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HOW TO PLAY BACCARAT

In casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, this version of baccarat is usually played in special rooms separated from the main gaming floor, ostensibly to provide an extra measure of privacy and security because of the high stakes often involved. The game is frequented by the highest of high rollers, who may wager tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on a single hand. Australian tycoon Kerry Packer was particularly fond of the game, having won and lost large sums over the years. Minimum bets are relatively high, often starting at 25 USD and going as high as 500 USD. Posted maximum bets are often arranged to suit a player, but maximums of 10,000 USD per hand are common.

In Baccarat, cards 2-9 are worth face value, 10s and face cards (J, Q, K) are worth zero, and Aces are worth 1 point. Players calculate their score by taking the sum of all cards modulo 10, meaning that after adding the value of the cards the tens digit is ignored. For example, a hand consisting of 2 and 3 is worth 5 (2 + 3 = 5). A hand consisting of 6 and 7 is worth 3 (6 + 7 = 13 = 3) - the first digit is dropped because the total is higher than 9. A hand consisting of 4 and 6 is worth zero, or Baccarat (4 + 6 = 10 = 0). The name "Baccarat" is unusual in that the game is named after the worst hand, worth 0. The highest score that can be achieved is 9 (from a 4 and 5, 10 and 9, or A and 8, etc).

The cards are dealt face down, one to the 'Player' first, then to the 'Banker'; 'Player' then 'Banker' again. This is the initial deal consisting of two cards each. Both cards in each hand are then turned over and added together and the croupier calls the total (e.g. five to the 'Player', three to the 'Banker'). From this position the 'Tableau' or table of play is used to determine if further cards need to be drawn. Depending on the two hands, the Player and Banker may draw a single card or stand pat. The hand with the highest total wins. If either the Player or the Banker achieves a total of 8 or 9 on the initial deal (known as a 'natural'), no further cards are drawn. If not, play proceeds as follows...

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