June 2019

Baccarat 101

If you’re looking to sit down at a Las Vegas casino table game with few complexities and a lot of James Bond-style fun, baccarat is your go-to game. There are three possible outcomes—a player win, a banker win and a tie—and the dealer pretty much does all the work.

As host Jeff Civillico explains in the how-to video below, players bet either on the player’s side, the “banker” (aka the dealer) side or for a tie. Cards two through nine are face value, while a 10, jack, queen and king cards have a value of zero. An ace is worth one.

The dealer then deals out the cards face up—two each for the player and banker—and whichever hand totals closest to nine wins. If you’ve bet on the player hand and it has the closest to nine, the winnings are simply double what you bet.

If you’ve bet on the banker hand and it wins, it pays 95 percent of your wager.When the cards dealt are greater than nine, you have to add the two together and drop the one (or two) to get the value.

For example, a hand of nine and seven cards dealt would add up to 16, and with the first digit dropped, the value in the game is six.

Here are some more rules to help you ace a baccarat game:

  • If either the player or banker is dealt a total of eight or nine, both the player and banker stand.
  • If the player’s total is five or less, then the player will receive another card. Otherwise, the player will stand.
  • If the player stands, then the banker hits on a total of 5 or less.
  • The final betting option, a tie, pays out 8-to-1. Conveniently, there are also sheets at the table for you to keep track of your score.

Our rating – 8.2/10

Blackjack – tips and tricks

Blackjack is one of the most popular card games that are played at casinos. Black jack is often the best paying card game if you know how to play and have the real knowledge of who you are trying to beat. Blackjack is basically a card game where you are dealt two cards, one face down, and one face up to start out with. You decide at that point by counting the amount of the value of the card if you would like another card (hit) to get as close to 21 as you can. Once you decide to stand or stay, the next player has the same option and it goes around the table till the dealers turn comes up. The dealer has the same option as you do at that point. The dealer however, will always stop their hand once the amount of the cards dealt to them reaches 17 points.

Points accrued on the cards go by face value, all numbered cards are the face value, an ace is valued at 1 point or 11 points, face cards are 10 points. When dealt an ace, you can determine how you would like the value to be used either 1 or 11 by the combination of points from other cards you already hold. Example: if you’re dealt a 6 face card, turn over an ace; you can use the ace as an 11 point card to make a total of 17. Or if you use it as a 1 point card, your total would be 7 and you have the option to hit again. The main objective while playing Blackjack really is not to bust or go over the amount of 21.

Often times Blackjack players think that they need to beat other players by getting 21 or as close to 21 as they can. But here is the real secret in Blackjack, they need to beat the dealer and not worry about what everyone else holds in their hand. You can beat the dealer with the lowest possible score you could get, hoping for the possibility that the dealer will bust or go over the 21 limit.Here are some terms that are often used when playing Blackjack: 

  • Hit – Receive a card: in Black jack you may hit as long as you have not went over 21. 
  • Stand –  End your turn and pass to the next player.
  • Double Down- This means to double your bet, you will get one more card, and then ends your turn.
  • Split-If you have two of the same card (like two 6’s), you can split them and play each as a separate hand. You’ll get one more card for each, and then you hit or stand on each hand. You have to put up another bet since now you’re playing two hands. 
  • Surrender- Surrender allows you to bow out of your hand and lose half your bet. This is a good option when you’d likely lose your whole bet if you stayed in, such as when you have a total of 16 vs. a dealer up card of 10. Although this was a popular play, it is hardly used in top casinos any more. 
  • Bust-If you go over 21, you’ve busted, and you lose. Even if the dealer busts. 
  • Push-If you and the dealer have the same total, it’s a push, or a tie, and you neither win nor lose your bet.
  • Natural-If you’re dealt an ace plus a ten (or a face card, which is worth ten), that’s called a natural or a Blackjack.

Our rating – 7.1/10