Mini-Baccarat is a smaller, lower-stakes version of Punto banco Baccarat. Mini-Baccarat is different in that it is generally lower limits than baccarat. It is also different in that the player does not get to pick up the cards, and the fact that the table is smaller in size. Mini-Baccarat is popular in many casinos, especially among Asian gamblers.
In original Baccarat the banker deals two cards to the “punters” (players) and to himself, face-down from the shoe. If anyone has a count of eight or nine, they should turn their cards face-up and win immediately. A count of six or seven means a player must stand. In case the count is less than five a player has to pull out the third card. The banker must draw to a point under three, stand with a point above six. He can do either with a point of three to a player's third-card nine or with a point of five to a player's third-card four. In other case, the banker should draw or stand as dictated by the most-favorable odds. Like Baccarat, Mini-Baccarat is a comparing card game played between two hands, the "player" and the "banker". Each baccarat coup has three possible outcomes: "player" (player has the higher score), "banker" (banker has the high score), and "tie". It 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.
Valuation of hands
In Mini-Baccarat, cards have a point value: cards two through nine are worth face value (in points); tens, jacks, queens and kings have no point value (i.e. are worth zero); aces are worth 1 point; jokers are not used. Hands are valued according to the rightmost digit of the sum of their constituent cards. If the total of the cards is a two-digit number, ten is subtracted from the total value of the hand. So, a hand of a 7 and a 4 would be one. For example, a hand consisting of 2 and 3 is worth 5, but a hand consisting of 6 and 7 is worth 3 (i.e., the 3 being the rightmost digit in the combined points total of 13). The highest possible hand value in baccarat is therefore nine.
Tableau of drawing rules
The Player and Banker are each dealt two cards. If either Player or Banker or both achieve a total of 8 or 9 with the first two cards (known as a "natural"), the coup is finished and the result is announced: Player win, a Banker win, or tie. Natural 9 beats natural 8. If neither the Player nor Banker is dealt a total of 8 or 9 in the first two cards, the tableau is consulted, first for Player's rule, then Banker's.
- Player's rule
- If Player has an initial total of 0–5, he draws a third card. If Player has an initial total of 6 or 7, he stands.
- Banker's rule
- If Player stood pat (i.e., has only two cards), the banker regards only his own hand and acts according to the same rule as Player. That means Banker draws a third card with hands 0–5 and stands with 6 or 7.
If Player drew a third card, the Banker acts according to the following more complex rules:
- If Player drew a 2 or 3, Banker draws with 0–4 and stands with 5–7.
- If Player drew a 4 or 5, Banker draws with 0–5 and stands with 6–7.
- If Player drew a 6 or 7, Banker draws with 0–6 and stands with 7.
- If Player drew an 8, Banker draws with 0–2 and stands with 3–7.
- If Player drew an ace, 9, 10, or face-card, the Banker draws with 0–3 and stands with 4–7.
The casinos list these rules in a more easily remembered format as follows:
- If the banker total is 2 or less, then the banker draws a card, regardless of what the player's third card is.
- If the banker total is 3, then the bank draws a third card unless the player's third card was an 8.
- If the banker total is 4, then the bank draws a third card if the player's third card was 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
- If the banker total is 5, then the bank draws a third card if the player's third card was 4, 5, 6, or 7.
- If the banker total is 6, then the bank draws a third card if the player's third card was a 6 or 7.
- If the banker total is 7, then the banker stands.
If a player bets on tie and the hands tie, the player win 8:1 or 9:1 depending on the house rules.
Super 6/Punto 2000
A variation of punto banco exists where even money is paid on winning Banker bets (rather than 95%), except when Banker wins with 6, it is paid only 50% of the bet. This game goes under various names including Super 6 and Punto 2000. The house edge on a Banker bet under Super 6 is 1.46% compared with regular commission baccarat at 1.058%. This is equivalent to increasing the commission by 17.45% to 5.87%. The Bank wins with a six about 5 times every eight deck shoe. As well as its increased house edge, the Super 6 variation is used by casinos for its speed, since it partially does away with the time-consuming process of calculating and collecting commission on winning Banker bets; but still requires stopping the game, breaking down every Bank bet, and paying 50% of its value each time there is a Bank winner with a six.
A variation of punto banco originating in 2004 where even money is paid on both winning Player and Banker bets, except when Banker wins with a total of 7 after the third card is drawn, instead the Banker pushes if it wins with any bets on the banker. The game has two additional options, the Dragon 7 which pays 40-to-1 and the Panda 8 which pays 25-to-1. House edge when betting on Banker is reduced to 1.02% instead of 1.06% in standard punto banco.
- Dragon 7
- A bet on the Banker to win with a total of 7 points after three cards are drawn. Pays 40-to-1 leaving a 7.61% house edge.
- Panda 8
- A bet on the Player to win with a total of 8 points after three cards are drawn. Pays 25-to-1 leaving a 10.19% house edge.
House edge details (8 decks)
|If Banco wins||1.02%|
|If Punto wins||1.24%|
|If ties (8-to-1 payout)||14.4%|
|Dragon 7 (40-to-1 payout)||7.61%|
|Panda 8 (25-to-1 payout)||10.19%|
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- David Parlett (Feb 18, 2009). "Baccarat card game". Encyclopedia Britannica.
- "Card Values in Mini Baccarat". Baccarat.net.
- Mathematically, the value of a hand is the sum of its constituent cards modulo ten (with all numbers greater than ten, subtract 10 and return only the difference).
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