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Baccarat is an easy game to learn. The object is to create a hand consisting of two or three cards that have a total point value as close as possible to nine. For each hand, you have only one decision to make. Everything else is handled by the dealers. The rules are strict, but not difficult to learn. In many casinos, baccarat is played in a roped-off room, separate from the other table games.

There are two “natural” hands in the game of baccarat. Two cards that add up to nine points make up the perfect hand. The second-best hand would be a hand that has two cards that add up to eight. These hands are both considered natural. If any player in the current round has a natural hand, then no one can draw a third card in that hand. If no one has a natural hand, then additional cards must be drawn to determine the winner. All bets are called off in the case of a tie.

The point values for cards in baccarat are as follows: Aces are worth one point. Kings, queens and jacks are ten points each and the other cards are counted at face value. If the point total of your hand goes into double digits, then the first digit is ignored and the second digit is counted as your score. For example, if the point total of your hand equals 17, then you would use the final digit, 7, as the score for your hand. If you have a king and a queen, which total 20, the score for that hand would be zero. If you have a ten and a nine, which add up to 19, that is a natural hand of nine and no further cards will be drawn for that hand.

Three hands of two cards each are dealt by the banker. Two of these hands are for the players to the right and left of the banker, and one is the banker’s hand. The other players who are at the table can bet on either or both of the players hands beating the banker’s hand. A player can also bet the total value of the bank’s funds by declaring “banco.” If someone does this, then all other bets are withdrawn.

Once the first two cards of each hand are dealt, if no one has a natural eight or nine, additional cards are drawn to determine the winner. A player who has a hand of six or seven must stand, and a player who has less than four must draw.
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