Baccarat

Baccarat is a simple game with only three possible results - 'Player', 'Banker' and 'Tie', athough these terms merely refer to options on which the customer can bet.

Card values: Ace - 9 are worth face value whilst 10's and face cards (J, Q, K) are worth zero.

The score is calculated by taking the sum of all cards modulo 10, i.e the tens digit is ignored so the highest possible score is 9

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)

A hand consisting of 4 and 6 is worth zero, or Baccarat (4 + 6 = 10 = 0)

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Punto Banco (North American)

This variant is strictly a game of chance with each player's moves forced by the cards the player is dealt.

The house banks the game at all times and players may bet on either the player or the banker, the designations for the two hands dealt in each game.

Game Play

The initial deal consists of two cards each face down, 'Player' first, then 'Banker'. Both cards in each hand are then turned over and added together and the croupier calls the total.

If either the Player or the Banker achieve a total of 8 or 9 on the initial deal (a 'natural'), no further cards are drawn. If not play proceeds as follows.

If the Player's initial total is less than 5 they draw a single card.

The Banker's play depends on the Banker's hand, on whether the Player drew a card, and on what card the Player drew:

Banker

Draws draws stands
no draw 0 - 5 6 - 7
2 or 3 0 - 4 5 - 7
4 or 5 0 - 5 6 - 7
6 or 7 0 - 6 7
8 0 - 2 3 - 7
9, 10, or face-card 0 - 3 4 - 7

Black Jack

Vingt-et-un attained the name Blackjack after a bonus payout scheme offered in some American houses to entice people to the tables. This involed a 10 : 1 payout for a hand called a "Black Jack" (the ace of spades and a black Jack)and although this bonus was abolished the name stuck.

The aim of the game is to attain a higher hand than the banker without exceding 21 points.

All face cards are worth 10, cards from 2 - 10 worth their face value, and Ace is worth 1 or 11.

Two cards are initially dealt face up to all players and one to the banker. The player then has several options:

Hit : Take another card.

Stand : Take no more cards, also "stick" or "stay".

Double down : Increase the wager to a maximum of double the original bet and take exactly one more card. For example, if the player's orignal bet was £10, the player could increase the bet by up to an additional £10, for a new total bet of up to £20. Increasing the wager to less than twice the original bet is called "double down for less".

Split : Double the wager and have each card be the first card in a new hand. This option is available only when both cards have the same rank.

Surrender : Forfeit half the bet and give up the hand.

If the player busts he loses (even if the dealer also busts).

If both the player and the dealer have the same point value (a "push")then neither wins the hand.

Each player has an independent game with the dealer, so it is possible for the dealer to lose to some players but still beat the other players in the same round.

After all the players have finished making their decisions, the dealer then reveals the hidden card and plays the hand.

House rules say that the dealer must hit until they have at least 17, regardless of what the players have. In some casinos a dealer must also hit a soft 17 (a combination of cards adding up to either 7 or 17, such as an ace and a 6). A two-card hand of 21 (an ace plus a ten-value card) is called a "blackjack" or a "natural", and is an automatic winner (usually paid at 3:2), unless the dealer has blackjack as well.

Players who push (tie) with the dealer receive their original bet back.

If the dealer busts then all remaining players win (normally paid at odds of 1:1).

Variations

There are many variations to the rules depending on where you are playing the game.

Insurance

If the dealer's upcard is an Ace, the player is offered the option of taking Insurance before the dealer checks his 'hole card'.

Score

Dealer: blackjack Player loses the original bet
but wins 2:1 on his insurance bet, which was 1:2 of the original bet.
Losses and gains even out to 0.
Player loses 1:1.
Player: no blackjack
Dealer: no blackjack Player wins the original bet
but loses the insurance money. The player wins 1:2 of the original bet.
Player wins 1:1
Player: wins
Dealer: no blackjack Player loses the insurance money
The player loses 1:2 of the original bet.
Player pushes. No loss or gain: 0
Player: same as the dealer
Dealer: no blackjack Player loses the original bet
and loses the insurance money. The player loses 3:2 of the original bet.
Player loses 1:1
Player: loses

Even money

Dealer: blackjack Blackjacks even out
but the player wins 2:1 on the 1:2 of the insurance money. The player wins 1:1 of the original bet.
Player pushes. No loss or gain: 0
Player: blackjack
Dealer: no blackjack Player wins the original bet at 3:2
but loses the insurance bet of 1:2. The player wins 1:1 of the original bet.
Player wins 3:2 of the original bet
Player: blackjack

A basic strategy table for 3 or more decks, dealer stands on soft 17, double on any 2 cards, double after split allowed, dealer peeks for blackjack, and blackjack pays 3:2

