There are two types of Baccarat – regular and mini. The regular version is played in a high-limit room and is a formal game. The mini version is the one you’ll most likely be playing. Mini-Baccarat is played at a Blackjack style table. There’s one dealer and a handful of seats.
Baccarat was the first game I learned to deal when I went to dealer’s school prior to turning 21 and entering the casino industry. I loved it instantly. If you’re an action type of person, this isn’t the game for you. Baccarat is a game handled solely by the dealer.
Your part of the layout consists of three betting points – Banker, Player and Tie. In front of the dealer are two spaces – one for Banker and one for Player. This is where each hand will be played out.
As a player of Baccarat, your job is to figure out who’s going to win. Banker and Player wagers pay even money, but there’s a 5% vig on bets won on the Banker, because the Banker has a slight edge. Ties pay 9 to 1 (sometimes it’s different).
Before we go over the actual hand rules, I thought it best to give you a quick rundown of an actual hand. Baccarat is played with six or eight 52-card decks out of a shoe.
Prior to each hand being played, you must select either Player or Banker to put your money on. You can also place a wager on the Tie, but it’s a very bad bet to make.
Once all wagers are in place, the dealer will deal two cards on the Banker spot and two cards on the Player spot. Each side will get up to one additional card and I’ll explain how in a moment.
Finally, the dealer will push the cards of the winning side up to signal a winner and take or pay all wagers.
In part two of How to Play Baccarat, we’ll go over Baccarat Hand Rules.