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Mini Baccarat

3 October 2021

QUESTION: I am new to casino games and in my first casino trip I saw a game called mini-baccarat. The hitting and standing rules seemed very complicated. I couldn’t quite tell what was going on and the table was crowded and the players were very much into the game and I was reluctant to barge in asking questions. I wound up playing the slots but I am interested in this game. Any help will be great.

ANSWER: I have some bad news and some good news. I’ll give the bad news first. The rules for hitting the hands or standing on the hands are somewhat complicated. There are two hands; one is called “banker” and the other is called “player.” Either the player or banker will win or they can tie. The tie is also a bet at the game. So, it’s player, banker or tie. Three bets in total.

The game you saw was called mini-baccarat because it is played on a small table, much like blackjack. There is another version of the game, the “big baccarat” or “high roller baccarat” that is played on a very long table in the high roller room. This “big” game is hard to find today because it is too slow. Mini-baccarat is fast, perhaps the fastest table game in the casino.

At the opening of the round, the player and the banker are each dealt two cards. Cards are numbered as their face value which is 2-9, ace is valued at 1, with the 10 and picture cards having no points. An initial hand of 8 or 9 is an automatic winner (or a stable hand) and no new cards are dealt. No hands can go over 9, so a hand of 7 and 3 is not 10 but zero. You always drop the left digit when the two cards add up to more than 10 so a hand that comes to 14 is just a four.

If the player hand is either 6 or 7, no new cards are drawn. If the player hand is 5 or lower, the player draws a card on the hand.

Now it is the banker’s turn. If the player stood on a 6 or 7, the banker plays according to the player’s rules.

If the player drew cards, then the rules for the banker’s hands are as follows:

• If the banker has a 2 or less, the banker will take a card.
• If the banker has a 3, then the banker draws a third card (unless the player's third card had been an 8).
• If the banker has a 4, then a third card is drawn if the player's third card had been a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7.
• If the banker has a 5, then the banker draws a card if the player's third card had been a 4, 5, 6, or 7.
• If the banker has 6, then the banker draws a card if the player's third card had been a 6 or 7.
• If the banker has a 7, then no cards are drawn.

Okay, memorize those and come back to me later. Just kidding!

Here’s the good news. No baccarat player has to make any decision on which hands are held or hit by either the player or the banker. These decisions are locked in stone! So you don’t have to know any of the above. Indeed, many mini-baccarat players have no idea of exactly what the rules are.

Betting the player, the house has a 1.24 percent edge. The player bet is paid even money, $10 for $10.

Betting the banker, the house has a 1.06 percent edge. The payment is not even-money as the house takes a 5 percent commission on a winning banker bet. If there were no commission then the banker would have an edge over the house! (Some mini-baccarat games don’t take a commission but limit a win on certain combinations of cards.)

The tie bet is a waste of your money as it comes in with an edge in the double digits. Yes, over 14 percent!

Finally, the game is fast that you may want to sit out some hands here and there to reduce your exposure. The house edges are small but with so many decisions your losses can be somewhat big.

All the best in and out of the casinos.

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books, libraries and bookstores.
Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

> More Books By Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players

> More Books By Frank Scoblete