The ancient game of baccarat, or chemin de fer, is played with eight decks of cards. Firm rules apply, and there is no skill involved other than deciding whether to bet on the bank or the player. No, really -- that's all you have to do. The dealer does all the other work. You can essentially stop reading here. Oh, all right, carry on.
Any beginner can play, but check the betting minimum before you sit down, as baccarat tends to be a high-stakes game. The cards are shuffled by the croupier and then placed in a box called the “shoe.” Players may wager on “bank” or “player” at any time. Two cards are dealt from the shoe and given to the player who has the largest wager against the bank, and two cards are dealt to the croupier, acting as banker. If the rules call for a third card, the player or banker, or both, must take the third card. In the event of a tie, the hand is dealt over. Note: The guidelines that determine whether a third card must be drawn (by the player or banker) are provided at the baccarat table upon request.
The object of the game is to come as close as possible to the number 9. To score the hands, the cards of each hand are totaled and the last digit is used. All cards have face value. For example: 10 plus 5 equals 15 (score is 5); 10 plus 4 plus 9 equals 23 (score is 3); 4 plus 3 plus 3 equals 10 (score is 0); and 4 plus 3 plus 2 equals 9 (score is 9). The closest hand to 9 wins.
Each player has a chance to deal the cards. The shoe passes to the player on the right each time the bank loses. If the player wishes, he may pass the shoe at any time.
Note: When you bet on the bank and the bank wins, you’re charged a 5% commission. This must be paid at the start of a new game or when you leave the table.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.