Baccarat is a hugely popular casino game which has a number of different variants you might come across. Its history has been traced back to the late 15th century and even if you have never played it before it shouldn’t take you too long to pick up the basics.

The starting point for understanding the rules of Baccarat is that all of the cards have a value which can be expressed in points. The numbered cards from 2 to 9 are worth the value stated on them. The tens and the face cards (jacks, queens and kings) have no value associated them while the aces count for 1 point each.

When working out the value of a hand you need to add up the cards in it. However, the highest possible total is 9. If a higher total is achieved then only the right hand digit of the total is used. In this way, a Baccarat hand containing a 4 and an 8 would be worth 2 instead of 12.

By far the most popular variant of Baccarat played in casinos these days is the one called Punto Banco. In fact, this is often just called Baccarat in many casinos. In this game, two hands are dealt and the player has to decide which one to bet on. These are known as the player’s hand and the dealer’s hand for identification purposes but the player can bet on either.

To start with, a couple of cards are dealt face up. At this point the game ends and a winner is declared if either hand has a total of 8 or 9. A total of up to 5 for the player means that a third card is drawn. If the total is 6 or 7 then no extra card is drawn.

The action then moves onto the dealer’s hand. The rules for the drawing of a third card are rather more complex, as it depends upon what additional card was drawn by the player. The hands are then compared and the winner declared.

One of the advantages to playing Baccarat is that no real strategies are needed. This means that complete newcomers have a chance of winning even on their first attempts. It has traditionally been an exclusive game involving high stakes but its availability in online casinos now means that anyone can give it a try with a relatively small wager.

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