How to Play 7 Up Baccarat

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As Asians, in particular, have embraced baccarat as one of their favourite games, casinos in the Far East have experimented with new wrinkles to the game in order to provide more variety at the tables. The Marina Bay Sands Casino in Singapore, for example, recently introduced a version called “7 Up Baccarat” to its line-up of table games. The main modification to the rules is that the Player hand always receives a seven to start out, which in turn affects payouts and strategy.

Rules of the Game

Most of the rules of 7 Up Baccarat will be familiar to those who play the standard game. A continuous shuffling machine is used with six decks, and players wager on either the Player hand or the Banker hand prior to the deal. Printed on the felt surface of the table is a “7” to indicate the first card that is always dealt to the Player hand. A second card is then dealt from the shuffler to complete the Player hand and the Banker hand receives two cards as usual. The drawing riles are identical to those applied to the standard version of the game.

Three outcomes are possible. The Player hand may win, resulting in a payout of even money, except when winning with a count of seven, which pays 1 to 2. The Banker hand many win, also paying even money, except when winning with a count of seven, which pays 9 to 5. All Ties result in a push, with bets returned and no winner declared.

There are also two side bet options offered in 7 Up Baccarat. The typical “Ties” side bet pays 7 to 1 whenever the two hands push with the same total, except for a seven-point Tie, which pays 9 to 1. The second side bet is called “Super Sevens.” It pays a bonus according to how many sevens are dealt in total among the two hands, including the original seven that is always dealt to the Player hand. The payouts are 2 to 1 for two sevens, 5 to 1 for three sevens, 17 to 1 for four, 70 to 1 for five and 700 to 1 for six.

Playing Strategy

Because the drawing of cards must follow a prescribed set of rules, just like standard blackjack, there is no strategy for hand play in 7 Up Baccarat. The opportunity to affect the outcome is based solely on betting strategy, and there are several ways to make wagers and manage money to the player’s advantage.

First, the Banker hand with its House advantage of 2.56% holds a very slight edge as the best betting choice over the Player hand, which features a margin of 2.60% in favour of the House. The lack of a commission on winning Banker hand payouts, coupled with the higher award (9 to 5) for winning with a total of seven, makes up for the fact that the Banker hand can be expected to lose outright on 42.8% of all deals compared to 41.0% for the Player hand.

Second, side bets in this version of the game are slightly more welcoming than in conventional baccarat. This is certainly true of the Ties wager. Thanks to the initial seven, ties occur more frequently—10.1% versus 9.5%—and the House edge is considerably lower—4.05% versus 14.44%. Similarly, the Super Sevens bet comes with a House edge of 8.86%, which is preferable to the typical “Pairs” side bet found at baccarat tables, with a House edge of 11.25%.

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