Baccarat : The Favorite Casino Game of Thai Gamblers
Now that Thai lawmakers are seriously contemplating on legalizing casino gambling, baccarat tables will likely draw the largest number of Thai gamblers. The 2019 study conducted by researchers of the Chulalongkorn University’s Centre for Gambling Studies revealed that online baccarat has been trending as the third most popular form of online gambling enjoyed by Thai citizens, next to football betting and lotteries.
The study revealed that Thai citizens still engage in casino gaming, either in illegal gambling dens or in online casinos, of which the most popular game choice is baccarat.
Baccarat the card game is also known as
Chemin de fer in European and Latin American casinos. In most Asian countries, baccarat is simply known as Lucky Nine, because the number 9 is the highest winning number that can beat the value of a two-card hand, held individually by players and a banker or the dealer of the casino house.
Overview of Baccarat Game Mechanics
Each player wagers a bet that his card value will beat that of the banker’s. If a player wins, he collects from the banker a prize amount equal to his wager.
The banker pays all players who beat his two-card hand value. The banker though has a chance of recouping some of his losses from players who did not achieve a card value that is higher than his. However, if the dealer’s hand is a bust or equivalent to zero, he stands to pay all players except those whose card total is also zero.
A two-card value does not necessarily have to be a 9 in order to win. It can be any number that is higher than the 2-card value achieved by the banker. Still, in order to increase one’s chances of winning especially if the value held is between 1 to 5, all players on the baccarat table, including the banker has the option to draw another card.
Yet the result of adding a third card value could yield, either a higher or lower value. Mainly because it’s not the sum of the cards that determines the winning value, but only the ones digit of the total sum.
Determining the Value of a 2-Card or 3-Card Hand
In a 2-card hand, the value of the card held is determined by simply adding the numbers represented by the 2 cards.
Low value cards like 2, 3, 4 and 5 tend to yield single digit values. Except when 2 5-value cards are held as adding the two values will produce 10 as the sum and zero as the card value since only the ones digit matters.
Now a lucky player dealt with a 4 and 5 as initial card, achieves a “natural” 9 card that is sure to beat the banker’s card. Not unless the banker also holds a “natural” 9 because that would result to a tie.
High value cards between 6 and 10 automatically yield a two-digit value. In which case, the first or the tens digit is dropped, and only the second or one digit will be considered as value of the 2 cards.
Royal cards like kings, queens and jacks are usually removed from the deck. Aces on the other hand, have a value of 1 each.
A player with a two 5-value cards will naturally opt to draw a third card in order to increase the value of his baccarat hand. If the third hand is a 9, that player has increased chances of beating or matching the banker’s hand value. However, if the banker has a “natural 9” the player holding a 3-card 9 value still stands to lose his wager to the banker.
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