Baccarat Basics

There
are two hands played in Baccarat – the “player” hand and the
“banker” hand.  You can bet on either one.  If the
hand you bet on wins, you receive an even money (1:1) payoff. 
There is one other bet you can make – the tie bet.  If you make
this bet and the two hands tie, you receive an 8:1 payoff.  Ties,
however, occur less than once out of every ten hands.

At
the start, each hands receive 2 cards.  When necessary, additional
cards are drawn according to the rules.  The hand closest to 9
wins. 

10s,
Jacks, Queens, and Kings all count as 0.  The ace through 9 cards
have face values of  1 to 9, respectively.  To determine the
value of each hand, you simply add the cards.  If the total is
over 10, the first digit is ignored.  So an 8 and a 6 would normally
equal 14, but since we disregard the first digit, we instead have a
hand of 4.  Similarly, a 6 and 4 would equal 0, and a 10 and 9
would equal 9.

If
the first two cards total 9, the hand is called a “natural”
and automatically wins.  Two cards totaling 8 is also referred
to as a natural, and it wins automatically too, unless the hand it is
playing against has a natural as well.  When both hands contain
a natural, the higher natural hand wins (9 beating an 8)  If the
hands have equal value, it is a tie. 

When
neither hand has a natural, there is no automatic winner, and additional
cards are drawn to determine the outcome of the hand.

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