Playing Baccarat Like a Pro

The biggest surprise in playing baccarat is how easy the game is. The rules are easy to learn; the odds are terrific; and it is fun. Once you have mastered the rules of playing baccarat you will be as savvy as any pro or veteran of the game.

The mail goal in playing baccarat is to have a hand with a total value close or equal to nine. The hand closest to nine wins the game.

The first set of rules to learn in playing baccarat is to understand how to count the values of the card. A standard deck has 52 cards. Each deck will have the following: numbered cards, aces, and the faces. Aces are counted as one; unlike other card games where aces have dual values of one or 10, they are always counted as one in baccarat. The numbered cards follow their values except for ten. Ten and the faces - Jacks, Queens, and Kings - all have a value of zero.

When playing baccarat, you have to place your wager before any cards are dealt. You can bet in three ways: you can bet on own hand; you can bet on the house; and you can bet on a tie. After the wagers have been made, the banker or dealer will give him or herself and you two cards each.

If the total value your hand is five or less, you will be dealt another card. The third card should bring the total value of your hand to nine or at least closer to nine than the banker's hand. If the third card brings your hand's value above nine, the first digit will be dropped. Say your third card brings your hand's total to thirteen; the one will be dropped so your hand's value will is only three. To win, your three must be higher than the banker's hand.

If the banker's hand totals two to six, he can only draw a third card if you drew. So that's the limit for you.

If the total value of your hand is seven, you are obligated to stand. You cannot ask for a third card. This same rule applies to the banker.

In playing baccarat, there is a winning hand called the natural hand. A natural hand means your initial hand totals eight or nine. If your hand or the banker's hand is natural, you or the banker is obligated to reveal the cards.