How to Play Baccarat – A Three-Phased Game


The game of Baccarat is a popular game among people. It actually dates back to the 15th century, although it didn’t come to this country until 1962, when James Bond got a taste for it in the movie Dr. No. Here, it was called “Chemin de Fer”, and it was played at the Monte Carlo casino. Since it turn out to be James Bond (then played by Sean Connery)’s favorite game, people suddenly started to pay real attention to it, although it had been available in this country for about 15 years prior to this. The history of Baccarat is actually one of three phases.

Phase 1 – Chemin de Fer

Chemin de Fer is the original version of the game, where everybody participated and won and lost their money. Players would take turn being dealers in counterclockwise rotations. The casino, meanwhile, would take a 5% commission of winnings.

Phase 2 – Punto Banco

Punto Banco was brought from Cuba to Nevada in the 1950s. Cuba was a gamblers’ paradise until Castro shut it down. Punto Banco was very similar to Chemin de Fer, but the game was banked by the house. To increase their earnings on top of the 5% commission, a tie bet was also included. Someone decided to call it Baccarat, which is Italian for the number zero, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Phase 3 – Mini Baccarat

It didn’t take long for casinos too see that Baccarat could be a profitable game. Places like the Bicycle Casino Hotel were some of the first to introduce Mini-Baccarat. The rules are like those in Punto Banco, but there is a single house dealer, and no more than seven players. Table minimums can also be set, and there are now a range of side bets to choose from as well.

The Rules of Baccarat

In Baccarat, the player needs to come as close as possible to 9 by adding up the numbers on their cards (Aces are 1, 10, J, Q, K are zero). The dealer hands two cards out, and the total is the number they have. If this is a double digit number, such as 17, then the first number is dropped, making it 7. No skill is required to play Baccarat, but there are rules to be aware of. There are game rules for player bets and game rules for banker bets as well.

Statistically speaking, there isn’t a strategy that will work for Baccarat. However, those who love the game will generally claim that they have a strategy regardless. Really, the question is on how much risk you want to take with your bet. As with all casino games, if you bet on something that is unlikely to happen, the payout is much higher. But because it is unlikely to happen, you probably won’t win. And, as with all casino games, the casino is usually the overall winner, because the odds are always in their favor. If you are happy to accept that, then Baccarat is a really fun game, and a very interesting piece of history as well.