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One type of card game played in casinos is called the Baccarat. It is said to have been first played in France and Italy in the 1400s. This card game has similarities with Faro and Basset. Here, there are only three possible outcomes, namely Player, Banker or Tie. These names are not references to the player, banker or house. Instead, these are just options for betting.

Whether it is played in an actual casino or just online, baccarat is a highly recommended casino game especially to beginners because it is very easy to learn, understand and master. Aside from this, it also has the best odds for winning because of a low house edge. Players have bigger chances of winning. The game only looks intimidating at first because the baccarat section in casino houses are usually secluded behind velvet ropes. But once that first step is taken to actually cross this rope and play the game, one will easily get to like baccarat.

Baccarat is slightly varied from country to country. American and European baccarats are the two most popular. However, the rules are very similar to one another and easy to learn. There are two hands dealt to begin with, one each for the dealer and the player. It does not matter how many players there are in a table because each player will only get one hand. The goal is to have a card closest to 9 to win the round. It is that easy.

Card games have been around for many thousands of years already, even before papers were invented. The Chinese as well as other Asians have been playing cards for entertainment since for over 2,000 years already. Researchers say that it was Christopher Columbus who introduced the game to America.

Hundreds of different card games were invented by several cultures but Baccarat was specifically started in Italy. The game is in reference to the legend of the nine gods. It was said that many years ago in Rome there were nine praying gods before a virgin with golden hair. The virgin habitually threw a die with nine sides. If the die she threw was an 8 or 9, she will be crowned priestess. If the die cast was 6 or 7, she will renounce her religious status. If the die cast was 5 or lower, she would obligingly walk into sea. Thus, in a modern baccarat game, the aim is to get a card closest to 9.

From Italy, baccarat fast spread its popularity to neighboring countries like France. The French liked the game so much that its nobility attempted to claim ownership to the game. It would be many years after before they would agree to release the game in public casinos. The French named the game Chemin De Fer in reference to a railroad. Baccarat earned other nicknames like Shimmy and Chemmy which later on became names of the boats of French Riviera. All these names are still in use today.

Soon, baccarat spread also to South America, more specifically to the elite group of Argentina. The game was so entertaining that the Cubans soon after became attracted to it also and adapted it to their casinos. The influence of this game from one country to the other later on caused the slight variations in rules, and thus the birth of different types of baccarat. In Europe, the Chemin de Fer version remains the most popular. But when a player goes to Las Vegas or any casino in North America, the American baccarat is the most popular.

The cards 2 to 9 in baccarat are worth the face value. But for 10 and all face cards (Jack, Queen and King), these are all worth zero. An ace is equivalent to 1. Players get the sum total of their cards on hand. If the sum ends up in two digits, the tens place is ignored. So if two cards are of 2 and 3, then the value of the hand is 5. If two cards are of 6 and 7, that will total 13. The tens place is dropped and the value of the hand becomes 3. If the cards total 10, that will be worth zero. Incidentally, “baccarat” actually means zero. Many people find it unusual that a card game is named after a losing number.

In countries like the United States, Canada and Australia, the game of baccarat is slightly varied. A player has the option to choose whether to bet on his own hand or bet on the banker’s hand.

All cards are dealt alternately to the player and banker, all cards facing down. There will be two cards per hand initially. Each party reveals the sum total of their hand. They could play a third card if they want to. The hand with a higher total without exceeding 9 wins the round. In general, if the total of two cards ranges from 0 to 5, a player draws a third card. If the sum total is 6 or 7, a player stands. A banker may do the same.

The rules regarding winning or losing bets may depend on the personal regulations of a casino house. But in general, losing bets are collected and winning bets are paid. 

Baccarat online is also fast gaining popularity together with the proliferation of online casinos in the internet. The online version has very little difference with the actual game played in real casino houses. There are two main variants of this software, one made by Microgaming, and another by Playtech and Cryptologic. The baccarat version of Microgaming has one deck only. The deck is shuffled after each hand distribution, therefore making it impossible for players to count the cards. The version of Playtech and Cryptologic does not shuffle cards after distribution.

To play better in baccarat, it is good to read more about it and understand all options available to better strategize in a game. As in any gambling game, it is a matter of placing wagers wisely. Learn how to calculate your chances of winning in a particular session. If the odds are not in your favor, hold back your bet.

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