Online Baccarat History
Baccarat history can be traced back to the middle ages. It has been said the game was first played with Tarot cards. It was not long before baccarat made its way from its home country, Italy, to France. There it found a new (and welcoming) home among the upper class aristocracy. Further evolution of the game shows it split to European baccarat, and a French game that goes by the name ‘chemin de fer’.
‘Chemin de fer’ is very similar to baccarat as it’s played in American casinos today. The difference is that one of the players banks the game instead of the casino. The title of banker rotates around the table in a manner similar to the dice at a craps table. The casino of course is taking no risk here; they simply charge a fee from each banker.
The Baccarat we know today originated in Great Britain and was then passed along to South America and finally to Nevada. The infamous Dunes casino introduced baccarat in the late 50’s, and since then it has made its final voyage onto the World of web based gambling.
Baccarat’s popularity among the Asian population who visit Las Vegas each year is clear evidence that baccarat history can be found overseas too. The chief high rollers often come from abroad to try their hand under the chandeliers of the elegant Vegas baccarat rooms. In casinos based in the Portuguese territory of Macao, near Hong Kong, the popularity of baccarat is matchless. Unlike the heavily ordered and systematic American casinos, these Portuguese tables often allow multiple players to bet on a single spot at the same time, while the expert dealers mentally keep track of each players commission on winning bank bets.
Online Baccarat Terms
Baccarat A count of zero (0).
Burning the top cards The practice of dealing the top 3 to 6 cards and removing them after shuffling before starting play.
Caller The croupier at the baccarat table that handles the cards.
Commission The cut (usually 5 %) that the casino takes on winning bank bets.
Croupiers Casino staff that deal the cards and direct the betting.
Fading Placing bets.
La Grande (“the big one”) a natural with a total of nine (9).
La Petite (“the little one”) a natural with a total of eight (8).
Loss bet Betting against the house.
Muck The 416 cards (8 decks of 52 cards) used, at the beginning of the shuffling process.
Natural A count of eight (8) or nine (9).
Palette A long and thin wooden paddle. Used to make it possible for the seated croupiers to transact business at the far reaches of the table.
Push A bet on a hand that ends up a tie. Such bets neither win nor lose, and the money simply sits there for the next hand. (This is unless tie bets are allowed)
Shills Employees of the casino (typically, young good looking women) who play at a table only to draw other players to the game.
Shoe An automatic dealing device that eliminates any accidents in the dealing.
Shooter Another expression for the bank.
Online Baccarat Tips
The object of Baccarat is to hold 2 or 3 cards, which count 9, or as nearly 9 as possible. The values of the cards are: face cards and tens are 0; aces are 1; any other card is worth its face value. Unit of 10 points are disregarded so that 9+7 count as 6, not 16.
The dealer will deal out cards to both the player and dealer. Depending on the value the initial 2-card hands, a third card may be dealt to either one of the hands. Ultimately the winning hand will be the one closest to 9.
You have the choice of betting on either the player’s hand or the dealer’s hand. To place a bet you have to either click on the word “player” or on the word “dealer” and your bet will be placed on the table automatically.
Baccarat is played with either six or eight complete decks of cards. All cards, ace through nine, are valued according to their count. Tens and face cards count as zero. When any two cards total over a 10 count, 10 must be subtracted and the remaining total is the card count. The cards are shuffled by the dealer and then reshuffled and placed in a covered box called the shoe. As part of the formality, each player gets a turn to handle the shoe, and the caller explains exactly what to do. The player is expected to bet the bank when holding the shoe, but any player may decline the shoe and pass it along to the next player. The caller receives the cards from the player with the shoe, places them in the appropriate boxes and then calls for another card or declares the winner, according to the rigid rules of the game.
The fixed rules of baccarat apply in all American casinos:
The highest total any baccarat hand can have is nine. A two-card total of nine is called a natural and cannot lose. An eight is the second best hand and is also called a natural. If both player and bank are dealt identical hands, it is a tie and neither bank nor player wins.
If neither hand has a natural, the player’s hand is always the first to be played, followed by the dealer. If the first two cards total five or less, another card is drawn. If they total six or seven, no further cards can be drawn.
No more than a total of three cards can be drawn for either hand, and when both hands have been played out, the hand closest to nine wins.
Players bet by placing their chips in either the player, bank, or tie spot in the numbered box opposite their seat. Winning bets made on the player or bank are paid off at even money. The only other bet that can be made is a tie bet, which is paid off at 8:1. In most games, bets range from a $20 minimum to $2,000 maximum. The type of wager and the amount are the only decisions a player must make, after which point the dealer’s actions take over. After the winner is announced, the two other dealers at the table pay off the winning bets and collect from the losers. If the bank was the winner, players who won must pay a 5% commission on their winnings. A record of the commission owed by each player is kept with plastic lammers in a numbered box. Players can pay this vigorish at any time, but it must be paid when the shoe is completed. Each time the shoe is depleted of cards, all decks are thoroughly shuffled and replaced in the shoe.
The house edge in baccarat is the lowest of any casino game. With only a 5% commission on winning bank bets and nothing taken from winning player bets, the player’s disadvantage is only 1.37%. The payoff for ties is 8:1, but it is a bad bet as the house edge is increased to 14.1%.
A number of casinos have installed a smaller version of the baccarat game played on standard blackjack-sized gaming tables. It is played by the exact same rules, but lacks the accoutrements of the formal version. The table is staffed by only one dealer who is responsible for handling the cards. The layout, however, conforms to the regular baccarat table and each of the seven seat positions correspond to a number and betting box with spots for banker, player, and tie. The limits are lower and usually range from a $2 to $5 minimum, up to $500 maximum. Lacking the formality and large group of players, mini-baccarat is played fast and is a good place to learn how to play.