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When playing the game of baccarat, players have three possible betting options. Players can bet that the player’s hand will win, the banker’s hand will win or that there will be a tie between the two. The game starts with the bets being placed.

Two playing cards are then dealt for the hand representing the player and two cards for the hand representing the banker. There may be a third card dealt but the rules that govern whether or not this happens are quite intricate.

The objective of the game is for a hand to have a value that is equal to or as close to 9 as possible. Each card has a specific value and the hand’s value would be the sum of each card in the hand. All number cards are valued at face value and all face cards have a value of ten. The ace has a value of one. If the cards add up to a two digit number then the first digit is disregarded and the second digit represents the total value of the hand.

The banker always has the best odds of being dealt the winning hand. This is why players have to pay a commission if they win when betting on the banker’s hand. A tie is the least likely to occur and thus, the bet with the lowest odds and the best payout if the player does win.

A quick summary of the rules of play that govern whether a third card will be given:

  • When a player has a hand that has a total value of 5 or less then they will be dealt a third card.
  • When the banker has a hand that has a total value of 2 or less then they will be dealt a third card.

When a hand that has a total value of 8 or 9 is dealt, no additional card is dealt. This would happen irrespective of whether it is the player or the banker who has been dealt this hand. If a banker receives a hand that has a total value of 7 then they would stand.