How to Play Super Pan 9

Published: 25/11/2013

Most versions of baccarat call for participants to wager on one of two hands—the Banker or the Player—and the decisions to stand or hit are predetermined by the House rules. Some casinos have experimented with ways to foster more individual player involvement in the game, such as the variation called “Super Pan 9.” It is played primarily in California in the county of Los Angeles, where law requires that a degree of skill be involved in what would otherwise be games of chance.

Rules of the Game

The game is played with a dozen modified decks of standard playing cards, from which the sevens, eights, nines and tens have been removed. That leaves 36 cards in each deck, or 432 cards in total to be shuffled into the Super Pan 9 shoe. Participants take turns acting as the “banking player” designated as the Banker for each deal. All of the other participants at the table play their own hands directly against him/her. All players except the Banker must wager in order to play, and the casino takes a small “collection” (fee) at the start of each hand.

After bets are placed, each player and the Banker receive three cards apiece face down. As in baccarat, Aces count as one point, the 2~6 cards are scored according to their face value, and face cards count as zero. When the point total is ten or greater, the hand value is the terminal digit of the sum of the cards, such as eight when the cards are A-7-5-5 (18). One by one, the players are given the opportunity to stand on the three cards they were dealt or to draw one more card. The banking player also has this option after all the other participants have made their decisions. Finally, a showdown occurs, comparing the Banker total to each of the players’ hands.

If the player wins with a higher total than the Banker hand, the banking player must make a payout of even money (1:1). If the Banker hand wins, the player’s wager is lost. All ties result in a push, with no winner. In the event that the banking player runs out of money before all hands are compared, any bets not acted upon are treated as a push and do not win or lose. Note that during the designation of the banking player, it is possible to “Pass” the opportunity so that short-stacked participants need not hold the Banker hand.

Playing Strategy

The most important decision to be made in playing Super Pan 9 is whether or not to hold the Banker hand when the opportunity arises to be the banking player. When playing from a 12-deck shoe, the Banker hand has an advantage of 1.1464% over the players. This margin goes up slightly with fewer decks in play, such as 1.1474% for eight decks. It is therefore in the participant’s best interest to accept the responsibility for the Banker hand any time it is available.

Unlike conventional baccarat, players are not restricted in their decisions to stand or hit. However, the optimum strategy when playing against the Banker hand is to hit whenever a total of 0~5 is held on three cards and to stand on totals of 6~9. The banking player has the advantage of going after all of the players have gone. When facing a single player who hits, the Banker hand should hit on 0~5 and stand on 6~9. When facing a single player who stands, the Banker hand should hit on 0~6 and stand on 7~9.

The decision for the banking player becomes a bit more complicated when facing multiple players. In such cases, the best strategy is to take one’s cue from the player with the largest bet on the table by hitting on any total of 0~5, standing on 7~9 and acting in the opposite manner as that player when holding a 6—i.e., stand if he/she hits and hit otherwise.

Published on: 25/11/2013

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