If you’re looking to learn how to play baccarat, then you’ve come to the right place. Among Mr Bet casino players from New Zealand, this classic card game is one of the most popular choices.
It’s easy to see why. It carries an air of sophistication, thanks to its French-sounding name and famous players like James Bond. Baccarat also offers players a challenge that’s unique to other casino games and one of the lowest house edges you’ll find on the gaming floor.
So with so many NZ players interested in how to play baccarat and win, we decided to put together this handy guide that explains the rules, the mechanics, and top tips to take your playing to the next level.
Baccarat is a card game that’s popular among casino players in New Zealand and many other parts of the world.
It’s been traced back as far as the 15th century when it was invented by an Italian called Felix Falguierein who loved betting on different games. His game is set apart from others that share some similarities because the 10 and picture cards are valued at zero.
It is from this that the name baccarat is derived. “Baccara” in Italian means “zero”, so Falguierein originally referred to his game in this very imaginative way. However, when it started being played in France a few centuries later, the French began calling it “Baccarat en Banque”, which was later simply shortened to the baccarat name we know today.
Like most other table games found in casinos, baccarat is played against the dealer and involves making a hand from the cards you are dealt.
If you’re familiar with blackjack, then you may notice some similarities with baccarat. However, there are some key differences that make it stand out, so be sure not to mix them up when you play.
In most card games you find in a casino, the cards are valued in the same way: aces can be 1 or 11, 2-10 carry face value, and J, Q, and K are worth 10. However, in baccarat, it works a little differently.
In baccarat, your aim is to make a hand of just 9. This may sound quite difficult at first, but it’s important to remember that all the cards valued at 10 have been changed to be worth zero.
You physically can’t score more than 9 in baccarat, since players with a double-digit hand value must drop the 10. So, for example, 13 becomes 3 and 10 becomes 0.
The game starts out with both the player and the dealer (called the banker in baccarat) receiving two cards. If either side has 9, then they automatically win. If neither the player nor the banker has 9, but one of them has 8, this will win instead. If both have 9 or 8, then it’s a tie.
If neither party has a “natural win”, then additional cards may be dealt. Unlike in blackjack, you don’t always get to decide whether to “hit”. Instead, these rules apply:
Similar, but more complicated, rules apply to the banker:
Following this round, the one that’s closest to 9 will win.
In baccarat, you can choose to bet on the player, the banker, or a tie. This creates more options for strategy, but you need to remember that there are different odds offered for each.
The odds vary from game to game, but generally they are:
Bets on the player or banker will push in the event of a tie.
Many New Zealand players prefer to play baccarat online because of the convenience and variety that it offers.
If you’re familiar with the land-based version and are considering trying it out from your computer or mobile device, you’ll be glad to know that the game works in the exact same way.
When you play baccarat online, you’ll notice that there are multiple variants available, including:
Some may use slightly different rules about the third card, but they are very similar in most other aspects. It’s usually a good idea to try a few different options out to see which you prefer.
As much as we’d all like to win all the time, it’s important to remember that there are no guarantees when you play casino games.
However, you can use techniques to reduce the house edge. Some of the most commonly-cited tips include:
The most important thing to remember is that baccarat is a game so focus on the fun and then it won’t matter what the outcomes are.