Baccarat in one of the most popular casino games of chance in the world. In some countries, it is referred to as Punto Banco (Player Banker). Under either name, it is an easy game to play, which is exactly why gamblers all over the world truly enjoy playing it.
From a gambling perspective, the house’s advantage on Baccarat represents the smallest advantage the house has on any game. That means that Pennsylvania Baccarat in a game that novice casino gamblers should have on their radar whether they are playing in a land-based casino like Parx Casino or online.
The following discussion is intended for novice casino gamblers who are looking to add a little variety to their gambling experience. The discussion will address how and why to play Baccarat both in an actual casino and online.
How to Play Baccarat
Unlike Craps and Blackjack, there’s very little strategy that goes into playing Baccarat, particularly Pennsylvania Baccarat at Parx Casino. The game does not require a high level of gambling sophistication nor does it require a high level of participation on the part of the gambler. The only thing a gambler has to do is decide where to place their bets. The fact there are only 3-5 choices, depending on the version, is why the game is very easy to understand.
The player has three basic betting options. They can either wager on the “Banker” hand to win, The “Player” hand to win, or a tie. There could be some available side bets, which we will discuss at the end. These are the three most basic betting options.
After bets are in place, the dealer deals two cards to the Banker and two cards to the Player. The winning hand will be the highest hand when all is said and done. The cards are assigned its real value except all face cards count as zero (0). The Ace only counts as 1 unlike in Blackjack where it could be 1 or 11.
After the initial two cards are dealt, the hand is in play. If either hand has a “natural” 8 or 9, it’s an automatic winner unless both hands have the exact same 8 or 9 in which case it’s a tie. If both hands fail to secure an 8 or 9, the dealer will be dealing an additional card to either the Banker, the Player or both. The rules of the game will dictate what the dealer does based on the initial score of both hands.
After the dealer has dealt out the required additional card or cards, the hand with the highest score in the winning hand. The highest possible score is 9 and the lowest is zero.
If there’s any doubt about why someone would want to play Pennsylvania Baccarat at Parx Casino, the odds tell the tale of the tape. When the gambler is betting on the Bank or Player spots, the bettor has a 49.32% chance of winning. The reason it’s not 50/50 is because of the possibility of a tie. For a win, the bettor is paid even money (1-1) when betting on the Banker or Player spots. Some versions require the bettor to pay a 5% commission on wins when betting the Banker. This gives the house a slightly larger advantage on the Banker side.
The actual likelihood of a tie is 9.55%. The tie is not a particularly good bet because it usually pays 11-1 with a house advantage of 14.4%. That’s a large spread.
When playing online Baccarat, the results are random fair. This is assured by the online casino’s regulatory body that requires intermittent testing of all games. If playing Pennsylvania Baccarat online, the same rules exist, though there might be some versions that offer side bets like Banker’s Pair, Player’s Pair and Lucky Six.
The availability of multiple versions makes Baccarat a game of chance worth considering.