Baccarat is considered by many to be an overly complex game, particularly because of the rules regarding a third card which you may or may not have to take. Getting to grips with Baccarat’s third card rule is not as tricky as you might think, though.
The Look and Feel of Baccarat
First and foremost, players must decide whether to bet on a tie, the player’s hand, or the banker’s hand. Baccarat from software developer Realtime Gaming uses 6-8 full decks of cards (minus jokers), and each card counts for its face value. Apart from aces, which count as 1-point cards, and face cards which count as zero.
Following a bet, the dealer will deal two cards to both the player’s and banker’s hands, with the objective being to get a hand as close to 9 points as possible. Should a hand go over 9 points, the first digit is dropped. For instance, a hand consisting of a 4 and an 8 equals 12 points, which becomes 2 points. A hand consisting of a 7 and a Queen becomes a 7-point hand because face cards count as zero.
On occasion, a third card is required to be drawn (this is the bit which usually confuses players). If the player or banker has a hand worth 8 or 9 points, both players stand, and a third card does not need to be drawn.
If the player’s hand totals 5 points or less, the player will always take a third and final card.
However, if the player stands, and the banker has a hand worth 5 points or less, the banker will take a third and final card.
After the drawing of a third card, the basic rules apply once more, with the hand closest to 9 points in value winning. It is possible for hands to end in a tie when playing punto banco/baccarat.
Ties are the most valuable outcomes and pay out at 8:1 because they are the least likely to occur. Banker or player winning hands come in at 1:1. Of course, betting on a winning banker hand will see a 5% commission subtracted from your haul.