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Baccarat is a casino card game. It is similar to Faro and to Basset. There are three accepted variants of the game: baccarat chemin de fer (railway), baccarat banque (or à deux tableaux), and punto banco (or North American baccarat). Punto banco is strictly a game of chance, with no skill or strategy involved; each player's moves are forced by the cards the player is dealt. In baccarat chemin de fer and baccarat banque, by contrast, both players can make choices, which allows skill to play a large part.

Baccarat is a simple game with only three possible results - 'Player', 'Banker' and 'Tie'. The term 'Player' does not refer to the customer and the term 'Banker' does not refer to the house. They are just options on which the customer can bet.

The rules of Baccarat

The rules of baccarat are fairly simple. The game starts with a player making a bet. The player can either bet "Player" (himself, although even if there are multiple players only one player hand is dealt) "Banker" or "Tie." The player and the banker (the dealer) then each receive a two-card hand. The winner is the one with the hand closest to nine, with aces counting as one and tens and face cards counting as zero. It is impossible to go "over," since baccarat hands roll over so that they are always one digit, so a 9 plus a 2 would not be 11 but rather 1, an 8 and a 5 would not be 13 but 3, etc.

Valuation of hands

In Baccarat, cards 2-9 are worth face value, 10's and face cards (J, Q, K) are worth zero (note that 10 modulo 10 is equal to 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 10. 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.

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