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The good news for beginners is that the rules of Baccarat are among the simplest of all casino card games. Unlike most other card games, where you play in the hopes of being dealt the best possible hand, Baccarat requires you to predict the outcome of the game; i.e. whether the player or the banker will land the best hand. Therefore, before the cards are dealt, players must place bets on the outcome of the game. There are three different betting options with different odds and inversely proportionate payouts: the banker bet, the player bet, and the tie bet:
If a single deck is in play, the odds of these bets are 1.01%, 1.28%, and 15.75% respectively.
The object of the Baccarat is to achieve a combined card value as close as possible (or equal) to 9. This value is calculated by adding up the values of the two cards each dealt to the banker and the player.
The values of the various cards are as follows:
What if a hand value is more than 10, the first digit of that value falls away and only the second digit is counted. In other words, if the hand totals 16, then the 1 is dropped and the hand total becomes 6. If, however, the total value of the hand is 5 or less, a third card is dealt and added to the total. This is known as the Third Card Rule.
The general consensus is that Baccarat was first played in the latter part of the 14th Century and was invented by an Italian man by the name of Felix Falguerei. In the following century, the game is said to have become a favourite in France among the soldiers of King Charles VII. Although Baccarat arrived in North America in the 19th Century, it was overshadowed by the already popular blackjack until the 1950s, after it had also made its way to Cuba, where it became known as Punto Banco.
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