Baccarat – A Casino Card Game With III Phases and a Bit of History

Before I explain this Baccarat game that dates back to the 15th Century, let’s review a brief bit of history. Americans got their first real glimpse of this casino game during the 1962 James Bond movie, Dr. No, when Bond, played by Sean Connery, was winning in a Monte Carlo casino. The game was Chemin de fer.

Phase I – Chemin de fer

In this original version Players wagered among themselves and won or lost with their own money. A dealer shoe rotated around the table counterclockwise after each hand. Players could decline the bank and pass the shoe to the next player. A 5% commission for winning bank hands paid to the house was to cover the casino overhead.

Phase II – Punto Banco

Punto Banco, meaning Player, Banker, was introduced in Nevada from Cuba in the late 1950’s, where it was very popular until Castro closed he mob run casinos. The main difference from the French version is that the house banks the game. A tie bet was added to increase the house edge, and the 5% commission to the house for a winning bank bet remains in place. Eventually the name baccarat, Italian for zero, was coined. Today baccarat is played in high limit rooms throughout the world where millions are won and lost each day.

Phase III – Mini-Baccarat

Eventually gaming establishments saw profit potential with Baccarat however they had to make it attractive to the average player. Hence, a new version was born, Mini-Baccarat.The rules for this game are exactly the same as Punto Banco except one house dealer controls he game for up to seven players. Table minimums are as low as $5 or $10. Numerous optional side bets have been added to increase the house edge.

How to Play Baccarat

The objective of baccarat is for the player to come as close to the number 9 as possible. Aces count as one, 2’s – 9’s are face value and 10’s – K’s count as zero.

Regardless of the number of players, the dealer only deals two hands from a six or eight deck shoe. Prior to the deal players must first place one bet on either the bank hand, player hand, or tie. Croupiers pass the shoe so players have the option in turn to deal the cards. In Mini-Baccarat, the shoe remains in place and the dealer controls all the action.

When a hand is totaled, it cannot exceed 9. If the two cards total more than 9, the first digit is dropped. The second digit becomes the total. Ex: 7,8=15. (the 1 is dropped) total = 5.

Baccarat requires no skill to play. All the player needs to do is place one bet before the deal. The dealer examines both hands to determine if a third and final card should be drawn. The determination is made according to a fixed set of game rules. Here they are:

Game Rules for Player Bet

The player position always draws on a 0, 1, and 2,3,4,5, unless the banker has a natural 8 or 9. Player always stands on 6,7,8, and 9. When the play bet has a natural 8 or 9, the game is over.

Game Rules for Banker Bet

The banker position always draws on a 0, 1, and 2 unless the player has a natural 8 or 9. The banker always stands on 7,8, and 9. When a banker has a natural 8 or 9, the game is over.

Strategy

No playing strategy is required. Always bet the bank which has the lowest house edge at 1.06%, even with the 5% commission owed to the house. A player bet has a house edge of 1.24% while the tie bet that pays 8 to 1 has a whopping house edge of 14%!. This bet is not recommended. A number of optional side bets at the mini tables have house edges from 2 to 13%. These are not recommended.

Good luck!

Mini-Baccarat – The Unsung Hero of Casino Gambling

The European version of Baccarat has been around 150 years give or take. It’s distant cousin, Chemin De Fer, played under an entirely different set of rules is far older and was a game favored by Europe’s royalty and wealthy industrialists. This is most likely where it got the mystique of elegance as an exclusively “high roller’s” game.

In the mid 1950’s Tommy Renzoni ran the Baccarat game at the Capri Hotel & Casino in Havana, Cuba. It was said he discovered that particular variation of the game being played in Argentina at the time.

In those days the mob ran the casinos in Havana and it was a popular resort for the very wealthy and Hollywood’s elite. In 1959 when Castro overthrew the Batista regime, he promptly closed the casino doors and the mob was forced out of Cuba. They had a sweet deal for a while but all good things must end.

The timing was perfect though, because Tommy Renzoni was brought in for the opening of the Sands Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to run their Baccarat game. So it was Renzoni, through a stroke of fortune, who introduced the American version of Baccarat to Vegas that is played today.

