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Best of Alan Krigman

Gaming Guru

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What are the rules for drawing and standing at baccarat?

15 July 2013

Question: I know that in baccarat and mini-baccarat, decisions to draw or stand are predetermined. But, what are the rules?

Answer: Player and Banker each start with two cards, then stand or draw once. As you note, the rules for doing so are rigid. Remember, ace through nine have corresponding values of 1 through 9; 10 through king equal 0. Hands are totaled until they reach 9, then the leading digit is dropped and the cycle is repeated. For instance, adding a four to a nine yields 3, not 13.

The simplest case occurs when at least one initial hand is a natural – a total of 8 or 9. Player and Banker both stand.

Player follows a single rule when neither initial hand is a natural. Draw on totals of 0 through 5; stand otherwise.

Rules for Banker when neither initial hand is a natural are a bit more involved.

Banker starts with 0, 1, or 2 – always draw.
Banker starts with 3 – draw if Player stands or if player draws and gets a total of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 9.
Banker starts with 4 – draw if Player stands or if player draws and gets a total of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7.
Banker starts with 5 – draw if player stands or if player draws and gets a total of 4, 5, 6, or 7.
Banker starts with 6 – draw if player draws and gets a total of 6 or 7.
Banker starts with 7 – always stand.
Alan Krigman

Alan Krigman was a weekly syndicated newspaper gaming columnist and Editor & Publisher of Winning Ways, a monthly newsletter for casino aficionados. His columns focused on gambling probability and statistics. He passed away in October, 2013.
Alan Krigman
Alan Krigman was a weekly syndicated newspaper gaming columnist and Editor & Publisher of Winning Ways, a monthly newsletter for casino aficionados. His columns focused on gambling probability and statistics. He passed away in October, 2013.