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!

31 Classic – No Poker, No Blackjack – Just Count the Suited Card Values in This Table Game to Win

31 Classic Game Objective

The objective of this table game is to have a winning three card hand by combining a point value of 17 or higher with up to three suited cards based on a pre-determined pay table. The dealer does not play. The point values are scored as in blackjack: 10-J-Q-K are worth 10, Aces are always 11, and the remaining cards are worth their face value.

Only suited cards are tallied to determine the point totals with one exception: 3 of a Kind (Trips) can be totaled for a potential win.

How 31 Classic is Played

This casino game is played with a standard 52 card deck on a blackjack like table with seats for up to seven players and a house dealer. All players must first make an ante wager before play begins, An optional Natural 31 Bonus Wager can also be made where the win is determined by the initial three cards dealt.

The dealer will then pitch three cards to each player face down, and one card face down in the Draw position in front of each player, which remains face down until play ends. After reviewing their three cards, all players must make one of two decisions:

– Fold – Players forfeit the ante and optional bets.

– Play – Make a Play wager equal to the ante.

If a player makes the play bet, all four cards are revealed by the dealer to determine win/loss. The fourth card gives players a chance to improve their total after they’ve made a play bet. As per the aforementioned, only suited cards are totaled with the exception of Three of a Kind (TRIPS).

The following pay tables are the winning amounts for the points shown on the Play wager. The Ante always pays 1 to 1 except for Any 17 where the bet pushes.

Base Game Pay Table

Hand Total Payout

Any 17 1 to 1

18-23. 1 to 1

24-27 2 to 1

28-29 3 to 1

30 4 to 1

Trips 6 to 1

31 10 to 1

Mini-Royal 20 to 1

Optional Natural 31 Bonus Pay Table

16-21 1 to 1

22-25. 5 to 1

26-28 10 to 1

29 to 30 15 to 1

Trips 30 to 1

31 100 to 1

Mini-Royal 200 to 1

House Edge

The House Edge for the base game is about 2.6%. The House Edge for the optional Natural 31 bonus bet is about 6.08%.

Strategy

The following basic strategy is recommended for this casino game:

Play if you have:

– A suited 15 or better (two suited cards)

– 3 unsuited cards with a value of 7 or higher

– A pair of 7’s or better

– A pair of 2’s – 6’s holding a suited 10 or better

How to Play Splits – A Dealer’s Choice Poker Game

If playing poker is your cup of tea, you already know that gathering with a group of friends for Dealer’s Choice provides hours upon hours of exciting entertainment. Dealer’s Choice poker offers a plethora of interesting and exciting fast-paced games with nearly endless possibilities. One such game, which happens to be one of my favorites, is called “Splits,” or “Hit the Number.”

Rules and game play for Splits are extremely easy to follow. To begin the game, two random target numbers are chosen, with the object being to obtain a point total as close to or equal to one of the two chosen numbers. More common target number choices for Splits include 7 – 27, 5 1/2 – 21 1/2, or 13 – 33. In each of these examples, there is at least a 15-point difference, and one of the sets even works with half numbers. This is for a couple of reasons. First, Splits is, a split-pot poker game, in which the winnings are almost always divided between at least two players. For example, in 13 – 33, at the end of the game, the gamblers nearest to 13 points and nearest to 33 points split the pot down the middle. Second, all face cards are worth a mere half point, while aces are worth either 1 or 11 points. All numbered cards are worth their face value. Therefore, if playing 5 1/2 – 21 1/2, it is possible to hit half numbers, as well as whole ones.

Splits is dealt out like 5-Card Stud with one major difference. The game is not even close to being over after each player has five cards. A player can choose to draw as many cards as he wants, even if he has already opted not to draw during a previous round. To explain, after antes have been paid, the dealer gives each player two cards in a normal clockwise rotation, one face down and one face up. For the sake of betting after each round, the player with the highest point total showing on the board starts off by either betting checking. After a round of betting, the dealer then (once again in a clockwise rotation) asks everyone if they would like another card. If at anytime your point total matches the amount of points required for that particular Splits game, then do not draw anymore cards, as you are already guaranteed half of the pot. A player can pass on drawing a card at anytime, then come back and draw on a subsequent turn if desired. This is sometimes done by a gambler to increase pot size if he is already locked in for half of the winnings, and increasing his point total, even by 10 points, will not matter.

