When it comes to online gambling in the USA, the game of baccarat is one of those casino card games that have flourished with the transition into the digital medium. One of the biggest advantages of playing online is that it can be played for free or for real money at any time. If you look online, you will find that there are a few versions of the game; however the most common internet version is called Punto Banco. In this version, players compete against the dealer by trying to achieve a higher hand value, similar to Blackjack. However, with Punto Banco, you do not necessarily have to bet on your own hand to win. Players can choose from three betting options at every hand. They can either choose to bet on their own hand, the banker’s hand, or to bet on a tie.
The Basics of Baccarat
In the online version here, the game begins by the player being dealt two cards. All of the low number cards 2 through to 9 are worth their face value in points. The 10, Jack, Queen and King are all worth 10 points and the ace is worth a single point. In baccarat, totaling your points can get a bit confusing. In order to determine your score, you need to total the card points and then drop the first digit. For example, if you are dealt a 3 and an 8, then the total is 3+8=11. When you drop the first digit, the total points = 1. A third card can be drawn for either the player or the banker depending on the points of the first two cards. The third card rules are explained as such:
Player’s Third Card Rule
- If the player or bank has a natural hand of either 8 or 9 from the first two cards, then another card cannot be drawn.
- When the player’s hand has less than or equal to five, the player can draw a third card.
- In Punto Banco, if the player does not draw a third card then the banker’s hand must stand on 6 or more. IE if the banker has cards totaling under 6, they must take a third card. When a player takes the third card the Bank must follow the Bankers third card rules.
Banker’s Third Card Rule
- If the banker’s total is 2 or less, the banker draws a card, regardless of what the player’s third card is.
- If the banker total is 3, then the bank draws a third card unless the player’s third card was an 8.
- If the banker total is 4, then the bank draws a third card if the player’s third card was 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
- If the banker total is 5, then the bank draws a third card if the player’s third card was 4, 5, 6, or 7.
- If the banker total is 6, then the bank draws a third card if the player’s third card was a 6 or 7.
- If the banker total is 7, then the banker stands.
By knowing the basics, you’ll be able to better improve your chances of winning when playing this classic casino card comparing game.