Before the hands are dealt, players place their bets on the ‘banker’ hand, the ‘player’ hand, or on a tie. Where there is a tie, bets on the ‘banker ‘or ‘player’ are returned.
Each hand consists of a minimum of two and a maximum of three cards. The person dealing places two cards, face down, tucked under the shoe (which is usually between 6 or 8 decks of cards), and gives the player with the largest bet on 'player' the other two cards, face down.
The 'player' then looks at the cards and gives them back to the person who is dealing who then turns over the cards of both hands. The casino dealer then announces the results and the winner (the player with the highest score).
The value of a hand is calculated by adding the values of its cards. Suits do not matter. Cards less than 10 are worth their face value, tens and face cards are worth zero and Aces are worth 1. Only single digits values are valid which means that after adding the value of the cards, if the sum reaches doubt digits, the left digit is ignored. For example, a hand consisting of 2 and 3 equals a score of 5. However, a hand consisting of 6 and 6 is equals a score of 2 (6 + 6 = 12 = 2) as the first digit is dropped because the total is greater than 10. A hand consisting of 4 and 6 is worth 0, or 'baccarat' (4 + 6 = 10 = 0). Thus, the highest achievable score is 9 which results, for example, from a hand of 4 and 5, 10 and 9 or Ace and 8.
If either hand has a total or 8 or 9 (called a 'natural'), the 'player' or 'banker' automatically wins. No more cards are dealt and the hand is over. A natural 9 beats a natural 8.
If a hand is not 'natural', then a third card might be dealt to either or both the 'player' or the 'banker' according to the 'three-card-rules'.
Third-card rules for the 'player' hand:
If the 'player's' first two cards total 6 or more, then the player must stand without drawing a card.
If the 'player's' first two cards are less than or equal to 5, the player must draw a third card.
Third-card rules for the 'banker' hand:
If the 'banker's' first two cards are 2 or less, then the banker must draw a third card.
If the 'banker's' first two cards total 3, 4, 5, or 6, then whether the 'banker' draws a third card is determined by the whether the 'player' drew, and if so the value of the 'player's' draw card. If the 'banker's' first two cards
total 3, then the 'banker' draws a third card unless the 'player's' third card was an 8;
total 4, then the 'banker' draws a third card unless the 'player's' third card was 0, 1, 8, or 9;
total 5, then the 'banker' draws a third card if the 'player's' third card was 4, 5, 6 or 7;
total 6, then the 'banker' draws a third card if the 'player's' third card was 6 or 7.
If the 'banker's' first two cards total 7 or more, then the 'banker' must stand without drawing a third card.