Baccarat Casinos Now Offering Live Dealer Games

Players around the world have loved the game of Baccarat ever since it was invented in France (or maybe Italy) sometime in the 1400′s; although the when or where is actually still somewhat of a mystery. Since the name baccarat means “zero” in Italian it may lend greater credence to their claim, but nonetheless the game traveled throughout Europe and eventually made its debut inside a Paris casino in the 1490′s. Originally, baccarat was a contest between noblemen where wagers often reached the annual salary of a commoner on a single hand, and much of the same tradition and prestige remain inside casinos worldwide today.


Live Dealer Casino Pioneers : Bet365 & Sportsbook

Bet365 was the first online casino ever to implement actual live dealers to bring this exciting game into households everywhere, which presents quite an exciting time for gamblers. While there have been ample places online to wager against computer opponents for the past decade, the game loses much of its mystique in this fashion because the true spirit of the game simply is not present. It could be the fact that it is difficult to trust the accuracy of randomly generated cards from software that is allegedly calibrated within the gaming industry’s standards, or it may be the lack of excitement from all of the heavy betters within the room. Whatever the case may be, the days of trusting a computer program to deal a fair hand is finally past us.

In fact, even though Baccarat has traditionally been one of the fastest payouts within any casino, there are scores of people who have never actually seen the game played live at any location. The baccarat tables are usually separated from the main floor and hosted within private areas for VIPs and high stakes betters. In many destinations around the world, a single table may contain wagers reaching hundreds of thousands of dollars on a single hand, and betters of this stature are normally granted this additional luxury to ensure their privacy. Even when Baccarat started becomming available for the general population back in the 1970′s, it is usually at very high minimum bets which the average gambler would not feel comfortable with. In some ways, the game is still very much considered a competition for royalty.

Later in the 20th century, an American offshoot named “Mini Baccarat” was introduced inside casinos. The rules and game play was nearly identical to the original format, with the largest change coming from drastically lowering the minimum bet and placing tables for the general public to participate at. Before long, card counting teams that were dominating on the blackjack tables suddenly saw a new source of income, and as word spread like wildfire throughout the country it seemed like a new favorite was born.

Baccarat Rules For Beginners

For those who do not fully understand the rules of baccarat, it is a fairly simple game. Twos through nines are worth face value, aces count as one, and the tens and face cards count as zero. The overall object of the game is to have a higher value hand than the dealer, with the optimal score being nine. Only the second digit counts though, so if a player ended up with three sevens, for example, their score would simply be a one (instead of the full value 21).

Here’s where it gets interesting. Both the player and the dealer are dealt two cards to start and the total values are added up. If either the player hand or the dealer hand has a total of eight or nine, it is considered a “natural” and the hand ends immediately with a payout going to the winner. If neither has a total of eight or nine after the first two cards, the following rules apply-

Player Hand-

1) The player hand must draw a card with a score of 1, 2, 3, or 4.

2) The player hand must stand with a score of 6 or 7.

3) The player hand may choose whether or not to draw a card with a score of 5.

Banker Hand-

1) The banker hand must draw a card with a score of 1 or 2.

2) If the banker hand has a score of 3, it must draw if the player’s third card is anything other than an 8.

3) If the banker hand has a score of 4, it must draw if the player’s third card is anything other than a 0, 1, 8 or 9.

4) If the banker hand has a score of 5, it must draw if the player’s third card is a 4, 5, 6 or 7.

5) If the banker hand has a score of 6, it must draw if the player’s third card is 6 or 7.

6) The banker hand always stands on 7.

That may seem a bit technical at first, but the betting helps make up for the learning curve. In European Baccarat, gamblers are free to place even money wagers on the player hand, receive 95% (plus the original bet) on the banker hand; plus there is also an option to wager on a tie, which pays eight to one total odds. Some casinos all have side bets like pairs or rummy, which usually pays between nine and eleven to one. There is also a minimum bet amount that each player at the table has to make, and the maximum bet applies to all hands at the table. For example, if it was a $100 minimum table with a $2500 max, technically twenty-five players could wager on any of the three bets. If one individual placed a $2,500 wager though, no other player would be allowed to bet on that particular hand.

Baccarat Strategy

There is also a great deal of strategy involved with Baccarat, even though each hand has specific rules on when to take a third card. Many skilled betters will count all of the odd numbered cards played throughout the various decks, following the logic that once they are eliminated the deck will greatly favor the player hand. Mathematicians have tried to develop complex counting strategies as well, but rarely are they implemented with very much success since a single addition error will throw off the count entirely. Others will bet solely the dealer hand since it has a slight overall edge, and betting streaks of either side is popular as well. Most experts agree that the tie bet (or any Baccarat side bet, for that matter) is generally a bad strategy.

The reason that the implementation of live dealers at Sportsbook.com and Bet365 is such an industry changing move is simple; it gives card counters an actual six deck shoe to keep track of. While playing at any other website, the cards are randomly generated by a software program; which means that the odds are slightly in the house’s favor every time. Any deviation of bets in this circumstance has to be solely based on luck and guesswork, because any one hand has nothing to do with the previous one. Even though some websites advertise that true one, six, and eight card decks are implemented, there is absolutely no way to know for certain.

Card Counting At Live Dealer Casinos

Live dealer baccarat from inside casinos will eliminate each of these questionable factors, but at the same time a whole new series of issues may arise. Since the average person would struggle to memorize the card count for a one card deck, keeping track of six or more decks is almost impossible. Casinos ban any type of note taking or electronic counters while playing at their tables; in fact, many of them will ask a player to leave if they are suspected of counting cards by any method at all. With cameras and bit bosses watching your every move, these casinos treat players more like criminals than actual customers.

When playing live dealer baccarat online at Sportsbook.com and Bet365, none of these problems occur because you’re sitting in the privacy of your own home. If you wish to use a card counting program or a betting spreadsheet then there’s nobody around to tell you otherwise, and there are no longer the issues of worrying about ways to beat the software either. Each hand is dealt live for the players to witness so it is truly the best of both worlds.

Since the bets are handled by the computer, each hand plays out fairly quick. Players can watch live as the dealer passes out the two starting cards to each hand, and if the situation calls for it a third card will be played. Winning bets are then paid instantly, and there is only a short pause for the next round of betting; then the action starts all over again. On average, a full hand takes less than thirty seconds from start to finish; which is a much faster pace than traditional casinos.

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