Baccarat is an exciting card game table used as a plot device in the novel “Casino Royale” by Ian Fleming. Born in Italy in middle age, the name derives from the Italian word “zero”, because the face cards and Tens – which normally have the highest value in most games – are counted as zero in Baccarat. Later it was embraced by the French. Even today, the favorite game of Baccarat is famous gamers around the world.
The goal is to place a bet on which of two hands (“Player” or the “Banker”) will have a score closest to 9. You can bet on either hand – or on a tie.
Structure and Scoring
Baccarat is played with a single deck of 52 cards (no Jokers), shuffled after each hand is placed in a “shoe”. Each hand will receive at least two cards, but not more than three. The first and third cards dealt the player’s hands, while the second and fourth are the hands of the Banker. If required, a third card is distributed in accordance with the table below. All cards are dealt face up.
Card values are:
- Face cards count as 0 and 10;
- Aces count 1,
- All other cards count as the paper itself.
The score of each hand is the last digit of the sum of the cards. For example, if you get 8 and 9, the sum of two cards is 17, but the score is 7. This is why face cards count as 0 and 10 – the last number is a 0. Scores are from 0 to 9, and it is impossible to bust like in Blackjack.
The purpose of this game is to get as close as possible to 9, a score of 8 or 9 with the first two cards is great. This is called “natural”: the only score that can beat a natural 8 is a natural 9.