Here's the good news: you don't have to be James Bond to play Baccarat. Although of course this helps, and saying “Mixed not stirred” while wearing a Grateful Dead t-shirt isn't going to get you many friends; But Baccarat is no longer a "gentleman's" game reserved for the rich and famous. It is a game that is available in any casino, both live and online.
However, what live casinos do to maintain the "exclusivity" of Baccarat, is to offer a variant called mini-Baccarat. Normally a game of Baccarat is a minimum of $20, however, in mini-Baccarat the minimum is $5. Most online casinos don't bother with the mini-Baccarat variant, and you can play Baccarat online for any amount you want, for example at casinos like [Temporarily Removed].
But how exactly is Baccarat played? In fact, it is a very simple game. Let's look at a Baccarat table:
Baccarat is usually played with up to fifteen people, and it is very easy to play. Before the dealer deals any cards, you have to place a bet. The dealer will deal cards to the "house" and the "player" – which are basically two fictitious participants in the game. In short, you have to guess who will win the hand before the cards are dealt.
That's it — this is how Baccarat is played. You bet on either the “house” or the “player”. You can also bet that the result is a "tie".
Now, how do you decide which Baccarat hand wins? This is where it gets a bit confusing. The winning Baccarat hand is the one that totals nine or comes closest to nine. Two cards are dealt to each hand. All cards have a value, with the exception of aces and face cards which are counted as zero.
What if the hand is HIGHER than nine? What happens if a seven and a nine are dealt? In that case the sum would give 16, and so we remove the “1” and it reduces to 6.
And this is in principle how Baccarat works. A nice and simple game that even an 8 year old could play. Although they shouldn't!
However, it is best to join some real hands to experiment. My advice is to sign up for [Temporarily Removed]. They have a great game of Baccarat and you know what the best part is? Playing is free. You can play with fake money or play money basically. Which means you can play for fun while understanding how everything works.
The software is excellent and will not allow you to make mistakes. It will warn you if you try to do something that is not allowed in Baccarat. It's also quite easy to set up, and is probably the best way to learn the game of Baccarat.