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HOW TO PLAY BACCARAT
Baccarat was first introduced at the Dunes in Las Vegas in 1959. Since that time, it has grown slowly but steadily to the point where it can now be found in every major casino, and some of the lesser ones as well.
May people are intimidated by the exclusive and glamorous atmosphere surrounding baccarat. This is a pity because the game offers one of the lowest house advantages of any casino game. That means it offers you one of the best chances of coming out a winner. It is also an extremely easy game to learn to play, by far the easiest of all the table games. Baccarat is a game that involves high table limits. It is certainly too expensive for some players. If playing would put a strain on your bankroll, that is a very good reason to avoid it. But if you can afford it, there is no reason why you can't be playing like a pro soon after studying this chapter.
The Basic Game
Baccarat is played on a large table around which the players are seated. Most baccarat tables are designed to seat fourteen players, although some seat only twelve. Each seating position is numbered on the layout in front of the seat. On a fourteen-player table, the seats are numbered 1 to 15; the number 13 is omitted in deference to superstitious players. The table layout also contains numbered betting spaces corresponding to the seat numbers, so each player may bet in his own space without danger of different players' bets being confused. Similarly, in front of the two dealers are small boxes that are also numbered to correspond to the players' seats. These boxes are used by the dealers to keep track of how much commission each player owes the house. Baccarat is played with eight decks of cards dealt from a shoe. The cards are shuffled by the dealers but dealt by the players.
The game is conducted by three dealers. Two of these dealers are seated together at the center of the table. It is their job to collect losing wagers, pay off winning wagers, and keep a record of the commission owed by the players in the numbered commission boxes in front of them. Each of these two dealers is responsible for half the table. One dealer takes care of bets made by the seven players seated on the left side f the table while the other dealer takes care of the bets made by the seven players on the right side of the table. Standing on the other side of the table opposite these two dealers is the caller, who supervises the game, announcing the various hands, directing the players in dealing the cards, and announcing the winning hand. Seated off to the side beyond one end of the table on high chair is the ladder man. He takes no active part in the game. It is his job to oversee the game and protect against irregularities in the same way the floorman does at the other table games. He is the final judge on any disputed that might develop at the table.
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