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Baccarat and Punto Banco

Baccarat is a very popular card game frequently played in casinos. It is said that the game has its origins in Italy, but that is had been introduced into France during the late Thirteenth Century, during the reign of the French Monarch, Charles VIII. In baccarat, all that is necessary, is a pack of cards and a baccarat pallet, or a long, flat plank -usually made of wood- that is rounded on one end, and has a handle on the other. It is a relatively simple game, with three betting options, or possible results. These results are, "Tie," "Banker," and "Player." These terms are only options; "Banker" does not necessarily mean the casino or the house, and "Player" does not refer to the person who is playing.

Even though there are different baccarat variants, what brings all of these variants together is how the hands are valued. 10 cards and "face" cards or "royal" cards are worth zero points, aces one point, and cards numbers two to nine are worth the same number of points as the face. The score of a baccarat game is determined by adding all of the card values together while ignoring the tens digit. This method of addition is called modulo, and if, for example, a person gets a hand that consists of a three and a nine, then the sum is twelve, but because this amount is larger than ten, the player's score will automatically become two. The first digit is dropped. The worst hand in a game of baccarat is any hand that adds up to ten, because this automatically means that the score would be zero. "Baccarat" is the name of this sort of hand, which, ironically, is also the name of the game.

While there are several other variants of the game of baccarat, there are only three that are officially accepted and played in casinos: baccarat banque (also known as " deux tableax"), baccarat chemin de fer (or "railway"), and the simplest baccarat variant of all, punto banco.

Baccarat chemin de fer and baccarat banque both require strategy and some skill to play, but punto banco is a game that is governed purely by chance. When playing punto banco, a player cannot really make any sort of decision; each one of a player's moves is dictated by the cards that they have been dealt. Punto Banco is also known as North American baccarat, and it is played in casinos in Canada, Australia, Macau, the United States, and Sweden.

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