Regulation baccarat tables normally have betting spots for 12-14 players, with each player having a corresponding numbered spot, 1 through 12, or 14, to place his or her bets. Bettors may make wagers on either Player (Punto) or Bank (Banco). In some variations, a tie bet is offered. Bets made on the Player position are placed immediately in front of the player, in the corresponding numbered area, while bets on the Bank position, go in the numbered slots indicated by “Bank.” Tie bets, offered only in American Style and minibaccarat, are also marked on the layout. In front of the dealers are small numbered boxes, one for each seat, and it is here, using chips, that the dealers keep track of monies owed to the casino. The mini-baccarat layout has space for seven players. As on the regulation table, each spot is numbered, and wagers on the Bank, Player and tie bets are placed in front of the bettor in the corresponding area.
The game is generally manned by three dealers or croupiers as they’re called in French. One dealer, known as a caller, is in charge of the game and his function is to run the show. He or she will direct play, telling players what to do – when they need a draw and when the cards should be dealt. The other two dealers handle the betting, collecting lost bets from losers, making payoffs on won hands and keeping track of the commissions owed. In mini-baccarat games, there will be just one dealer running the game.
Cards numbered 2 to 9 are counted according to their face value; a 2 equals 2 points and a 7 equals 7 points. An Ace is counted as one point. The 10, Jack, Queen and King have a value of 0 points and have no effect when adding up the points in a hand. Points are counted by adding up the value of the cards. However, hands totaling 10 or more points, have the first digit dropped so that no hand contains a total of greater than 9 points. For example, two nines (18) is a hand of 8 points and a 7 5 (12) is a hand of 2 points. A hand of a 3 and a 4 would simply be valued at 7 points. A hand containing a jack and a king is valued at 0 points while a jack and an ace counts as but 1 point. The suits have no value in baccarat. Let’s look at a bunch of examples so that we’re crystal clear on how the point values work. Each card will be represented by its numerical value, for example an eight by 8 or three by 3, except for the jack, queen, king and ace, which will be represented by the J, Q, K and A respectively.