Baccarat can seem like an intensely complicated game. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth as the game is essentially analogous to flipping a coin. In fact, there seems to be more faffing around the preparation for a game of baccarat than the actual game itself. These preparations have very exacting and carefully defined rules, which dealers are obligated to observe always without exception.
Decks and cutting
There are usually 8 decks of cards that are used, and each card is given a point value: aces are worth one point, cards 2 to 9 are taken at their pip value, and tens and face cards are worth 0. When a shoe is started, the dealer turns over one card, which determines how many subsequent cards will be burnt according to the baccarat value, except a ten or a face card, which results in 10 cards being burned.
The cut card is inserted 16 cards from the bottom of the shoe. When this cut card eventually appears after however many rounds of play, the dealer must finish the active hand, begin one more hand, and then start a new shoe. If, however, the cut card is revealed as the first card, then the dealer finishes the hand and starts a new shoe.
Different types of tables
Big table baccarat is usually cordoned off from the main casino area and is made available for select and exclusive clientele only. The minimum bets are normally very high. This kind of baccarat still allows players to bid either on the player or the banker. Remember: these are just betting categories and the terms should not be taken literally. That is, the banker should not be confused with the house. The Banker and the player are merely categories of bets, each with their own attendant rules.
It is considered more acceptable for the dealer to bet on the banker. Deal moves across the table, with the person dealing placing two cards, face down, under the shoe and giving the player with the largest bet another two cards, face down. Once the player has seen these cards, he will then give them back to the dealer (or, more specifically, the player who is acting as the dealer). The dealer will then turn over the cards and totals will be announced. Depending on what the totals are, the dealer may need to deal a third card to certain players. Once the totals have been tallied and the winner is determined the chips are either paid or collected depending on the success or failure of each player’s bet.
Mini baccarat makes use of the same rules as its big table brother. The main difference, however, is that the dealer turns over all the cards, which tends to make the game a fair bit faster.
Sandwiched right between the big table and mini version is midi baccarat, which is essentially the same game as the mini variation but with a larger table size. This type of baccarat is normally to be found in minimum wager rooms where the stakes are higher and the players mostly wealthier.
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