Although not as popular as games like blackjack and poker, baccarat is still a very popular card game in its own right. It is a staple in modern casinos, far more common in land-based casinos than in online ones, and it is a game that many professional poker players have been known to dabble in from time to time. In fact, it is reported that, several years ago, Phil Ivey won several million dollars playing the game in a famous London card room, although as he was reported to have “cheated” by being able to tell which card was which before the deal (the cards had a particular design that he had memorized) the card room actually refused to pay him his winnings in the end.
Baccarat is of interest to those players that want to mix skill, knowledge and luck in an effort to make a lot of money. It is a game that doesn’t require as much skill as poker, but one that certainly uses far less luck than roulette and one that can earn you a lot of money if you master it.
What is Baccarat?
Baccarat is a card game that takes some time to learn, and a little longer to master. The game is played differently depending on the variation, discussed below, but in all forms of baccarat a card is given a valuation and the players play against the dealer.
There are several variants of the game of baccarat, and like the many variants of poker these are very different to each other. These variants are:
Punto Banco: Also known as North American Baccarat, this is by far the most common of the games of baccarat, and as well as being popular in the US and Canada, as its name suggests, it is also the most widely played in Australia and Europe. In this variant the casino banks at all times and plays both hands according to fixed rules. The player plays against the dealer and there are shoes of cards used, with typically between 4 and 8 decks. There is little skill in this game and it is all about chance, which is of no use to some players.
Chemmy: This is less common, but it is also better for those seeking a game of skill. Much of the game is still down to chance, but there are skill elements involved that puts this game more in line with blackjack and poker, as opposed to the all-out games of chance like roulette.
Banque: This is a lot like Chemmy and is just as rarely found. Still, it is not impossible to find a casino that uses this variant and there is a lot more skill involved here than there is in Punto Banco.
In all of these games, even those that are strictly games of chance, the house edge is very low, so even with just a little bit of luck you can beat the casino and win a handsome sum.
Where to Play Baccarat
Baccarat is often a high stakes game. Phil Ivey, who we referred to earlier, likes to bet a small fortune when playing this game, much more so than he would at the blackjack table or even at the poker table. He’s not the only one either as baccarat is very popular with rich businessmen who bet the sort of money that many people could work a lifetime and never see.
This is why many baccarat tables, especially in North American casinos, are located in separate rooms, with added security and other benefits. These are exclusive areas, as you would imagine, but if you fancy your chances and have the money to brand yourself as a high roller, then these rooms can be a great way to spend the night. The best and most luxurious ones are found in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, where the rich go to play.
If you don’t have that sort of money, then there are small stakes tables online at Royal Vegas. This is not a great game for a beginner if you go to land-based casino as you stand to lose a lot of money this way, because even though many baccarat games are based on luck, you still need to know what you’re doing to avoid costly mistakes. However, at this online platform you stand a fair chance against other players and the live house where no one knows your name, what you look like, or skill level.
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