Basic strategy

2345678910A

Hard totals

17-20SSSSSSSSSS
16SSSSSHHSUSUSU
15SSSSSHHHSUH
13-14SSSSSHHHHH
12HHSSSHHHHH
11DhDhDhDhDhDhDhDhDhH
10DhDhDhDhDhDhDhDhHH
9HDhDhDhDhHHHHH
5 - 8HHHHHHHHHH

Soft totals

2345678910A
A,8 A,9SSSSSSSSSS
A,7SDsDsDsDsSSHHH
A,6 HDhDhDhDhHHHHH
A,4 A,5HHDhDhDhHHHHH
A,2 A,3HHHDhDhHHHHH

Pairs

2345678910A
A,ASPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSP
10,10SSSSSSSSSS
9,9SPSPSPSPSPSSPSPSS
8,8SPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSP
7,7SPSPSPSPSPSPHHHH
6,6SPSPSPSPSPHHHHH
5,5DhDhDhDhDhDhDhDhHH
4,4HHHSPSPHHHHH
2,2 3,3SPSPSPSPSPSPHHHH

Key:

S = Stand

H = Hit

Dh = Double
(if not allowed then hit)
Ds = Double
(if not allowed then stand)
SP = Split

SU = Surrender
(if not allowed, then hit)

Bridge

Also known as Contract bridge, this is a trick-taking card game of skill and chance.

It is played by four players who form two partnerships with the partners sitting opposite each other at a table.

Faro

A game of faro was often called a "faro bank" and is played with an entire pack of cards and admitted an indeterminate number of players (punters) and a banker.

It was one of the most popular card games of the 18th and 19th centuries as it was easy to learn, quick, and the odds for a player were better than other gambling games.

6

Very basically it is a card version of roulette, i.e. the player places a bet on one or more cards on the table or on "high card".

Betting

Single Card - the bet is placed on one card.

Multiple Cards - bet is placed across two cards.

High Card - a bet that the winning card will be higher than the losing one.

Copper - a "reverse" bet where the player bets that the card drawn will be on the losing pile (the copper was typically a hexagonal chip).

Betting The Turn - betting the order of the last three cards drawn.

Game Play

The first card is ignored and the rest are dealt alternately to the lose (left) or win (right) pile.

The first is the "losing card", and all bets placed on that card are lost by the players and won by the bank.

The second card is the "winning card", and all bets placed on that card are returned to the players with a 100% winning paid by the bank.

If a doublet is drawn (two equal cards) the bank wins half of the stakes on the card which equaled the doublet.

Poker Hands

High Card

High Card : a poker hand in which no two cards have the same rank, the five cards are not in sequence, and the five cards are not all the same suit. The lowest possible high card is seven-high.

Frequency of 5-card poker hands

Odds

Royal flush 40.000154%649,739 : 1
Straight flush
(excluding royal flush)
360.00139%72,192.33 : 1
Four of a kind6240.024%4164 : 1
Full house3,7440.144%693.2 : 1
Flush5,1080.197000%507.8 : 1
Straight10,2000.392%253.8 : 1
Three of a kind54,9122.11%46.3 : 1
Two pair123,5524.75%20.03 : 1
One pair1,098,24042.3%1.37 : 1
High card1,302,54050.1%0.995 : 1
Total2,598,960100%0:1

Frequency of 7-card poker hands

Odds

Straight flush
41,5840.0311% 3216 : 1
Four of a kind224,8480.168%594 : 1
Full house 3,473,1842.60%37.5 : 1
Flush4,047,6443.03%32.1 : 1
Straight6,180,0204.62%20.6 : 1
Three of a kind6,461,6204.83%19.7 : 1
Two pair31,433,40023.5%3.26 : 1
One pair58,627,80043.8%1.28 : 1
High card23,294,46017.4%4.74 : 1
Total133,784,560 100% 0:1

Five Card Draw Poker.

Gameplay

In casino play the first betting round begins with the player to the left of the big blind, and subsequent rounds begin with the player to the dealer's left. Home games typically use an ante; the first betting round begins with the player to the dealer's left, and the second round begins with the player who opened the first round.

Play begins with each player being dealt five cards, one at a time, all face down. The remaining deck is placed aside, often protected by placing a chip or other marker on it.

Players pick up the cards and hold them in their hands, being careful to keep them concealed from the other players, then a round of betting occurs.

If more than one player remains after the first round, the "draw" phase begins. Each player specifies how many of his cards he wishes to replace, and discards them.

The deck is retrieved, and each player is dealt in turn from the deck the same number of cards he discarded so that each player again has five cards.

