Baccarat in online casino is a game with only two bets, banker and player. The odds are very nearly 50-50 for each and, as in most casino games, the deciding factor is most often nothing more than pure luck.
The baccarat table is oblong with seven numbered positions on each side of the table. Just like in hotels, the number 13 is skipped, so the numbers reach 15 at most games.
At each position there are three bets. The “Banker,” the “Player” and the Tie. B-A-N-K-E-R and P-L-A-Y-E-R are spelled out on each side of the table in the corresponding areas. The position for the Tie bet is generally above the Banker and Player bets.
Three dealers work the games at all times and perform similar functions as the dealers at the craps table. Two dealers sit or stand behind the chip rack and pay or take the players’ bets on each side of the table, depending upon the outcome of the hand.
A croupier, sometimes referred to as the “caller”, stands in the middle of the table and makes the calls on the hands, directing the players on the procedures of the game. Baccarat is the only game where the players deal the cards.
Before starting the game, the dealers shuffle eight decks of cards together and place them in a covered shoe. Even the shuffling procedure is elegant. The croupier takes two decks off the top of the deck and “laces” – intersperses – them throughout the remaining cards. Player number one is offered the opportunity to be the Banker.
As Banker, the player deals two cards for each hand. The first card is the first Player card, and goes to the croupier. The second card, the first Banker card, goes under the corner of the shoe. The third card, the second Player card, goes to the croupier, and the initial deal is complete with the fourth card, the second Banker card, which joins the first under the corner of the shoe. The croupier then passes the Player’s cards to the player at the table with the highest bet on the Player’s side. lf no one is betting on the Player side, the croupier exposes the cards.
Players need not accept the shoe to act as the Banker. It is not considered incorrect to pass the shoe, particularly if you plan to make a Player’s bet. But you may take the shoe and bet the Player’s side. Other players may comment that you’re betting against yourself but, once again, the rules are predetermined and the cards are already in the shoe, so it doesn’t really make any difference what side you bet when you deal the cards.
The rules of the game determine whether a third card can be taken but, in the end, the winner is the hand with a total closest to nine. Face cards and Tens have no value and when the total of the cards is more than nine, the left¬hand digit is dropped. For instance, in baccarat, Eight and Seven equals Five, because you drop the ten-count of the true total, 15.
The only other bet that a player can make in baccarat is the Tie bet. It is a side wager that is usually placed along with a Banker or Player bet. When a tie occurs, the two hands end up with the same total. Neither the Banker nor the Player loses, and the casino pays the bets that were placed on the tie for that hand only. Ties pay 8-1, but the odds favour the house to such an extent that the tie wager is considered a bad bet.
Because the Banker bet has a slight advantage – without ties the Banker bet wins 50.7 percent of all hands – a winning wager on the Banker option owes the house a five per cent commission, in other words winners are paid out not at evens but at 19-20. The dealer keeps track of your commission in a box in front of the chip rack by using plastic lammers designating the amount owed. You may pay this commission at any time, but it must be collected after the shoe is completed. Player bets are paid even money. The Tie bet pays 8-1, but the true odds are more like 9-1, making the Tie bet the worst at the baccarat table.
After placing his bet, the Player has no more decisions to make. There are no double downs, splits, or free odds. The game proceeds according to a set of complicated rules that need not concern the casual player. With simple choices and clear cut decisions, the game is a real favourite with those gamblers who really like to rely on systems.