What is Baccarat? By Christina Applebaum Well this article is for me as much as anyone else. I knew nothing of this game before I started this and to be honest I'm still not sure I get it but here is what I've figured out: It is similar to Blackjack in the sense that the cards have point values and that the hand closest to a certain point value wins, except in Baccarat the value of the cards are a bit different and and the winner is the one with the cards that total closest to 9 not 21. Cards 2 through 9 are worth face value, 10's through K's have no value, and Aces are worth one point. Two hands are dealt, the player's and the bankers. The hands consist of two cards for both the player and the banker. Now the player can bet on either hand, his own or the banker's, but the bet must be made before the cards are dealt. Now this is where it gets confusing for me. Remember I said we are looking for the hand that is closest to 9? Well, If your hand totals more than 10 the second digit is the value of the hand. Example: A 9 and a 7 that would be a total of 16. Unlike Blackjack where you would "bust" for going over the desired point value, the Baccarat hand of 9 and 7 would have a value of 6, the second digit in 16. If either the banker's hand or the players hand total a 8 - 9 when first dealt, that is called a "natural" win and the hand is over. However if the player's hand totals 6 - 7 the player will "stand". Hands totaling 0 - 5 will draw a 3rd card. The game is played on like this with the goal being to have the hand closest to 9.