The key things to know about Baccarat!
Baccarat is card game that is played in casinos the world over. Though its rules may seem confusing at first, anyone can play it with a measure of success. One needs to understand how to play Baccarat by studying its rules, finding out its variations before going to the casino to play. Equally important, the player needs to know the availability of these variations at the casino of their choice.


The Origins of Baccarat

Baccarat is considered a game of elite gamblers, and few members of the general public have access to it. It first appeared in the royal courts of Europe in the 15th century. The History of the game can be traced to both France and Italy. Strong evidence in records show that the game was played by the French royalty, and the name Baccarat is believed to be derived from some ancient dialects of Italy. This strongly ties this game to these two countries. The game was given a lot of impetus by King Louis XIV who banned Baccarat alongside all other forms of gambling. This worked to enhance the popularity of the game, because instead of killing it, the game went underground where it flourished. Indeed, it is this action by King Louis XIV that gave birth to �Baccarat Chemin De Fer’, the French version of the game.

Chemin De Fer was introduced in the United States in the mid-20th century. It appeared as �European Baccarat’ and was initially played as an exclusive game by the elite gamblers. The average gambler could not afford the stakes, and therefore a variation to cater for the average recreational gambler was initiated in the form of �Punto Banco’. The two versions exist side by side, with the original Chemin De Fer being played in VIP areas of the casino.


The Different Types of Baccarat:

The main considerations for the classification of baccarat and its variations are two: drawing rules and who is allowed to play. There are other differences, but these two are the main ones. There are four main variations of the game: Chemin de fer, mini baccarat, Baccarat en banque, Punto Banco.

1. Chemin de fer

This is the French version of the game, believed to have originated in Italy and France. It is played with six decks of cards as opposed to seven. One player, who plays the role of the banker, distributes the cards. Each player is actively involved as they get a chance to be the banker in turns. Instead of distributing the cards face up, they are distributed face down. The player decides whether or not to draw a third card. The player with the biggest bet plays first.

2. Mini Baccarat

This game is widely played in America, and is played round a table that can sit seven instead of eight players. Mini Baccarat is a mini version of the bigger game because it is played with only one croupier instead of the three used in the bigger version. The mini baccarat is preferred by small time gamblers because of the low bets required.

3. Baccarat Banque

Unlike in Chemin de fer, one player in Baccarat banque plays the role of the dealer for the entire game. The player so chosen would be the one with the highest bet. In most cases, the Casino acts as a Banker and so the players are offered big bet options. Lesser number of decks are used in this game.

4. Punto Bunco

The Punto Bunco version of the game was birthed in the mid-20th century in Cuba. Up to 14 players can play the game. They are referred to as Punto while the Banker is called Bunco. In Punto Bunco, the croupier or dealer does all the distribution. Six to eight decks are used in the game. Unlike in Chemin de fer, the players do not decide on the third card – it is dealt nonetheless.


Understanding the betting strategies

It is important to adopt the best strategies when it comes to playing the game. The widely accepted betting systems for baccarat are two: the Labouchere method and the Martingale method. These two methods will help the gambler to stabilise their winnings, especially when they hit a winning streak. The Labouchere system is believed to be organised and quite logical, whereas the Martingale method is thought to be bold and rash. It is important for the player to get to know the strategies well in advance. A good gambler will not bet on a tie, and neither do they put all their money on a single bet.

Baccarat has grown by leaps and bounds to the extent that it is thriving as an online game played on computers and mobile phones.