Beginner Baccarat: What to bet on, and why
Hello again. I’m Max Stern and in this video
I’m going explain the basics of Baccarat.
Perhaps no other game so forcefully dramatizes
the extreme and uncertain nature of the gambling
experience than Baccarat. You see, on one
hand, Baccarat offers some of the lowest house
edge bets of any other game on the floor.
On the other hand, it incorporates some of
the highest. For the uninitiated or untrained
eye, all bets in Baccarat can seem equal.
But… they’re not.
Put simply: more house advantage equals more
of a threat to your bankroll. And without
bankroll, you can’t play.
Here’s how Punto Banco Baccarat, which is
the most popular variation of the game, works:
You need to bet on one of three hands:
• the Player, or Punto, hand, with a low
house edge of 1.24%
• the Banker, or Banco, hand, with an even
lower house edge at 1.06%
• the Tie bet, meaning that the Player hand
and the Banker hand, are identical, with a
house edge standing at a whopping 14.36%!
It’s important to realise that the player
hand doesn’t in any way refer to the player
who is at the table. Nor does the banker hand
refer to the house. They’re just two different
names for two different hands, and a gambler
could bet on either one.
So what’s the difference between them?
After all the bets have been made, the dealer
will give two cards to each of the hands.
The winning hand is the one with the highest
single numerical value and is determined by
a predefined procedure about when to draw
more cards and when to stand. The total numerical
value of a hand will always range between
zero and nine inclusive. It’s also impossible
to bust on either hand.
When calculating scores of a hand in double
digits, only the second digit is taken into
account. So, for instance, if the first two
cards were a six and nine, then the total
hand would come to 15. The first digital would
be ignored, and five would count as the value
of the hand.
Different rules exist for each hand. Let’s
look at each of them separately:
The Player hand
For the player hand, a total of between zero
and five (inclusive) requires that it draws
a third card.
A player hand with six or seven must stand,
and a player with what is called a ‘natural’
eight or ‘natural’ nine will reveal their
The player hand pays even money.
The Banker hand
The rules around the banker hand are substantially
more complex. In many ways, the banker hand
is directly dependent upon the actions of
player hand in terms of whether or not to
draw a third card. The banker hand procedures
will work as follows:
• If the player’s third card is a two or
three, then the banker must draw with a total
of between zero and four, but must stand with
a total of between five and seven
• If the player’s third card is a four or
five, the banker must draw if he has a total
of between zero and five, but must stand with
a total of between six and seven
• If the player has a third card total of
between six and seven, the banker hand must
draw if it has a total of between zero and
six, but must stand with a total of seven
• If the player’s third card total is an
eight, then the banker will only draw if he
has a total of between zero and two, but must
stand with a total of between three and seven.
Finally, if the player’s third card is an
ace, nine, 10, or face card, the banker must
draw if he has a total of between zero and
three, and stand with a total of between four
Like the player hand, the banker hand will
pay even money.
The Tie bet
By making a tie bet, you’re making a wager
on the player hand and banker hand sharing
an identical value.
If you’re lucky enough to win this type of
bet, you’ll enjoy an 8 to 1 payout.
Stick with either the player or banker hands.
Although the tie bet can seem attractive based
on its payout, you’ll be battling against
a very high casino advantage.
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