The key to baccarat rules is to make a hand with a total of nine or, a total close to nine, with just two to three cards. Number cards from two to nine have their standard value while ten and face cards excluding ace are zero. An ace will have a value of one. In case a hand has two cards with face value exceeding nine, you will have to deduct ten from the total. For instance, a hand with nine and six will have a total of fifteen, from which you will have to subtract ten. You will then have a total of five. The maximum number of cards you can have to complete a hand is three. However, you will not be allowed to take the third in case your two card hand exceeds six.
You can make two types of natural hands with just two cards – one with a total of eight and the other, nine. Also called a natural eight or natural nine, the hand can be made by both the player and banker. In case the player has a natural hand, the dealer will not be allowed to draw the third card, and vice versa. A natural hand is superior to others. A natural eight can be trumped only by a natural nine.
Decks and Dealers
Multiple decks of cards – between six and eight – are used. In baccarat, the cards are shuffled by the dealer and added to a shoe. Players will then have to deal cards in turns. A full table will generally have three dealers. The middle dealer acts as the caller who announces each hand’s total. He will also have to decide the drawing of the third card based on the house rules. The first and third dealer will have to monitor players’ losses and wins, and commissions on winning bets placed on he banker.
Layout of the Table
On a baccarat table, you will find numbered slots which can hold bets of a maximum of fourteen players. A typical layout will have places numbered from 1 to 15, sans 13, bringing the total number of player spots to 14. Additional slots will be situated beside the betting slots. They enable players to track their house commission. The table layout will also have a row for wagering on the player’s hand. Located above it will be the row for betting on the banker’s. At the top of the two rows is another for placing wagers on ties.
Each player is dealt a hand of two cards, as is the dealer. Wagers are placed on one of three possible outcomes – the dealer’s hand winning, the player’s hand winning, or it being a tie. This is the only decision a player has to make in the game. In case the player’s two card hand value equals or exceeds six, he will have to stand. The banker can get a third card in this case, if the sum of his first two cards is five or lesser. If not, the banker will also stand. A player’s hand with a total below six will allow him to get one more card.
In case this happens, the banker’s hand will draw an additional card if his first two make a total of zero, one or two. Hands three through six will allow the dealer to get a third based on what the player has. Hands over six will require the banker to stand.