The American version of the game is as simple as they come. You choose to wager on either the “bank” hand or the “player” hand. Pretty much a coin toss. The only other choice would be to bet on a tie hand appearing (a bet no sane person would make although I see it done all the time). It’s an even money bet on either side with the exception of a small commission charged on winning bank hands.

The reason for this is that the rules of the game favor the bank hand winning slightly more often than the player hand. Without the 5% commission the outcome would be tilted toward the bank side.

The object of the game is to get closest to a 9 total. All tens and face cards have a zero value, therefore a 5 and a queen would be a total of 5. There is no need to even know the rules governing the drawing of cards because they are completely automatic and procedures are directed by the dealers and pit bosses.

Compared to craps, blackjack, roulette or even poker, there are no complicated decisions to make. Decide on the amount of your wager and which side to bet on. Nothing could be simpler.

It is the aura that surrounds the game which tends to make it seem off limits to most casino goers. It’s been portrayed through stories of high rollers and in James Bond (007) movies over the years as the hero playing against the evil villain. Keep in mind, all the players are betting against the casino, not against each other. Although the roped off table areas and high stakes table limits can be somewhat intimidating.

Enter Mini-Baccarat. The casinos, always on the look out to make a buck, devised the mini-baccarat table as a way to make it more accessible to the average casino patron. It seemed to work although it still hasn’t garnered the wide spread acceptance of the more well known table games.

Betting Systems

In reality, mini-baccarat is ideally suited for most playing and betting systems that do well in an even-money, win/lose environment. Because there can be only one of two outcomes, betting systems that depend on a parlay (doubling up) of wagers tend to do well.

It is common to see runs of 2, 3, 4 & 5 on either bank or player hands. I was playing the Tropicana one night and witnessed an incredible run of 22 consecutive “bank” hands. Luckily, having the sense and instinct to jump on a winning streak after the fourth bank win, I was able to capture 18 straight wins. Needless to say, it was a very good night. That’s an extraordinary run but the game does lend itself well to streaks on both sides.

If you toss a coin you have a 1 to 1 chance of correctly calling the outcome. If a player were to parlay their first win (playing for 2 consecutive wins), they have a 1 in 3 chance of winning that wager. If successful, the player would receive a 3 to 1 payoff. $10 parlayed on two wins would become $40. The odds on calling two consecutive outcomes correctly is 3 to 1.

Playing for three consecutive wins would reduce the player’s winning wagers but the payoff would jump to 7 to 1. A $10 wager would return $80.

Another sound betting system calls for a gradual increase of winning bets. This effectively takes advantage of any extended run of wins that will undoubtedly occur and protect the player’s capital if the outcome is “choppy.”

This type of betting sequence would look like this:

10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50

No wager after the second one in the series would produce a loss for the player.

Following the 1st bet the player is risking $5 and betting $15;

After winning the third bet the player is up $20 betting 25;

On the fourth, the player is up $40 wagering $30;

On the fifth, the player is ahead $65 betting $40;

A series of 7 wins would return $150 and still have a $50 wager as the next bet. All with a starting wager of $10. Following any loss the player reverts back to the starting $10 bet.

With this method the player is increasing their bets with winnings while maintaining a low minimum bet during losing hands. This is the type of smart money management used by professional gamblers that takes full advantage of winning cycles while protecting their bankroll when losing. It insures that their winning bets will be substantially greater than their losing ones.

Although the hands are dealt at a rapid pace, I consider mini-baccarat to be an excellent game, especially for the beginner. It allows them to acclimate to the game and concentrate on their playing strategy and wagers without feeling intimidated by the big money action in the regular Baccarat pit.

If you’ve read any of the stuff I’ve written you know I’m a big fan of Baccarat. As for mini-baccarat, it’s the same game, same low house percentage, low minimums and gives the player a very good chance at some big wins. It might even pay for your next trip the casino.

Best of luck,

Ray W.

Casino, Sports Betting, and Lottery – A Comparison of the House Edge

The house edge, which is the commission that a gambling agent such as a

casino, a sportsbook (bookmaker), or a lottery administrator charges, is a

yardstick that measures how a specific gambling game is fair and reasonable.

