Baccarat is a commonly played game, found in the majority of online and land based casinos. It is similar in some ways to Blackjack, but for the fact that a Baccarat hand aims to have a total value of nine, as apposed to Blackjack which, of course, aims to have a total value of twenty one.
Baccarat also tends to have a rather unwarranted reputation, seen by some as a game strictly for high rollers and big spenders. This misconception results in some players avoiding the game, most of which are unaware that Baccarat does generally not have higher or lower betting standard than any other game. Baccarat is, really, suitable for anyone who understands the rules and has a passion for easy to understand, passive betting based game play.
The association between high rollers and Baccarat perhaps stems from the fact that when Baccarat first become popular, many hundreds of years ago, it was largely only played by French nobles. The so-called common folk always tended to prefer other games. This connection between nobles and Baccarat, however, is extremely out-dated, and is certainly not still the case.
Origins of Baccarat
Baccarat is certainly one of the oldest betting games to still be around today, with a history that goes back some two hundred years prior to such games as Blackjack.
Mention of Baccarat can first be found in France, as early as the fourteen hundreds. The game was then played largely by nobles, who sought a new addition to the standard bet making games, which they felt were becoming stale. Interestingly, however, the name Baccarat is in fact Italian, and not French, the direct translation of which is literally “zero.” This comes from the fact that zero is a highly significant number in the game, with the values of the ten, Jack, Queen and King cards being zero.
In terms of game play this can massively affect a hand, and how players bet on that hand, since the aim of any hand is to have a value of nine. All other cards in the deck, including the ace, hold the value of their face number. Baccarat spent much time being played by French nobles, until eventually, over the course of 500 years, spreading to other parts of Europe. At this point different variations of the game were enjoyed in different parts of Europe, with the only major difference being in how the cards were dealt.
The core of the game, however, betting on dealer, banker, or tie, remained exactly the same. Finally the game was adopted by South America, after which it made its way to the United States. Today, of course, Baccarat is found in the majority of casinos across the globe, with one or the other of the variations being used.
Most Common Form Of Baccarat
Most United States casinos use what is known as the mini-Baccarat version, also referred to as Punto Banco. The core of this version of the game is based around fast turnaround time, with the dealer placing down all cards, face down, and having players bet on their preferred outcome; player or ‘puno’, bank or ‘banco’, or a tie.
Once bets have been made, the cards are turned over and the results revealed. At this point, if the cards are a tie in terms of total value, any player who has bet on tie will win. Others will have to wait and see further results. If the player cards have a total of six, seven, eight or nine, the player hand automatically sticks. If, however, the value is below this amount, an extra card will be dealt.
A similar process is done with the bank hand, after which a final winner is decided. Note that Punto Banco is a passive-bet making gaming, meaning that any players who wish to make a bet may do so, with no bet having any direct effect on the outcome or result of the game. As with Craps, Roulette, and other passive-bet making games, no bets may be made once the game has started. This rule is always strictly followed.
Modern Live Baccarat Online
Baccarat, in its Punto Banco form when played online follows all the same rules as the original land based version, with the part of the bank being played by an RNG. Recently, however, live versions of online Baccarat are being offered to online players.
This version involves a direct streaming video feed, relayed directly from a live dealer to as many players around the world as wish to take part. The dealer plays the hand as would normally be done in a real world casino, with bet makers placing their bet at their computer, anywhere in the world. These live versions are a true marvel of modern technology, and something French nobles of old wouldn’t have been able to dream up!