Baccarat – A Casino Card Game With III Phases and a Bit of History

Before I explain this Baccarat game that dates back to the 15th Century, let’s review a brief bit of history. Americans got their first real glimpse of this casino game during the 1962 James Bond movie, Dr. No, when Bond, played by Sean Connery, was winning in a Monte Carlo casino. The game was Chemin de fer.

Phase I – Chemin de fer

In this original version Players wagered among themselves and won or lost with their own money. A dealer shoe rotated around the table counterclockwise after each hand. Players could decline the bank and pass the shoe to the next player. A 5% commission for winning bank hands paid to the house was to cover the casino overhead.

Phase II – Punto Banco

Punto Banco, meaning Player, Banker, was introduced in Nevada from Cuba in the late 1950′s, where it was very popular until Castro closed he mob run casinos. The main difference from the French version is that the house banks the game. A tie bet was added to increase the house edge, and the 5% commission to the house for a winning bank bet remains in place. Eventually the name baccarat, Italian for zero, was coined. Today baccarat is played in high limit rooms throughout the world where millions are won and lost each day.

Phase III – Mini-Baccarat

Eventually gaming establishments saw profit potential with Baccarat however they had to make it attractive to the average player. Hence, a new version was born, Mini-Baccarat.The rules for this game are exactly the same as Punto Banco except one house dealer controls he game for up to seven players. Table minimums are as low as $5 or $10. Numerous optional side bets have been added to increase the house edge.

How to Play Baccarat

The objective of baccarat is for the player to come as close to the number 9 as possible. Aces count as one, 2′s – 9′s are face value and 10′s – K’s count as zero.

Regardless of the number of players, the dealer only deals two hands from a six or eight deck shoe. Prior to the deal players must first place one bet on either the bank hand, player hand, or tie. Croupiers pass the shoe so players have the option in turn to deal the cards. In Mini-Baccarat, the shoe remains in place and the dealer controls all the action.

When a hand is totaled, it cannot exceed 9. If the two cards total more than 9, the first digit is dropped. The second digit becomes the total. Ex: 7,8=15. (the 1 is dropped) total = 5.

Baccarat requires no skill to play. All the player needs to do is place one bet before the deal. The dealer examines both hands to determine if a third and final card should be drawn. The determination is made according to a fixed set of game rules. Here they are:

Game Rules for Player Bet

The player position always draws on a 0, 1, and 2,3,4,5, unless the banker has a natural 8 or 9. Player always stands on 6,7,8, and 9. When the play bet has a natural 8 or 9, the game is over.

Game Rules for Banker Bet

The banker position always draws on a 0, 1, and 2 unless the player has a natural 8 or 9. The banker always stands on 7,8, and 9. When a banker has a natural 8 or 9, the game is over.

Strategy

No playing strategy is required. Always bet the bank which has the lowest house edge at 1.06%, even with the 5% commission owed to the house. A player bet has a house edge of 1.24% while the tie bet that pays 8 to 1 has a whopping house edge of 14%!. This bet is not recommended. A number of optional side bets at the mini tables have house edges from 2 to 13%. These are not recommended.

Good luck!


Keno Games – Catch Enough Spots and You Could Win Big? A L-O-N-G Shot! Go for the Smaller Wins

Live Game – The Original Casino Version

The game is played by selecting a desired quantity of numbers from a field of 1 to 80 on a bet ticket. A total of 20 numbers are drawn for each game and the win is determined by how many of your picks (spots) are selected (caught). There’s also a “quick pick” wager available in the facilities that use a computer to draw the numbers. Just mark the quick pick spot on the ticket and the computer selects the game numbers for you.

Some casinos use 80 numbered balls in a glass “fishbowl” where air pressure ejects 20 balls one at a time.

Winning payouts can vary from $3.00 for a one spot selection up to $50,000 for a catch of 15 on a 15 spot ticket for a $1.00 game. Multi-game play allows you to play the same numbers up to 999 games. New games run every five minutes. Types of wager selections and payout amounts may vary between jurisdictions.

The odds for catching 1 spot on a 1 spot ticket are about 1 in 4. In contrast, the odds for a 15 spot catch on a 15 spot ticket are 1 in 428 billion! So what’s the secret to winning big? There is none. You’re better off playing fewer spots to avoid humongous odds, like a 3 spot ticket where the payout is $42 for a $1 bet and $210 for a $5 bet.The odds are about 1 in 70 for this wager.

Specialty games are also available for play such as the Way Ticket. This ticket allows you to combine sets of numbers to create more ways to win on one ticket. For example, the birth dates for you and your family could be one five spot game. You could play your anniversary date and year for a three spot game. Check with the writer in the lounge for your options.

Video Version – Faster Play with Lower Payouts

International Game Technology (IGT) has developed and marketed a video version which can be found on their Game King Machines and some Video Poker Machines. All games have bonus features. Three popular ones are Power Keno, Caveman Keno, and Cleopatra Keno.Most games offer $.25, $.50, and $1.00 denominations. Here are the particulars:

Power Keno – Play up to 8 coins (credits) per game. Select up to 10 spots from the field of 80. You may also select a “quick pick”. If the last number drawn is one of your selections, your win, is multiplied by 4. For example, If you were playing a 1 credit 5 spot game and the last number drawn was one of yours, your 100 credit win would be jump to 400 credits.

Cave Man Keno – Play up to 10 credits per game. Select up to 10 spots. It’s like a cartoon with graphics from the Flintstone era. The drawn numbers spew virtual smoke from a volcano. During play, three dinosaur eggs will appear randomly on the drawn numbers. If two eggs land on your picks, your win is multiplied by 4. Three eggs win 8 times the prize.

Cleopatra Keno – Play up to 8 credits, Select up to 10 spots. If the last number drawn is one of your selections, it triggers 12 free games at 2 times the payout for winning combinations.

Downside

Be aware that video games that offer bonus features pay lesser amounts for wins than the live games. For example, a 5 of 5 catch on a $1.00 Cleopatra video game pays $225, where the same 5 spot catch in the live lounge nets you $800. Also, the pace of play on the video games is much faster. You can run through 15 games in about 15 minutes. By contrast, the live lounge calls about 15 games per hour!

Weather in the lounge or on the machines, it is fun to play and offers low betting limits but the house edge is a huge 25 to 29%! Good Luck!