Understanding Hand Values in Baccarat

Though baccarat is a game that is easy enough to play, in most variations, everyone is provided with the opportunity to play the banker's role. When this occurs, players must know how to value hands correctly in order to pay out accurately.

The Goal of the Game

The idea behind a game of baccarat is to beat the opponent--either the banker or the player--with a hand of nine or as close to nine as possible without going over. In order to do so, the player will receive two or three cards, but never more. The values of the cards are totaled together in a very meticulous way in order to determine the winner. Though the casino will usually judge the winner, it never hurts for players to understand hand values on their own; many players enjoy baccarat at home with their poker friends in order to switch things up a bit.

Distinct Card Values

The card values in the game of baccarat are similar to those in blackjack. Aces always have a value of one, however, and there is no fluctuation. Face cards and 10s have a value of zero and are therefore neutral. Cards two through nine are valued as the number on their face, so a seven would be worth seven points and a three would be worth three. The player will be required to take two or three cards, depending upon the house rules. If the total value of the hand exceeds nine after following these value rules, the first digit in the total score will be dropped. This means that a score of 16 would really only be a score of six.

Baccarat is a game that is easy to play and requires very little thought from the player in most situations. House rules determine when a third card is dealt, and players simply place their bets on the party they believe will win.