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Why are Baccarat Cards Dealt Face Down?

Play Baccarat Gold at Casino-MateThere are two sorts of baccarat games: a face up game and a “squeeze” game. The latter is referred to as a squeeze game because the punter with the largest bet per side (Player or Banker) is handed the cards face down and allowed to “squeeze”, or slowly reveal, the cards at their own discretion.

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Baccarat is a game pioneered by the French during their squalid and debaucherous best of the 1500s. As a young dealer I was told a legend that the game was conceived to placate some visiting half-wit of French nobility who could only count to nine, hence the reason a score in baccarat is never greater than nine. With that sort of pedigree, many of the rules and traditions behind baccarat shouldn’t be scrutinised too heavily. Anyway, this is the 21st century – we have mobile phones, tablets and the Internet and shouldn’t be bothered by obscure French history.

In reality, the cards are handed face down for one reason and one reason alone: theatre. The coolest man to have never lived, James Bond, couldn’t be coy with arch-villains at a blackjack table or in front of a pokie machine. No.

Pierce Brosnan as James Bond

Pierce and his shaken Vodka Martini.

Only the slow release and tension of a squeeze game can allow for some witty banter and swilling down several shaken – not stirred – Martinis. Would 007 have been as effective a spy if his favourite game was Casino War? I think not. There’s a certain style and class associated with baccarat.

To experience this sort of excitement and tension you don’t have to pack yourself a cut lunch and hike to your nearest casino. The squeeze game of baccarat translates perfectly to the online world of casino gaming.

The Internet is a wonderful thing with more to offer than just free pornography. Sites like www.RoyalVegasCasino.com, www.GdayCasino.com and www.Guts.com offer classy squeeze baccarat games for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own home. You can shake yourself a Martini, kick back and not have to worry about meddlesome floor managers or pit bosses watching you like a hawk and monitoring your bets.

In fact, online casinos offer improved odds that land casinos do not, as such sites have no need for any expensive overheads. Our endorsed gambling sites host punto banco games with reduced commissions on Banker wins, improved odds on Player wins (1.01 to 1) and juicer odds on the tie bet (9-1 and in some cases, 10-1, instead of the traditional 8-1).

In the traditional casino, any red-blooded baccarat player worth their salt can spot a rookie a mile away. They are easily picked by the way they “squeeze” the cards. If the driver (the punter with the cards) just flips the cards quickly without a care in the world, they are given a wide berth because they are clearly new to the game and don’t know what the hell they’re doing. They obviously lack the skill and flair necessary for a nail biting game of baccarat.

A seasoned veteran will slowly twist, squeeze and manipulate the cards one at a time, keeping the entire table on the edge of their seats like a true showman. They will slowly bend the edge of the card, with each thumb covering the top and bottom corner to hide the value.

Beware however.

BaccaratBeing handed the cards by the dealer is a clear message being sent to every other player at the table, the floor manager and even the pit boss, that you are one of the two highest betting people at the table. This attention can come with its own pros and cons. If you feel uneasy with so many people knowing how much you are betting and winning, then try online baccarat casinos for a safer, more confidential experience.

So the next time you are handed the cards face down, play along. Be James Bond and make everyone around the table sweat on your hand – does he have a natural nine? Or does he have baccarat? Be a showman. Be an entertainer.