player gets the chance to deal if they want to, or
they have the option of passing to the next player.
Baccarat strategy is often said to be
non-existent. Not so. There are a number of things you can do to
increase your odds of winning this game, and there are a number
of things you can avoid doing. Many people will give you advice
on what they would call a Baccarat strategy. Unfortunately the
majority of the time these are myths.
The first thing you notice about Baccarat at land based casinos,
is that almost everyone at the table is tracking the results of
each hand on scorecards. These people are pattern chasing, or
Quite simply they are looking for patterns in the outcomes of the
hands. You may ask why. If so you may be intelligent! There is no
rhyme or reason to use pattern spotting as a Baccarat strategy ,
it's simply superstition. Where is the rational behind thinking a
randomly shuffled shoe of 8 decks is going to follow distinct
So although you may see everyone around you marking down numbers,
take it as entertaining company, but don't be fooled into
participating. Think about it, would the casinos provide everyone
with a pencil and chart if they were really worth anything?
Card counting is another technique that people attempt to utilize
as a Baccarat strategy. This method is usually associated with
Black Jack and involves keeping track of cards that have been
played from the shoe in order to gain an advantage against the
house. This sounds awfully promising considering the nature of
Baccarat. As more cards are played from the shoe, the more you
know about the cards that are left. But even though cards can be
shown to be mathematically favorable or unfavorable, the effect
Unlike Black Jack you can't alter your bet mid-hand. Using card
counting as a Baccarat strategy finds so few situations with an
advantage against the house that the efforts overall are
worthless. Baccarat can be considered a coin toss played with a
lot of fanfare. Don't let this impression lure you towards
systems that involve doubling your bet until you win. Streak
analysis or pattern spotting is also useless, but serves as
entertainment in a game where the simplicity can produce
monotony. Looking at the numbers the odds are always better if
you bet on the banker. Does this mean you should always bet on
the banker? Technically yes. Practically, perhaps not. This
Baccarat strategy would be undeniably boring, and so you wouldn't
be playing for very long. Remember, the house does have an edge,
even though it is relatively small for Baccarat. This means that
in the long run the house will win, undeniably.
The point here is, although the casino does have the advantage in
the long run, Baccarat provides a rare opportunity for short term
success. Try to escape with your winnings and don't chase your
losses. Never lose track of how much you are betting per hour,
this is your best possible Baccarat strategy.