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Baccarat Hand Values

Baccarat is a casino table game where a “player” and a “banker” compete for the hand closest in value to 9 points, while other players wager on the outcome. The key figures are each dealt two cards. If either person receives a “natural” (a hand of either 8 or 9 points), no more cards are drawn and he is the winner. Otherwise the banker and / or the player may opt to draw a third card, in an attempt to make up a winning hand. It is obvious from this brief description that baccarat hand values are the central point of the game. Here is an in depth explanation of what these values mean.

Card Values

Every baccarat hand is made up of 2 to 3 cards. To calculate baccarat hand values, you simply add the card values together. Tens, Jacks, Queens and Kings, which tend to be among the highest scoring cards in other games, are each worth zero in baccarat. Aces are worth only 1 point apiece. It’s the cards from 2 to 9 that count the most; each of them is worth its face value. A two is worth two points; three is worth three, and so on. The suit of any given card does not matter in baccarat and has no value of its own.

A Natural

A two card hand is called a natural if it adds up to either 8 or 9 points. A 9 point natural is the best possible hand in baccarat – no other hand can beat it (although it is possible to have a tie).Examples of a 9 point hand are: a 2 plus a 7, a 3 plus a 6, a 4 plus a 5, an 8 plus an Ace or a 9 plus a Ten or a face card. An 8 point hand might consist of: a 2 plus a 6, a 3 plus a 5, a pair of 4s, a 7 plus an Ace or an 8 plus a Ten or any face card.

Other Baccarat Hand Values

If the initial hand is not a natural, it will predictably be worth less than 8 points. This is obvious when the cards are of low values, but what if a player or banker has high valued cards? A combination of cards that adds up to double digits of 10 or more will always be converted to a single digit score, by simply dropping the first digit. For example, if someone is dealt a hand of 7 plus 8, totaling 15, the first digit will be removed, leaving a value of 5 for that hand. In punto banco, the most common version of baccarat in the US and the UK, the player and the banker will each decide whether to opt to “draw” (receive) a third card or “stand” based on the prescriptions in the baccarat tableau.