It is one of the most important factors that every player should consider whenever he/she is engaged in any type of gambling, inasmuch as it indicates how much of the money wagered goes to the gambling agent’s pocket and how much is redistributed to the winners. Indeed, a house edge cannot be zero since casinos, sportsbooks, and lottery administrators have to make some money in order to cover their expenses, and to make some profit as well. Yet, a high house edge simply means that the players are unnecessarily being ripped-off, and as a result, any gambling game with a high house edge should certainly be avoided by a

knowledgeable gambler.

In this article, we shall compare, in the simplest way

possible, the house edges of a roulette, an evens-odd betting, and a Cash 3

lottery game as representatives of the three major gambling categories.

The Equation

The easiest way to compute a house edge is to compare the actual winnings that are

paid by the respective agents to the winnings that would be paid in a

fair game or bet. A fair game or a fair bet is one in which no commission

is involved; an obvious model is a game between friends. Therefore, in

percentage form, the house edge is obtained by subtracting an actual game winning

from a fair game winning and dividing the result by the fair game winning,

finally multiplying by 100. Thus,

House Edge = [ (fair game winning – actual game winning) / fair game winning ] *

100

Roulette

Because of its simplicity and popularity, we shall consider the roulette as a

representative casino game. A European roulette wheel has grooves marked by the

numbers 0 to 36; the American wheel (also called Las Vegas wheel) has an

additional groove marked as ’00’. So, the European wheel has a total of 37

numbers, while the American wheel has 38. Internet casinos usually make available

the option to select the type of wheel the customer prefers, but the brick and

mortar casinos normally offer only one type. The winning number in a roulette

game is the number corresponding to the groove where a spinning ball lands.

Now, consider a fair game in which 38 friends are playing the roulette at home,

and each one selects a number and places a $1 bet on the number (no two or more

players wagering on the same number). When the ball is spun and lands in a

groove, the number marking that groove will be the winning number.

The person who has selected this winning number collects all the money on the

table thus making him win $37. On the other hand, if the game were conducted in

a casino, the winner would be paid only $35. The difference between the two

winnings applied in the above equation gives us the house edge of a roulette game

as

( 37 – 35 ) / 37 * 100 = 2 / 37 * 100 = 5.4%

This means that every time you spend a $100 on an offline or online casino roulette, $5.40 goes to the casino and the rest is redistributed to the winners. Evidently, there are quite a number of casino games and the house edge varies

from game to game, many of them having a house edge less than that of the

roulette. For obvious reasons, a good gambler always prefers games that have low house

edges, while the casino itself loves those games with high house edges. For example,

the house edge of craps is 1.4% which makes it one of the most preferred casino

games by the players.

Even-odds Sports Betting

Again, because of its simplicity, we shall consider an even-odds betting as a

representative of this category of gambling. By even-odds we mean that the event

(usually a sports game) has equal chances of going either way. An example is a

tennis match between two competitive players each of which has an equal chance

of winning the match.

A fair bet, in this case, is just a simple bet between two friends who just

pick one of the tennis player as winner. If these two friends wager $1 each, the

winner will collect $2, thus winning $1. If instead the bets are placed

through a sportsbook, the winner will collect only $1.91, since the odds of an

evens game at most bookies and online sportsbooks is 1.91. If you are not familiar with the

decimal representation of odds, 1.91 is the same as 10/11 in UK notation and

-110 in US odds notation. Odds of 10/11 mean that you’ll win $10 when you wager $11; and odds of -110 mean that you have to wager $110 in order

to win $100. Anyway, since the winnings paid by a sportsbook is only $0.91, the house

edge of an even-odds betting
will therefore be

( 1 – 0.91 ) / 1 * 100 = 0.09 * 100 = 9%

So, this is how sportsbooks make a living. Since several internet sportsbooks offer odds higher than 1.91 in order to lure

bettors, the house edge could be smaller than 9%, which is one of the things that the bettor should be looking for when searching for a sportsbook. On the other hand, if the bettor is

wagering on parlays the house edge would be significantly higher than 9%; for

big parlays, it could go as high as 40%.

It should be apparent by now that the gambler is better off with casino games

than sports betting. It should also be noted that while the house edge could

be a major factor to consider while selecting a gambling game, it is by no means

the only one. For instance, one should consider the fact that casino games are

mostly games of chance, while sports betting also involves a learned decision in

selecting a pick, consequently leading to a higher probability of winning a bet.