After each round of drawing a card, a round of betting begins. When no one wants to draw anymore cards, there is a final round of betting, then the hand is over. The two players closest to the two selected Splits numbers with their own total points are the winners. Therefore, if you are playing 13 – 33 and you have 13 points on the nose, you split the winnings with the one closest to 33 points since those are your target numbers. Also, unless there are exceptions, a player can overshoot a number and still be closest to it to win (i.e. 33 1/2 points is still a winner over 32 points if playing 13 – 33). The only times a pot is not divided directly in half is when either one player can total both amounts by using aces (i.e. three aces will give a player both 13 and 33 points, like The Wheel, giving him the entire pot) or if two players are equidistant from a target number (i.e. if one player has 12 points and one has 14 points, they will each take a quarter of the pot, while the player closest to 33 points takes the other half). And since two people usually end up splitting the winnings, pot sizes in Splits can become fairly large, adding even more excitement to an already fun-filled, Dealer’s Choice poker game.

Even if by some odd reason you become bored with Splits, variations can be easily utilized. Some ideas include changing the dealer after each betting round, using number combos that are further apart (like 21 – 51 or 9 1/2 – 44 1/2), just counting red cards and making black cards worth zero points, or not being able to exceed your target number (as in Blackjack or 21). Whatever options you decide to choose will definitely increase the excitement level of the game. In fact, even without any variations applied, I am sure you will find Splits to be very fulfilling, constantly keeping you on the edge of your poker seat.

Poker Game and Its Variants

Poker has been known to exist since 1829. This card game was first recorded to be played in New Orleans with a deck consisting of 20 cards. Four bettors were involved in the game at the time. The game began to use a deck of 52 cards since 1850. Since the introduction of the game, poker has developed rapidly and becoming one of the most popular gambling games. Along with the development of casinos and other gambling houses, this game received many variants mostly created in mid 1900s in the United States. Some of the most popular variants of poker include:

1. Straight

Straight is the oldest variant of poker games. This variant allows a complete hand dealt to each of the players. During one round, the gamblers are permitted to change their bets (either raising or re-raising). This variant was later developed into more complex forms of card game such as Primero and three-card brag.

2. Draw Poker

While straight is a three-card hands game, draw poker uses five-card hands. In this type, after a complete hand is dealt and the players put their wagers, these players can change their hands by discarding unwanted card in hand and dealing with new hands. Developments in this variant create more kinds of draw games such as California lowball, Gardena jackpots, Kansas City lowball, Badugi, Baduci, California high/low split, Q-ball, and some more.

3. Stud Poker

Next to the straight variant, stud poker is the second oldest kind of poker game. The rule of this game is that a hand is dealt in a combination prearranged. The combination may be in the form of face-down and face-up, or streets round. The most common variant of this game is the seven-card stud, followed by the five-card stud. Other forms of this variant also include six-card stud, Mexican stud, Caribbean stud, Mississippi stud, Kentrel, Razz, etc.

4. Community Card Poker

Referred from its name, this game uses face up community cards which are shareable for players and dealt at the center of the gambling table. This game is basically the variation of stud poker. Different from the stud poker, players in community card poker are dealt with incomplete hands combined with community cards to create a complete hand. Currently, one of the most popular community card pokers is Texas hold ’em which was created around 1920s. Other examples of this variant include Omaha hold ’em, Manila, Pinatubo, and Pineapple hold ’em.

5. Other Variants

Apart from variants mentioned above, there are other kinds of card games using poker rules such as:

– Strip Poker

This variation uses the usual rules, except that the players must remove their clothing if they lose bets. Commonly this type uses simple card game variant such as the five-card draw.

– Five-O Poker

This game is played by two players who must play five hands of five cards continuously. When these five hands are down, a one-round betting is begun.

– Video Poker

Commonly available at casinos, video poker machines allow single player to bet, deal, and discard or replace cards. The outcome determines how much money the player will receive.