Baccarat was long known as the game of the rich, a wonderfully exciting game that took place in its own premises in a casino where millionaires and billionaires gambled for huge sums and the casino itself could almost be destroyed if one of them was really lucky. This is no longer the case, baccarat has become available to just about everyone through the proliferation of opportunities to play at online casinos with varying stakes from the small to the large. But the excitement that has always attracted rich and glamorous people is still there. Baccarat is a card game with three variants. One of them, punto banco, you will find more about on a separate page on this site. Punto banco is often also called American baccarat. The other two variants are called baccarat chemin de fer, also called chemmy, and baccarat banque, or also a deux tableaux.
As the names suggest, this is like so many other of today’s famous games something that has evolved from the beginning. However, some claim that the start was in Italy, and that similar games were already known during the Italian wars of the 15th century. The difference between punto banco and the other variants is that in punto banco the game is completely dependent on the cards. The other variants give players greater choice. As usual, it is of course the house or the bank that has the advantage purely mathematically, but how big this advantage is, will vary considerably depending on which casino it is about and how big the bet is.
In the same way as in 21, you play against the bank. You compare cards between the player and the bank, and for each round there are three possibilities: the player wins, the bank wins or a draw. The cards have a point value. Picture cards give no points, except for the ace which is worth one point, while other cards are worth face value. Jokers are not used in baccarat. One of the special things about baccarat, however, is that it is only the last digit of a sum that counts. For example, if you have 5 and 6 at hand, the sum is 11, and then you have only 1 point. In other words, such a hand is much worse than, for example, 2 and 3, while the very best hand has the sum of nine.
In chemin de fer, which is a fairly simplified form of baccarat compared to punto banco, six decks of cards are used. If you ever get to play this in a land-based casino, you will find that it is an interesting ritual that comes with, in that everyone who plays must be involved in shuffling before handing out the cards. Of course, this step is skipped elegantly when playing online. One of the many advantages of playing online, beyond the simple fact that there is simply no casino where you can play baccarat in, is that it goes much faster. The banker deals four cards, two to himself and two to the players, often called puntos or punters. These have the cards together, but bet separately. The one who bets the most starts the game and in a way becomes the other players’ representative. This player and banker look at their cards. If one of them has 8 or 9, they must say so, and the cards are then compared with each other. If no one has 8 or 9, you can choose to take a third card that must be visible to everyone.