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I might be the tech guy around here, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy myself some cards. Baccarat is my game – the house edge is small, and if we’re playing the original Chemin de Fer variant live, as seen in the Bond movies, I can make money in the very long run with some math skills and some guile.

But that’s another story for another day. If you’re brand new to baccarat, you have to start from the ground up. Here are the first three things you need to learn:

  1. The Rules There are different forms of baccarat out there; the online baccarat version at Bovada Casino is a two player game between you (The Player) and the computer (The Banker). It plays out much the same as online blackjack, but instead of 21, you’re aiming for nine. In baccarat, face cards and Tens are worth zero points, Aces are worth one point, and the remaining numbered cards are worth face value. If your cards add up to more than 10, simply remove the first digit. For example, a Nine and a Six would give you five points in baccarat, since 9 + 6 = 15.The game starts when you decide to bet on The Player (1-1 payout), The Banker (1-1, minus a 5% commission), or a Tie (9-1). You’ll be dealt two cards; as The Player, you must draw a third card if your total falls between zero and five inclusive. The Banker will then only draw a third card under certain, more limited circumstances that you can learn about in the Casino Game Guide. No other cards will be dealt after the third.
  2. How to Win Once all the cards have been dealt, the highest hand wins – easy game. But when does the round end? If either The Player or The Banker is dealt an 8 or a 9 with the first two cards, that’s called a natural, and a winner is declared. Otherwise, a third card may or may not be drawn, as mentioned above. Note that the baccarat game in question is the Punto banco variant, which means there aren’t any decisions to be made about drawing. Everything is done automatically according to the chart, or tableau, that you can view in the Casino Game Guide.
  3. Useful Tips With a six-card deck, the house edge is 1.06% on The Banker, 1.24% on The Player, and 14.44% on The Tie. Bigger risk, bigger reward. As always with table games, use smart bankroll management when you play baccarat – bet smaller amounts more often instead of putting the whole farm on The Player. And take the time to learn as much as you can about the game. You can even play as many hands as you like for free online. I wish I could have gotten my degree like that.