All Important Baccarat Facts You Should Know

About Baccarat’s Variants

Baccarat is a casino card game that is played in both off-line and online casinos all over the world. It has evolved tremendously over the centuries and has taken various forms ever since its introduction to France many centuries ago. Baccarat has always been the game of rich and famous, holding an aura of prestige and mystique around it.
It used to be reserved only for the nobility during its earlier years. And that’s also one of the main reasons why baccarat didn’t gain widespread popularity like blackjack, poker etc. Another reason behind the lack of baccarat’s popularity during its earlier years is its difficulty. Many used to perceive it as a complicated game. However, in reality baccarat is a very simple casino game. Almost every player can learn and enjoy baccarat fairly quickly.
The modern-day baccarat can be played in several different forms, with Banque, Chemin De Fer and Punto Banco as its main three variants. The basic rules remains the same for all the three. The idea is to get a score as close to 9 as possible, and guessing who gets the better hand – the banker or the player. Let’s look into these three variants briefly:

Punto Banco
The most commonly played version of baccarat in UK, Sweden, Finland, Australia, Macau and North America, this is also the easiest. The main differences between Punto Banco and other baccarat versions are:
– In Punto Banco, the banker or dealer role is always played by the casino.
– The draw of the third card is solely based on the card values received by both the players.
Punto Banco is considered purely a game of chance, depending solely on luck and nothing else. Unlike as in case of blackjack, you’re not required to memorise any values. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to keep track of the cards as things can get pretty pacey when everyone’s in the flow!

Chemin de Fer
This was the original baccarat version that was introduced to France during the 15th century, and is also the variant that continues to be extremely popular in the country. The name of this baccarat version was derived from the iron box in which cards used to be kept, and passed on from one banker to the other. The player designated as the banker deals the cards, and the others are referred to as punters.
The banker keeps changing from time to time, shifting in counterclockwise direction. If the playing banker loses the hand, the next player assumes the responsibility of the banker. A banker may also willingly give up his/her responsibility, making anyone ready to match the bank amount the new banker of the game. In case no one shows willingness to wager the bank amount, the next person seated in order assumes the banker’s responsibility. The wager amount is then reset.

This has great similarity to the Chemin de Fer, the primary difference being in the position of banker. The banker continues dealing the cards regardless of whether he/she is winning or losing, game after game, until all the cards in the shoe have been dealt.
An important point that must be kept in mind in both Banque and Chemin de Fer is that even though dealer is considered the banker, it’s not mandatory for him/her to wager on his own hand. He simply deals the cards and doesn’t handle any payouts. The payouts are handled by croupiers who are the overall managers of the tables, just like the croupiers of craps.