The Game of Baccarat

Baccarat is one of the many popular live table games played in casinos or gaming establishments. How to play Baccarat? Baccarat uses a standard deck of fifty-two cards and is usually dealt from a shoe having multiple decks (commonly eight) that have been shuffled together and loaded into the shoe for dealing prior to the beginning of play of a round of hands.

The object of the game of Baccarat is for the bettor to successfully wager on whether the Banker’s hand or the Player’s hand will win the hand of play. Bettors have no discretion concerning the play of the hands since cards are dealt according to pre-established rules. Their options prior to the dealing of a hand of Baccarat are to not bet, bet with either the Banker hand or the Player hand, and/or to wager that the hands will tie. In some establishments, an additional wager is allowed, which is to wager that either the Banker hand or the Player hand will be a Natural, i.e. a two-card total, modulo 10, of 8 or 9.

Bettors playing Baccarat like to track the hands of play for a shoe starting with the first-hand decision out of a shoe. Unlike the game of Craps or Roulette where historical decisions are not divided by an event like shuffling cards and loading a shoe, Baccarat does have starting and ending points, i.e. first hand and last hand dealt from the shoe, respectively. This may be significant to the bettor, as the recordation of the historical outcomes of each hand may indicate the future outcomes for the remaining hands to be dealt from the shoe.

It is known for bettors to notate on paper a running record of the outcomes of hands. Typically bettors note whether the hand was won by the Banker or Player hand, whether the win was by a Natural, and whether the hand was a Tie. By keeping a running record, the bettor may perceive tendencies to help them decide how to wager on the next hand. For example, if the Banker hand has won five consecutive hands, the bettor may decide to wager on the Player hand on the next deal perceiving that the Player hand is due to win. Conversely, the bettor may determine that it is best to go with the winning streak and wager on the Banker hand. Thus, many players attribute great significance to the historical outcomes of a shoo-in Baccarat and based thereon develop strategies in deciding how and when to make a wager. Typically bettors notate when a new shoe is started for the reason stated above.


How to play Baccarat. In manually tracking outcomes, bettors may simply notate the outcomes in chronological sequence or may notate trends in a column format. Trend notation, as it is to be hereinafter understood, is where a bettor notes, for example descending in a first column, “BBB” (indicating three consecutive wins for the Banker). If the Bank wins the next hand, another “B” would be notated, in descending order below the “BBB”, in the same column. However, if the Player wins the next hand, the notating bettor would move over to the next column and notate a “P”. Thus, notation in the column continues in descending (or ascending) order until the trend stops, i.e. the other of the Banker or Player wins. When the trend ends with the other of the hands winning, the bettor moves over to the next column to begin notation.

A drawback of bettors notating outcomes is that a new bettor to the game has no developed history to refer to in making a wager. Bettors are typically very engrossed in diagnosing their recorded information and consider it distracting to share their historical record with a new player. Furthermore, the new bettor may not use the type of notation of the other bettors. This makes new bettors reluctant to join a game in progress or at least until a new shoe starts. Still further, for bettors having a system for wagering on Baccarat, they may watch or sit out numerous hands until the outcome history favors the bettor’s system. These factors may cause bettors not to play which, in turn, represents lost revenue opportunities for the casino. How to play Baccarat


Some establishment do provide a pillar display which indicates the last 20-30 hand decisions, in descending sequence, the Banker and Player wins, Ties and Naturals. For those tables having the pillar display, the dealer inputs the outcome. A drawback of this technique is that the accuracy of the historical record of outcomes depends entirely upon the accuracy of the input. If the dealer makes a mistake or fails to input an outcome, the entire history displayed on the pillar is subject to question. If bettors perceive that the history is inaccurate, they may have to manually notate outcomes or may opt to leave the game. This places a burden on the bettors to check the accuracy of the historical record of the pillar display with their own record, thus eliminating the purpose of providing the pillar display. The pillar display also places a burden upon the dealer to correctly and promptly input outcomes.

A further drawback is the pillar display does not display in a trend notation. For these bettors using trend notation, they must keep their own records. An additional drawback is the pillar display is that it is limited by the number of decisions it displays and thus often is unable to communicate the entire historical record of the shoe. This is important for the bettors that use the first half of a shoe to determine betting opportunities in the second half of the same shoe.

There is a need in the gaming industry to increase the amount of revenues being generated by Baccarat tables over a given period of time without simply requiring bettors to increase the amount of their wagers.

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