James Bond is one of the most successful book and film franchises of all time. The world famous spy was the creation of Ian Fleming, an English author, journalist and naval intelligence officer. Fleming wrote a total of twelve James Bond novels as well as two short stories. The character was first created in 1953, appearing in the novel Casino Royale.
Back To Where It All Began
While the majority of James Bond fans will be more familiar with the 2006 blockbuster movie starring Daniel Craig, it was the 1953 novel of the same name that first introduced James Bond to the world. In the novel, James Bond is instructed to take down Le Chiffe, an agent of SMERSH, a fictional Soviet counter intelligence agency, by bankrupting him in a high-stakes game of Baccarat.
For the 2006 movie, the game was switched to poker, but for many die hard fans, the 1953 novel not only introduced James Bond to the world, but the wonderful game of Baccarat. A the time, it was not the most mainstream casino game, but due to the popularity of the book, it encouraged many people to learn how to play. The Game is Baccarat, chapter nine of the book, even features an extensive explanation of how the game is played, and hey... if it is good enough for Bond, it is good enough for us!
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The Game is Baccarat
Baccarat generally uses four, six or eight decks of cards that are shuffled together, and consists of two basic sides, the banker side and the player side. It can be played with up to fourteen players but even one player can play alone against the casino. Cards from two to nine are worth face value, tens and face cards are worth zero, and aces are worth one point.
How Do You Play Baccarat?
The hand values in baccarat are quite different to other games, but perhaps what makes it so great is that they are not overly complicated.
The score of a hand is the sum of all cards, but if any sum reaches two digits, you drop the left digit. For example, if a hand consists of a 7 and an 8 card, the total is 15, and so the left digit is dropped, making the value of the hand 5. However if a hand consists of a 3 and a 4 card, the total is 7, and there is no digit to drop, so the hand value remains at 7.
How Do You Bet in Baccarat?
Before we take a look at the basic rules of the game, it is worth pointing out that the internet not only allows you to play casino games online, but many of them include free handbooks with the rules and possible strategy for a wide selection of games, making it easier than ever to do as Bond did!
In the game of Baccarat, the best possible score is 9, also referred to as Natural. Before the cards are dealt, you can place your bet on either the player, banker or tie. The pay off for player and banker bet is 1:1. However, if you win a Banker bet, the casino generally keeps a 5% commission of your bet. The pay-off for a tie is usually 9:1 or 8:1, meaning it has the highest casino advantage of over 14% and is not recommend as a long-term strategy.
Each player is dealt two cards and the cards are turned over. Sometimes a third card is needed to determine the winner of the game. At this point, the hand that is closer to nine wins the game and winnings are paid out on the bets made before the cards were dealt.
So the next time you sit down to enjoy a game of Baccarat, remember to tip your hat to the man who introduced the game to the mainstream world... “Bond, James Bond.”