Cash 3

Depending on the state you are in, this lottery game may be known by a

different name such as Pick 3, Play 3, Daily 3, etc. In this game, the player

selects a three-digit number from 000 to 999, and plays the number as a straight

or as a box. A straight play is a prediction that the number will come exactly

as selected while a box is a prediction for the number to come in any order. For

instance, if a player selects the number 672 and plays it straight, he/she will

win if the number drawn is exactly 672. Instead, if the player plays 672 as a

box, he/she will win as long as the drawn number contains a 6, a 7 and a 2, in

any order (276, for example). Obviously, a straight game pays much more

than a box game for the same amount wagered.

Now consider 1000 friends (maybe in a club) selecting a number as a straight,

each for $1, so that all the 1000 possible numbers are covered. When the winning

number is drawn, the person who has selected that lucky number will be deemed a

winner and will cash in all the $1000 collected, so making him win $999. This is

a fair game. In the case of state lotteries, however, the winner will be paid

only $500 in most states. Some states may pay a little bit less, others may pay

a little bit more, but $500 is more or less the standard. The winner therefore

wins $499. The house edge for a Cash 3 game will therefore be

( 999 – 499 ) / 999 * 100 = 500 / 999 * 100 = 50%

This house edge applies not only to the Cash 3 game but also to all state

lottery games such as Play 4, Cash 5, Mega, Fantasy 5, Lotto, Power Ball, etc.

So, whenever you are playing the state lottery, remember that you are wagering

only half of your money on the actual lottery; the other half, you are

just giving it away. Where this other half goes is not the gambler’s concern,

since his/her main objective is to win some money in order to pay the ever

present bills, or to get out of a miserable life, or to change his/her

20-year-old car. As regards contributing to education and other noble causes,

there are other means of collecting money called taxes and charities.

Unfortunately, many states do not allow casino games, and furthermore,

sports betting is illegal in the United States. The player is therefore left

with no choice but to cross state borders in search of a casino, or more

recently, to engage in online sports betting through the several offshore

internet sportsbooks. Nowadays, there is a plethora of trustworthy online

casinos and sportsbooks operating from Canada, the UK, Antigua, Costa Rica, and

so on.

The Conclusion

As far as the house edge is concerned, it has been shown that casino games

are the best choice for the gambler. On the other end, any state lottery is a

pretty miserable game to play. Nevertheless, besides the house edge, there is

also the possibility of winning to consider.

Casino games, like lotteries are mostly games of chance; the player just

selects a number or numbers and waits to see what luck brings him/her. There is

absolutely no basis to prefer one number to others. Some people try to analyze

previously drawn numbers in order to see the trend and predict the next numbers.

This strategy may work a few times, but not always. Keep in mind that it is the

players, and not the machines, who remember the previous numbers. In short, the

possibility of winning a roulette or the lottery entirely depends on luck.

While there is little or nothing that a roulette or a lotto player can do to

initially select a possible winning number, the situation could be quite

different in the case of betting. With a lot of information and some assistance from

sports handicappers, it is possible to predict the outcome of a sports event

with more certainty than predicting a Cash 3 number.

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How Do I Set Up a Casino in the UK?

Anyone who wishes to provide facilities for gambling, or to manufacture supply, install, repair or adapt a gaming machine or gambling software is required to hold a licence authorising the specific activity to be undertaken.” Gambling Act 2005

If you wish to provide facilities for gaming in the UK you will require a licence. There are three categories of licence (operating, personal and premises) – your business may need all three kinds. Operating licences and personal licences, are issued by the Gambling Commission and premises licences are issued by your local authority.

What are the licences?

Operating Licenses – if you wish to provide facilities for gambling you will require an operating licence.

Personal Licenses

There are two types of personal licences:

· Personal Management Licence – required by all persons who occupy a specified management position.

· Personal Functional Licence – required by those individuals who work within a casino at staff level e.g. a dealer, cashier, pit boss etc

To apply for a licence you should visit the The Gambling Commission’s website at www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk [http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk]

What are the costs?

There are two types of fee payable for operating licences – a one off application fee and an annual fee payable within 30 days of your licence being issued:

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There are two types of fee payable for personal licences:

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2. Personal Functional Licence £165

When should I apply for my licence?

You should aim to submit your application as soon as possible, and you cannot start running your gambling business until you have obtained all the relevant permissions.