It is important that each player discards the cards he wishes to replace before he takes any replacements, and that he takes the same number of replacements as he discarded.

A second "after the draw" betting round occurs beginning with the player to the dealer's left or else beginning with the player who opened the first round (the latter is common when antes are used instead of blinds).

This is followed by a showdown if more than one player remains, in which the player with the best hand wins the pot.

Five Card Stud Poker.

The earliest form of stud poker, but less commonly played today than many other games.

Description of play

Play begins with each player being dealt one card face down, followed by one card face up.

If played with a bring-in, the player with the lowest-ranking upcard must pay the bring in, and betting proceeds after that.

If there is no bring-in, then the first betting round begins with the player showing the highest-ranking upcard, who may check. If two players have the same high upcard, the one first in clockwise rotation from the dealer acts first.

After the first betting round is complete, another face-up card is dealt to each player (after a burn card) as with all subsequent rounds.

Betting now begins with the player whose upcards make the best poker hand.

On this and subsequent betting rounds, the player to act first may check or bet up to the game's limit.

The second betting round is followed by a third upcard to each player and a third betting round, again starting with the player with the best poker hand showing.

A fourth face-up card (also called the River card) and fourth betting round is followed by a showdown, if necessary.

The highest surviving hand wins.

Seven Card Stud Poker.

Until the recent increase in popularity of Texas hold 'em, seven-card stud was the most popular poker variant in home games across the United States, and in casinos in the eastern part of the country.

In-depth play rules

The game begins with each player being dealt two cards face down and one card face up.

If played with a bring-in, the player with the lowest-ranking upcard pays the bring-in, and betting proceeds after that in normal clockwise order.

The bring-in is considered an open, so the next player in turn may not check. If two players have equally ranked low cards, suit may be used to break the tie and assign the bring-in (see high card by suit).

If there is no bring-in, then the first betting round begins with the player showing the highest-ranking upcard, who may check. In this case, suit should not be used to break ties.

If two players have the same high upcard, the one first in clockwise rotation from the dealer acts first.

After the first betting round, another upcard is dealt to each player (after a burn card), followed by a second betting round beginning with the player whose upcards make the best poker hand.

Since fewer than five cards are face up, this means no straights, flushes, or full houses will count for this purpose. On this and all subsequent betting rounds, the player whose face-up cards make the best poker hand will act first, and may check or bet up to the game's limit.

The second round is followed by a third upcard and betting round, a fourth upcard and betting round, and finally a downcard, a fifth betting round, and showdown if necessary.

Seven-card stud can be summarized therefore as "two down, four up, one down". Upon showdown, each player makes the best five-card poker hand he can out of the seven cards he was dealt.

Note that seven cards to eight players plus four burn cards makes 60 cards, and there are only 52 in the deck. In most games this is not a problem because several players will have folded in early betting rounds.

But there are certainly low-stakes home games where few if any players fold.

If this is the case in your game, you may want to limit the game to seven players.

If the deck does become exhausted during play, previously-dealt burn cards can be used when only a few cards are needed to complete the deal.

If even those are not sufficient, then on the final round instead of dealing a downcard to each player, a single community card is dealt to the center of the table, and is shared by everyone (that is, each player treats it as his seventh card).

Under no circumstances can any discarded card from a folded hand be "recycled" for later use.

Unlike draw poker, where no cards are ever seen before showdown, stud poker players use the information they get from face-up cards to make strategic decisions, and so a player who sees a certain card folded is entitled to make decisions knowing that the card will never appear in another opponent's hand.

Red Dog (Red Dog Poker)

The deck used to play Red Dog is the standard, fifty two card variety. The game may be played with anywhere from one to eight decks, with an increasing number of decks decreasing the house edge — the house's advantage begins at 3.155% with one deck, but falls to 2.751% when eight decks are used.

This is in contrast with some other casino card games, such as blackjack, where a higher number of decks used will increase the house edge.

The game only uses three cards at a time, which are ranked as in poker, with aces high. Suit is irrelevant.

A wager is placed, and two cards are placed face up on the table, with three possible outcomes:

If the cards are consecutive in number (for example, a four and a five, or a jack and a queen), the hand is a push and the player's wager is returned.

If the two cards are of equal value, a third card is dealt. If the third card is of the same value, then the pay-out for the player is 11:1, otherwise the hand is a push.

If the two cards difference is greater than one place (for example, a three and an eight), then a spread is announced which determines the payoff, pending the outcome of a third card which will be dealt. If this third card's value falls between the first two, the player will receive a payoff according to the spread, otherwise the bet is lost. Before dealing the third card, the player has the option to double his bet.