Baccarat Valuation / Card Counting

Baccarat is a card game that has been a favorite for people across the globe. If you have never before played baccarat, then it might seem like some crazy variation on blackjack. In fact, it is nothing at all like blackjack except for the fact that you have to count your cards and try to reach a special number.

In baccarat, it is paramount that you understand the way in which cards are valued. The object of the game is to have an 8 or 9 point hand. This is called a "natural" and is hard to beat. The worst hand is also the namesake of the game, baccarat. Baccarat is equal to 0 points and you do not want this unlucky hand.

To count your cards' point values, you should know that the number cards are worth the value on their face. The Jack, Queen and King are worth 10 and the Ace is worth 11 points. The dealer will give the Banker and the Player two cards each dealing them one at a time. You will count your cards points by first adding up the value and then dropping the "tens" digit. This is called "modulo 10" and is abbreviated as (mod 10).

Let's look at a specific example: Your hand consists of a 5 + 8 which is a sum of 13. Take the mod 10 of 13 by dropping the first digit and you are left with 3 (mod 10). Your card's baccarat score is 3 and you will want to take a third card from the dealer. If your cards are A + 8 = 19= 9 (mod 10) and that is the best score you can hope for!

There are so many pop culture references to casino-goers who sit at a table they think is blackjack or something else, and then surprised when their great blackjack hand is a baccarat losing hand. Knowing the value of the cards and how to count your points is the first step to learning how to play the game of baccarat.