Gamblers from Asia are quite fond of playing Baccarat because of its easy gameplay and small house edge. Another game fairly popular in Asia is Punto Banco. It is similar to baccarat but a lot fancier. Combining the best characteristics of these two games gave rise to a newer variation of the game, the 3 Card Baccarat.
3 Card Baccarat is slowly gaining popularity in Asia, particularly in Macau and Vietnam. Many of the players who cannot play at the high roller baccarat table play this game instead. This game can be found in some online casinos as well.
Since the game is still new, some players end up confused at the many and still evolving rules of the game. In general, the game uses a standard 52-card deck. Note that the suits do not change the outcome of the hand.
In regular baccarat, the face cards and the 10s are counted as 0, the Aces are 1, and the rest of the cards have their pip value (i.e. a 6 is equivalent to 6 points).
At the start of the game, the dealer will shuffle the cards as players place their bets. Then, the dealer will give three cards each for the player and the dealer hand. The players can choose to place their bets on either the player hand or the dealer hand.
In 3 Card Baccarat, the highest hand is always the three face cards. In cases of a tie, that hand is a push and no chips are exchanged. Again, the suits do not bear any factor in choosing the high hand.
Winning wagers automatically pay a 5% commission. Online casinos using Gamesys software only has a 3% software charge on player hand bets. This ultimately brings down the house edge to only 1.44%.
One of the great things about 3 Card Baccarat is the option to bet on any total for the dealer hand, with the bets placed on individual boxes. Do note that the probability of each number from one to nine is almost nearing 10% and individual number pays 8 to 1 when it wins. Placing a bet on 0 points for the dealer also has a payout of 8 to 1 and a smaller house of edge of only 2.91%.
Players can also place a bet for a tie. However, it is always considered a bad bet since it has a high house edge of more than 20%.
Playing online 3 Card Baccarat is still quite difficult because of its availability. Some online casinos offer the game as a live dealer game in a Flash format.
Since the game is fairly new, a number of online casinos offer the game to be more player friendly to entice more players. Whilst the rules of the game still applies, the payouts are adjusted.
Online casinos often total the two-digit hand and drop the first digit. For example, a hand with a 9-8-7 is not counted as 24 but only as 4. As soon as the players place their wager, the dealer turns the three cards face-up. Still, the highest hand is the three face cards. If both the dealer and the player hands have three face cards, it is a tie.
If the hand does not have three face cards, the total points for each hand are compared and the one with the highest total wins. In the case of the same total, the one with the most face cards will win. For example, a hand with a King-Queen-7 will win over a hand with a Queen-9-8 even if both of them bear the same total of 7. If both hands have the same total and the same number of face cards, it is again a tie.
If the player wins, the player gets even money less the 3% commission. For example, a player bets $10 will only win $9.7. A tie wager in an online casino pays as much as 25 to 1.
Similar to live casinos, players can also bet on the dealer’s hand total with a payout of 8 to 1. Wagers can also be placed on Three Faces and pays as much as 96 to 1.
Since there are still few players familiar with the game, some online casinos offer No House Edge 3 Card Baccarat.