Baccarat is considered a Single Play game. This means that players will only make one move for each hand, unlike other card games such a Blackjack where players will keep making decisions during game play. In Baccarat, players will simply choose one of the 3 available bets and will bet on the banker, the player or a tie; the cards will then be dealt according to a set of rules. Although the 3 different versions of the game have slightly different rules, they all have the same basic guidelines and rules that we are going to discuss in this section.
The purpose of the game is to get a total hand that is closer to 9 than another players hand. Nine is the maximum hand total because whenever a hand total reaches 10, it will equal zero, making 9 the highest hand. Whenever a hand total goes over 9, it will restart back to zero. Here is an example of how to calculate the hand total:
If the 2 cards forming the hand are 7 and 2, the total is nine; if the 2 cards are a 7 and a 3, then the total is zero; and if 2 cards are 7 and 4, then the total is 1.
The game begins as the dealer deals 2 cards to the players hand and 2 cards to the bankers hand. It is important to note that the players hand is not yours; it is a hand that will be dealt to the square on the table that says Players. No matter how many players are seated at the Baccarat table, there is only one Player hand dealt on the table.
When the two hands are dealt, the comparison will take place — the gaming procedure depends on the hand total of the two hands. If any of the two hands has a hand total of 8 or a 9, the round ends and the winning hand will be paid off. In that case, the hand that has the hand total of a 9 will beat the other hand that has any other total.
If none of the hands has a natural hand (hand total of 8 or 9), then more cards will be dealt. These cards are dealt according to the rules and not the decision of each player. According to these rules, the players hand will get the card first. If the hand total is equal 0, 1, 2, 3, 5 or 5, another card will be dealt. On the other hand, if the hand total is equal 6 or 7, the hand will stand.
The hand of the dealer has another set of rules: