How to Play Power Baccarat 98

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Casinos are constantly coming up with new ways to interest and challenge table game players. This has given rise to an incredible variety of baccarat type games, such as the one created in Singapore called “Power Baccarat 98.” Unlike most variants, it adds a dice component to the game that can generate random bonuses for certain wins on what are called “Power Hands.”

Rules of the Game

Participants in Power Baccarat 98 make their wagers on either the Player Hand or the Banker hand, just as they do in conventional baccarat. The point count for the cards is the same, too, as is the way the value of the cards in the hand is calculated by using the last digit when the total is greater than nine. Two side bets are typically offered—“Pair” and “Tie”—just as in the standard game. Additionally, side bets can be made on Natural 8 or 9 for either the Banker hand or Player hand.

Once all wagers have been made, the dealer uses a dice shaker to shake a single die three times and then reveal its value. If the die value is 3, the hand will be called a “Power Hand” and the Dealer will turn the power hand marker to indicate that “Power Hand” is in effect. Once a “Power hand” has been determined, all players wagering at the table shall benefit from the improved game odds as follows: Player hand wins increase from 1:1 to 21:20, Banker hand wins go up from 19:20 to 1:1, Tie side bets increase from 8:1 to 10:1, and Pair side bets increase from 11:1 to 15:1. Additionally, side bets on the “Naturals” go up in value from 8:1 to 9:1.

Note that if the die value is anything other than 3, the game plays the same as regular baccarat with no change in the payout schedule. Also note that in order to wager on the side for a Natural 8 or 9 for the Banker or Player, the original bet must have been placed on the corresponding hand. In other words, a participant backing the Banker hand can only make the Natural 8 or 9 side bet on the Banker.

Playing Strategy

Hand play in Power Baccarat 98 follows the same rules and strategy as in the conventional game. If either hand is dealt a total of 8 or 9, it is a “Natural” and no more cards are dealt to either hand. When the Player hand totals 0~5, a card must be drawn. Holding 6 or 7, the Player hand must stand. When the Player hand stands, the Banker hand must draw on 0~5 and stand on 6 or 7. Otherwise, the Banker hand must draw whenever holding 0~2 or when holding 3 facing any Player total other than 8, holding 4 facing the Player’s third card of 2~7, holding 5 facing the Player’s third card of 4~7, or holding 6 facing the Player’s third card of 6 or 7. In all other cases, the Banker hand must stand.

As for the House edge in this game, it is 1.10% on the Player hand and 0.92% on the Banker hand prior to the shaking of the die. The House has an advantage of 13.63% on the Tie side bet and 9.60% on the Pair side bet. For the side bets on the Natural 8, the House edge is 29.73%, while on the Natural 9 side bets it is 21.23%. Based upon the statistics alone, the best bet in this game is to back the Banker hand and the worst wager is any side bet on a Natural, especially a Natural 8 for the Player hand.

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