New EZ Baccarat could be next game changer

Nov 25, 2008 5:10 PM

by GT Staff |

With a reputation as the game of choice for high rollers, baccarat has always been one of the casino’s most exotic and least understood games, although it’s probably the simplest to learn because there’s no real decision making involved.

One of the features of baccarat that has perplexed if not deterred new players has been the 5 percent commission charged on every winning "bank" hand.

But a new game, EZ Baccarat, introduced at G2E last week, solves the problem of the 5 percent commission without altering any of the existing drawing rules of the game.

"The commission has always been the bane of baccarat," says Francisco "TJ" Tejada, creator of the game and co-principal of Talisman Group, which developed the game along with DEQ Systems Corp. "About 60 percent of player disputes and mistakes are the result of the bank commission."

Tejada said the new game eliminates the collecting of the bank commission by incorporating a new rule into play – making every three-card bank hand totaling 7 a push instead of a win.

The modification is the equivalent to taking a 4.9 percent commission and occurs once every 44 hands, Tejada said.

"Basically, the commission is now built into the mathematics of the game, similar to the way craps built in the rolling of 12 as a push on the come out," he said.

To sweeten the pot, EZ Baccarat offers an insurance bet, Dragon 7, which pays off at 40-1 when the bank hand hits a three-card total of 7.

The game has already been approved in Nevada, with two tables set to open at Wynn Las Vegas on Dec. 1.

EZ Baccarat has already generated a following outside the state, however. In California, there are more than 30 tables in play, including 15 at Pechanga and eight at Barona.

"It’s become a fun game, with players whooping and hollering, just like they do at the craps tables, especially with the new Dragon 7 bet," Tejada said.

The action is heightened with the addition of an LCD video screen that displays the ratio of winning bank and player hands, how many hands have passed since the last Dragon 7 winner, and other pertinent game information.

As noted above, baccarat is basically a simple game. Two hands of two-cards each – the player and the bank – are dealt. Players can bet either hand.

The object is to have the higher total of the two hands, with tens and face cards counting as zero. A complicated set of rules dictate when the hands require a draw, but the dealer worries about the draw – the player makes no decisions.

For more information about the game, check out the web site, and to learn more about playing baccarat, click here.