A gambler’s guide to baccarat

If you’ve been anywhere from a sticky-floor California card room to the tuxedo-laden casinos of Monaco, you’ve probably seen the game of baccarat played in one form or another.

But you’ve probably never seen it played as elegantly as 토토 by Sean Connery in the first scene of the first movie of the James Bond series.

The rules are a touch different depending on if you’re playing the “punto banco” (where the actions are pre-determined by the numbers on the cards) or “chemin de fer” (where the players involved can decide to take a third card) form of baccarat, but the principle is the same: Bet on a hand, Player or Banker, that has the highest value after all the cards are dealt. Nine is the best possible hand, and can’t lose. Which is why Mr. Bond does tend to end up with it so often.

So how does baccarat work?
The goal in baccarat is to have the hand you’re betting on, either the player or the banker, be the best hand of the two dealt. The winning hand is the one with a score where the final digit when all the pips (the dots on a playing card that are clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades) are added up is the closest to nine.

Face cards are worth zero, and aces count as one. You have a face card and an 8? You don’t have 18, you have 8. Dealt a 3 and a 4? Your score is 7. Dealt a 9 and a 7? You have 16, so your score is 6.

That’s it. That’s the whole game.

The only complication is when each side will take a third card. A simple chart is used to show when the player hand or banker hand takes a third card, which never happens when either the Player or the Banker is an 8 or 9 after the first two cards. This is called a “natural.”

But when that doesn’t happen, sometimes Player or Banker needs to take a card.

If the player’s hand is 0–5, they draw a third card. 6 or 7, they stand. 8 or 9 is a natural, and stand works here as well even if the player has an 8 and the banker a 9. It happens sometimes.

Betting on a Tie
If the Player and the Banker finish with the same points, the game results in a Tie. All bets on Player and Banker are refunded. This is the only time where bets on Tie are paid, in all other cases they lose.

The Odds
The best part of baccarat is it has the lowest house edge of any game in the casino. The house edge for those betting on Banker is 1.06 percent (including the 5% commission), whereas the Player bet is 1.24 percent.

The payout of Tie bets is often 8-1 in casinos, so the house edge is 9.5%. It’s considered a pretty bad wager, so stay away.

So the gambling game of kings and queens and the elite across the world is now available at DraftKings Casino as well, and you can play right from home or your cell phone. Who needs all those muckety-mucks in formal attire?

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