Mini Baccarat

mini baccarat gameIf you ask true connoisseurs of baccarat, they’ll tell you that the only real way to play the game is at one of the big table games. These are the ones that are usually found in the high roller sections of casinos, where players routinely bet hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on each hand! Here, players take turns acting as the dealer, the pace of play is slow and serious, and the game truly evokes the feeling of a serious game for serious people.

But baccarat isn’t just a game for big spenders, and as it became apparent that more players wanted to play, casinos found a way to bring the action of baccarat to the masses. This is what led to the creation of mini baccarat, the form most often seen in casinos today. This game uses a smaller table, and the dealer handles all of the cards at all times. If you see baccarat in the regular casino pit, chances are that it’s a mini baccarat game you’re looking at.

The only differences between mini baccarat and the more exclusive versions of the game are in the size of the table, and the fact that the dealer always takes care of the cards in mini baccarat, making the game move somewhat faster. Other than that, you’re playing the exact same game as the whales in the VIP room!

How to Play Mini Baccarat?

Baccarat is a fairly simple game. Players need only bet on one of three outcomes: a player win, a banker win, or a tie. The dealer will then deal out the cards for the player and banker hands (these are just designations, as the player doesn’t do anything to influence the “player” hand; all players at the table may bet on either of the two hands), determine a winner, and pay out the winning bets.

Scoring baccarat hands is easy. First, add up the value of each card in the hand. Aces are worth one point, while cards from 2-9 are worth their numeric value (i.e., a 5 is worth 5 points). Face cards and tens are worth 0 points. After adding up each hand, take only the last digit of the total; for instance, a hand of 12 is worth 2 points. The best possible hand is a 9, and the worst hand is a 0.

The dealer will give each hand two cards. Sometimes, a third card will be dealt to one or both hands as well. If either hand is an 8 or 9, no additional cards will be given to either hand. Otherwise, the player will take a third card with a hand of 0-5, while standing on a 6 or 7.

If the player stands, the dealer will follow the same rule: taking an extra card with 5 or less, and standing on 6 or higher. If the player takes a card, the dealer follows a more complex system for determining whether to hit or stand. In this case, the rules are as follows:

  • If the player’s third card was 0-1, the banker will hit with hands of 0-3.
  • If the player’s third card was 2-3, the banker will hit with hands of 0-4.
  • If the player’s third card was 4-5, the banker will hit with hands of 0-5.
  • If the player’s third card was 6-7, the banker will hit with hands of 0-6.
  • If the player’s third card was an 8, the banker will hit with hands of 0-2.
  • If the player’s third card was a 9, the banker will hit with hands of 0-3.

After each hand stands or gets a third card, the higher hand wins. Winning bets on the player or banker hand pay even money (minus a 5% commission on banker bets), with tie bets usually paying 8-1.

Mini Baccarat Strategy

The best strategy for mini baccarat is to make the banker bet on each hand. The banker bet has just a 1.06% house edge, while the player bet house edge is slightly higher, at 1.24%. Avoid the tie bet, which has a house edge of over 14%.

Play Mini Baccarat Online!

Mini Baccarat is just a smaller variation of Punto Banco, American Baccarat that is. It’s offered at pretty much all online casino sites as well as land based, brick & mortar gambling sites.

Best Online Casinos with Mini Baccarat:

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